Saturday, July 1, 2017

Not quite what it looks like....

One day, not so long ago, I happened to catch this interesting picture from Doug and Susie's front yard.  There are a number of undeveloped lots in their neighborhood and the local fire department uses them to empty their water tanks and refill them from the fire hydrants.  I loved this really pretty rainbow that was created by their hose!  When I looked at the picture later, I realized that it looks like it might be an actual rainbow with a dark cloud behind it!  One of those times when what you see is not quite what it actually was!

Doesn't that phrase pretty much sum up so many of the stories and/or posts that you can find on the internet these days?  It is so difficult to figure out exactly what the truth is in each story.  It has been a challenging year with the heated political arena and the news media.  Us regular folks have to be very careful believing the things that we read.  Just this week, several large media outlets have had to retract stories that were never true.  The amount of MIS information that is swirling around is frightening.  As someone who has put a very high price on "truth telling", going through my Facebook feed or even just looking at news headlines makes my stomach quiver.  I love that Gwen always reminds her kids whether a book/story they are reading is true or made up.  Their home school curriculum has many true story books so this is a good practice.   I love that they are reminded daily that the Bible contains true stories.

A while back I considered just not looking at anything in the news or on the internet.  But this is a dangerous thing to do.  Having NO information is not the answer to finding the truth.  Sticking your head in the sand will only get you a mouth full of sand!   I was reminded of this picture of Sammy, Doug and Susie's dog.
He is quite a nervous dog and any little noise sets off his "BARK" reflex.  You would not know that he is nervous from this picture since he also often sleeps in some of the most uncomfortable looking positions.  His head sticking through the rail doesn't seem at all like a good sleeping position.  The thing about this position is that he can't see out the window with his head like this.  If he lays with his head on the stair he has a perfect view out the front door.  I think he likes this position because he can relax and not worry about who or what might walk by (or fly by - lots of birds around) the house.  It is his version of sticking his head in the sand.  

My answer to this dilemma of information that can not be trusted was so easy.  I actually was doing this several years ago, but somehow got out of the habit.  I simply pray before I read anything.  I ask the Holy Spirit to guide me and to reveal to me the things that are true.  It is amazing how many articles I skip over and don't even look at now.  I have learned to be very prayerful before reading any post on Facebook.  The number of blogs that I read has dropped dramatically since I have been praying before reading.  I can trust that the Holy Spirit knows ME!  There are things that might really trouble me that might not bother you at all.  When I prayerfully read and/or listen to messages I know that I will hear exactly what I need that day.  Now when I do come across information that is upsetting, I can immediately pray for the people or the situation.  Knowing that Jesus is the King of King and the Lord of Lords brings me great peace.  I have added many things to my prayer list through this practice of praying before reading.

My encouragement to you today is to trust the Holy Spirit to show you the truth.  Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.  THE truth!  So you don't have to stop reading and or listening to current events.  Just make sure to pray before you scroll, read or listen!   Often you will discover nuggets of truth, revealed by the Holy Spirit,  contained in stories covered with layers of deception and cloudy facts. Remember that just like my rainbow picture, sometimes things are not quite what they seem.  It is a rainbow - but not after a storm.  A really nice rainbow caused by a powerful stream of water on a sunny clear day.  Keep on seeking the truth!

Jesus, thank you that you are the truth!  Holy Spirit, give us all boldness and courage to continue to seek the truth with your guidance.  Keep us aware when we start to hide from the noise of the world.  Help us to lean on your discernment as we sift through all the information in front of us.  Remind us to pray before, during and after we take in all the conflicting bits of news.  Thank you for loving us so much Jesus.  Amen  

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