Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
LESSON 118 Morning and Evening Review
Lesson 105 and Lesson 106
- (105) God’s peace and joy are mine. Today I will accept God’s peace and joy, in glad exchange for all the substitutes that I have made for happiness and peace.
- (106) Let me be still and listen to the truth. Let my own feeble voice be still and let me hear the mighty Voice for Truth Itself assure me that I am God’s perfect Son.
- On the hour: God’s peace and joy are mine. On the half hour: Let me be still and listen to the truth.
Personal Notes and Application: Usually I prepare our coffee the night before – grind the beans, brush out the coffee into a clean filter and fill up the coffee maker reservoir with cold spring water. We have found that when morning comes, all we want to do is hit a button and wait for the coffee. James and I are not morning people (to put it mildly.) We do not attempt to have a conversation or our devotions before our first cup of coffee. Imagine how nice it was to have our grandson offer to go downstairs and start our coffee this morning – giving us an extra 10 minutes to snuggle in. Imagine two groggy-eyed grandparents happily expecting their usual cup of Joe only to find out that yesterday’s grounds had not been changed. James growled and accused me of forgetting how to make a good pot of coffee. I retorted with a big belly laugh and sputtered something that was not Jesus-inspired. Zachary explained that he had had to fill the reservoir and then I remembered that I had forgot last night. We had fallen asleep watching a boring documentary on Calamity Jane and I had barely managed to brush my teeth before going upstairs and falling into bed.
In making a fresh pot, James was snarly. He shook the coffee grinder and gave it a good dressing down for not being up to speed. I had to leave the room, I was giggling so much, and Zachary joined me, both of us nearly crying with glee. After our first cup, we calmed down and had our devotional. James, still gruff and a little surly, opened up with a short prayer. I read the lesson and tried to lead them into discussion, but Zachary was playing with the leather thong on his moccasin and James looked bored and did not engage. “Now we have to be careful,” I said in my teacher voice. “Don’t pay too close attention to this material. You would not want it to change your life or anything.” Zachary nodded in agreement. James did not respond, clearly not paying attention. I busted up laughing again. In our closing prayer, I told Jesus that we really did want His messages to change our lives, and to help me to quit being such a silly thing, laughing and sputtering over stuff, a goof ball. “No,” James interrupted. “No, don’t pray that.” So I took it back. “Forget that, Lord,” I prayed. “They seem to love me the way I am. Let me be happy and full of peace and joy. Thank you for good humor. If I come off as a goof ball, then I will be a goof ball for You.”
God’s peace and joy are ours! Instead of letting life’s inconveniences and our natural reactions to them make us snarl and rage and feel sorry, let us laugh at ourselves and make merry. When we see past the ego and the body – the substitutes that we have made – we experience the joy of life, the wonder, the miracles. It is not coffee that brings the warm morning sunshine; the crisp, spring air; the flowers bursting forth. It is not coffee that hatched off the eight cute goslings that are gracing our pond with their proud parents. We can pray: “Let us not substitute our cloying, demanding addictions for the peace and joy You give.”
In the review for lesson 106, Jesus reminds us that it is in stillness that we hear the truth. As we are going about our daily routine, rushing from one task to the next, cramming as many activities into our days as possible, putting our beaks into other people’s business on Facebook, and oversharing our every little feat, let us not forget that this is not the way to truth. It is in stillness. It is in being quiet. It is saying no to the ego desire to show off our new acquisitions, to rub people’s noses in our accomplishments, to take up collections for sympathy and consolation, to gather allies against our enemies. This is not seeking truth or trusting in Jesus. When we take the time to still our minds and quiet our hearts and remember who and what we are in Christ, we do not need the attention or the affection of other egos. We do not ask people to take our side. We do not find our worth in how many friends we have, how many vacations we take, or how cute our grandchildren are. With quiet minds and hearts, we realize we are Sons of God. God has made us one with Him through Christ Jesus. In our rest from the hustle and bustle is where we find our strength. Jesus reminds us to be quiet. To be still. To rest in Him.
So often when we begin the day with our own agenda, we forget about the quietness of God. We make ourselves sick by demanding too much of our bodies, overburdening our minds with a multitude of tasks, and stealing time from our leisure. Repeating “Let me be still and listen to the truth,” throughout the day will help us remember who and what we really are and remind us of our true function in Christ. Of course we have obligations and responsibilities in this realm; but when we take the time to listen to the Voice for God, all the things that call our name fall into their proper order and perspective. The world will always cram our plates with demands and calls for sacrifice. God offers rest and His gifts are free.