Words For Courageous Living


Not long ago I decided to trim the oleander bush that grows at the corner of our house on the corner of 3rd St. and Carlson Ave. (Carlson Ave.?? yes - but it is a coincidence; sure made it nice when the children were growing up. They knew where they lived.)

As I tried to cut the bush in a perfect circle with the hedge trimmers I was reminded of several things. One: This plant is seen so much as one drives down the highway. In fact, recently, on a trip I remarked how pretty the flowers were on the oleander bushes that were growing in the median. Whoever had planted them had grouped them according to color. It was a pretty site while it also provided a cushion for the glare of oncoming lights. Two: The plant is poisonous. That's right.

So we have something that is very helpful, very beautiful - lends itself to a variety of uses, yet is even (for some) deadly. I am told that it is not safe to breath the fumes from burning leaves or branches.

With this in mind I say to myself I must use caution with many things in the world, lest I be taken in by them to my disadvantage. The things that God has made that look beautiful, the many gifts that He has given individuals and the "good" things in life CAN become a snare and even to our spiritual death.

My goal is to use what God has given me and not be USED by it. As I relate it to us now the bottom line is this: That which one is seeking and desiring may not be the best after all for them. It is so neat to know that God can "see over the fence". He can see through the oleander growing in the medium of our life. That is why God is good and that (Micah 6:8)

"...has shown you, O man, what is good."

To live with that assurance is truly satisfying.

Let's pray

Lord, thank you for this one who has touched you this way. May they know without a shadow of doubt that you are aware of them and IN their present situation. Give them insight to use what they see, have and know and not be USED by it to their harm. Grace this one with life, and life abundantely You have made everything beautiful.


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