Recognizing God’s Gifts

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God,”
(1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV).

The sea breeze blew the tangles from my knotted nerves as a choir of various birds sang revelry to greet the day. Myrtle bushes, bursting with fuchsia blossoms added splashes of color to the sandy landscape. Jumping fish performed acrobatic feats for an audience of one.

 Perhaps my favorite place in all the world is the beach. God seems to speak to me through each intricately carved sea shell, soaring gull, and majestic wave. On this particular spring morning, I had gotten up before the others stirred from their slumber to have a cup of coffee with the Lord. I sat rocking on the cottage porch surrounded by coastal beauty and watching the water of the lazy canal meander by.  As I was talking to God and thanking Him for all the splendor of His creation, He urged me to look closely at a reflection in the water. There it was…a cross. Reflected in the water was a simple cross.

Looking up from the water, I saw the two pieces of weathered wood that formed this cross. It was actually one end of an old forgotten clothesline, but it was much more than that to me. It was a reminder.

This cross was God’s reminder to me that in all the majesty of His creation, it was a simple cross of two wooden beams that was the most majestic of all. Two beams displayed to the entire world, for all time, the surpassing greatness of His love, the incalculable riches of His grace, and the unfathomable depth of His mercy to all who believe. More beautiful than any blooming flower, more melodious than any song of my feathered friends, more powerful than the surf of the sea – the cross.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the cross. Through the finished work of Jesus on those two simple beams of wood, You have given me eternal life. I pray I will never forget Jesus’ incredible sacrifice. Yes, the world may think the cross is foolish, but it represents the power of God through the gospel of Christ. In Jesus’ Name,Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

What does the cross mean to you?

How would you explain that to someone who doesn’t know Christ?

Why is the message of the cross called the power of God?

Have you, like me in this story, ever felt that God placed something right before you as a special gift or reminder of His presence? If so, leave a comment and tell me your story!

Want More? 

Did you know that God is speaking all around you and in your life?  Would you like to learn more about how to hear His voice? If so, check outmy  book, God is speaking to you today. Do you hear Him?

 

 

9 Responses to Recognizing God’s Gifts

  1. Cindy June 18, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    Good morning Sharon, just wanted to comment on that question you ask. (If God had placed something on me you remind me of him. Well He has one day, on my cell phone I was looking through my picture I had taken ( remember I had sine my picture before this) and there it was vibrant Cross! I said to my where did this come from. Did someone take for me and who could have done that. But then I heard HIS soft and silky voice. ( It was me my children, so that you can know I am here for you). To this day I still have it on my phone and it on the for my front picture so when I turn on my phone it show up and it reminds me that my Father in Heaven sent this to me. What make it so special is that there on the back ground is black and there is nothing there. It bright, white and a touch of blue marking one side. It is beautiful. I just love this cross I wish I could make one for me to hang. It means so much to me. Now that I remember it was around the time my Dad pass way. It brings me comfort also. Thanks Sharon for ask me this question. God Bless you with all the cross that God will continue bring you.
    Just me Cindy

  2. Cindy June 18, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    Good morning Sharon, just wanted to comment on that question you ask. (If God had placed something on me you remind me of him. Well, He has one day, on my cell phone I was looking through my picture I had taken ( remember I had sine my picture before this) and there it was vibrant Cross! I said to my where did this come from. Did someone take for me and who could have done that. But then I heard HIS soft and silky voice. ( It was me my children, so that you can know I am here for you). To this day I still have it on my phone and it on the for my front picture so when I turn on my phone it show up and it reminds me that my Father in Heaven sent this to me. What make it so special is that there on the back ground is black and there is nothing there. It bright, white and a touch of blue marking one side. It is beautiful. I just love this cross I wish I could make one for me to hang. It means so much to me. Now that I remember it was around the time my Dad pass way. It brings me comfort also. Thanks Sharon for ask me this question. God Bless you with all the cross that God will continue bring you.
    Just me Cindy

  3. Dian M. June 18, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    Beautifully and powerfully written! Made me just want to be there and enjoy this wonderful scene with you. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Ann Marie Foley June 18, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    I was at a retreat before my confirmation at a beautiful monastery. It was a very overcast day. We had just broken up after sharing things heavy on our heart as a group. We were told to go sit alone and think about what was on our mind. I had shared that my Dad was very sick with cancer and I was so scared. I was praying that God would take care of him and give my family the strength we needed to get threw this. Suddenly I felt this warm hand on my shoulder. I thought someone was telling me it was time to join the group again. None was behind me, it was a ray of sunshine coming threw the clouds, so warm I thought it was someones hand! I knew that God was watching over all of us and with His strength all would be okay. Ann Marie

  5. Mary weber June 18, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    In your story you mentioned Now its your turn.
    That was our subject for the partor,sermon.

  6. sandy keil June 19, 2012 at 1:04 am #

    As I left a funeral home after visiting bereaved friends, the sky was a vivid blue and pink and purple. In the midst of this beauty a brilliant light shone down to what seemed like the ground and reminded me that God comes for His loved ones and takes them home.

  7. Nancy M June 19, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    This reminded me of a time when I was waiting for the bus in the Port Authority in NYC several years ago. My commute was long every day from NYC to New Jersey. While tired and waiting for a bus which frequently came late, I was looking out of the window where the bus would pull up to the gate and people would board onto it. Between 2 windows was the window frame which was some kind of iron or metal. My eyes focused on a word which someone had scratched vertically on the frame. Typically, when someone writes something on a public place, it’s their name or some type of profanity. Much to my surprise, the word was “Pray”. Just like that! Someone had most likely been standing in that same place and experiencing what thousands of commuters had been experiencing while waiting for the bus. I thought this was their way of passing on what helped for them and would help for those who read it. It was such a gift and a it relaxed me immediately. It made me happy and at the same time, this word was meant for only me to see. In the many times I took the bus at that same gate, I looked for the word ‘Pray’ scratched on the window frame and remembered the first time I saw it. My message was still there. Pray. As simple as that.

  8. Karen in Chicopee June 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    I was once asked to become a member of a non profit organization to help raise funds for a home for the indigent people who were dying and had no place to go. I did join but felt right away that I was not good enough. Everyone else on the board came from different religions and I just felt “not worthy”……Shortly after joining I was sitting outside my office for lunch when a co-worker approached me and said “God does not choose the qualified, he qualifies the chosen” at the time it felt strange when I asked why she would say that to me and her response was “I don’t really know, I just felt the urge to tell you that”

    I soon realized that it must have been God’s way of telling me that I was good enough. I am no longer on the board but there is not a day that goes by that I don’t repeat that phrase.

    As always, Sharon, thank you for sharing and bringing out the best in those that read you daily.

  9. Susan Comen June 20, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

    Thank you so much for these e-mails! The Lord often reminds me of things I have forgotten through them. Like the fact that the Cross is simple in the world’s eyes but in fact, it’s the most important thing we have. What I’m getting is that if the cross is that important, then so must I be. He died on that cross for me and no matter how plain I am, no matter how the world sees me as simple, the truth is that He saw something in me on that old wooden cross.

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