I wandered lonely as a cloud

Well sort of. But not really. I wasn’t wandering this morning. I had a very clear path in mind. I knew where I was going even before I laced on my shoes and hit the pavement. My path? It led home.  Even before I managed to pry my eye lids open, I longed for the time when I would again be home.

But pry my eyes open I did. I threw on my running clothes, pulled my hair up, laced up my running shoes and ran.

I noticed the strangest cloud formation. Because of our freakish weather this week, it has been well…cloudy. Dark storm clouds are common place here these days.  As I was running I noticed a perfectly formed eyeball of blue sky.  I found myself continually looking east to find the other eye. As i ran I did see it.

Yes the clouds formed two eyeballs. One was perfect, the other one, the clouds had moved and so it wasn’t as perfect but it was close enough one could tell it had been an eye.

Immediately all the verses about the eye of the Lord ran through my head. One of my favorites is found in 2 Chronicles 16:9

For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully  committed to Him. 

I don’t know about you, but when I’m running I can use all the strength I can get! It seems heart disease runs in my family, and I am attempting to run my way out of it.  But I’m not sure I’m really going to be able to. It seems heart disease affects all people. Everyone on earth suffers from heart disease. And it is only by fully committing our heart, diseased by sin, to the Lord that we avoid weakening our heart and we can actually buck the trend and have our heart strengthened. 

I’ve been enjoying a study with a wonderful group of ladies and we are working our way through the book of Philippians. I’ve been on my own, studying the book. I’ve read it through a few times now and I am amazed at the treasure trove of heavenly goodness I find there. The first time I read it I wrote down everything it says about God, who God is, what He does, anything I can learn about the person of God and His actions. Then I read through it again and wrote down everything I learn about me, the good, the bad and the ugly.  I am now reading through it at a much slower pace and writing down, studying all the things that just jump off the page at me. I am currently in chapter 4. If you are at all familiar with this chapter you will know this is where Paul says that he has learned contentment in all things. He has learned contentment with nothing and he learned to be content with everything. 

What struck me about these verses is the “how”. How did he learn contentment?  He says in verse 12, “I have learned the secret…” what is the secret? How can I learn contentment? How do I find the secret? 

I think I might have stumbled on the answer. I just love it when I’m writing out my questions and it is as though God says, “Keep reading!” I think the answer is in verse 13. The secret is finding our strength in Him. Philippians 4:13 reads as follows in the NIV, “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.”

I am big on reading things in context. I know God gives us strength to do any number of things. But in the context of this verse it is being content. When we are content, God gives us strength to do anything…everything even. But I believe it is also true that God strengthens us to be content. Our contentment has to come from God.  His strengthen infuses us to know in the very deepest fiber of our being that He is enough and when God is enough for us, we can say we’ve learned contentment because we have everything we need.

How does that tie in with the verse in 2 Chronicles?  He strengthens us, not because we are so deserving, but because in our contentment, our heart is fully committed to Him. We can not say “God is enough for me” and not have our heart fully committed to Him. We can’t be discontent and proclaim “God is sufficient.”

I find myself daily praying for a heart that is fully committed to Him. I want His strength. I need it. I can’t run my way out of heart disease without His help. None of us can. But how wonderful to realize He holds the cure and all I really have to do is run to Him. I can run home and find everything is okay. 

LORD, I’m running straight to You!