Soaking It In

I know a few bloggers who are photographers.

Maybe you’ve seen their photographs too. I really like the photos of old buildings like silos, homes and churches. I think about who lived in those buildings, and how the old church walls are covered with generations of prayers.

Some of the prettiest photos I’ve seen are of dew on leaves or flowers.

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In the morning, the droplets of water roll and drip off the plants, giving them a shiny, glowing appearance. It’s almost like natures jewelry for the flowers of the field. Even King David spoke out what the Lord said about the beautiful sight:

He that rules over men in justice, that rules in the fear of God, is like the morning light at sunrise on a cloudless morning, making the greensward sparkle.  2 Samuel 23

As beautiful as those dewdrops are, they’re really not helpful to the plant. Those droplets are more ornamental because the stems and leaves can’t use them. The flowers need water at the base of the plant, so it can soak into the earth and water the roots.

It reminds me of some experiences I have had. The very thing I need to heal me is right there, it’s just in the wrong place. So…it’s useless.

For instance, I have read the holy words “Be not afraid” many times. The King James Bible boasts of having 103 repetitions of this theme. Some web sites say it’s more like 365 times, once for each day of the year. But the actual numbers are less important that the constant message.

In God I trust, I will not be afraid.  Psalm 56

Do not be afraid…  Genesis 26:24

So do not fear, I am with you…  Isaiah 41:10

So why do I still feel afraid sometimes? Well, after studying this photo, I think I know why. I read the Scriptures, but they don’t soak into me. It’s just not enough to have the words of God in front of me. That’s too much like wearing them on my skin. I have to place them where I can use them, and that’s in my heart and in my life.

When I have a headache, I like to use Advil. But I don’t take the tablets and put them on my head. It’s not going to do me any good up there. I have to swallow the pills so the medicine can be released and be absorbed by my body. In other words, I have to internalize the cure.

It’s the same with the Scriptures. The word of God is the ultimate power that allows me to bloom in peace, and the reassurance that I am never alone. I can have all that Good News. But there’s a catch.

Just reading about The News isn’t enough. I have to “internalize the cure”.  I have to allow those words to soak into my heart. Then the healing can truly begin, and my days of fear will be a distant memory.

 

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78 thoughts on “Soaking It In

  1. You hit the nail on the head, my friend. I am with you and sometimes read God’s Word, but I don’t allow it to soak in…. thank you for these thoughts.

    You shared a wonderful post! Hugs to you! You have been in my prayers 🙂

    • Hi Stephanie! I think it’s very human to read and then completely forget what we read. Life goes so fast sometimes, don’t you think? But the important thing is to keep trying.

      Please keep me in your powerful prayers. I really cherish them 🙂
      Have a restful night,
      Ceil

    • Hi Crystal! How fun that your church had the same theme today! It’s such a key thing, and I was really inspired by that photo. Such a great visual.

      Thank you for your visit today! I know you are busy with your book launch. Hope it’s going well 🙂
      Blessings,
      Ceil

  2. Beautifully written. Looks like we both are pondering water today. opening up to soak in God into every cells, membrane and deep soul. You have enlightened my evening, Ceil. Hope you heal up quickly!!

    • Hi Jean! I was really inspired by your post today. Yes, that water does need to wash over us and soak in deeply. That makes such a great visual in my mind.

      Sounds like we enlightened each other! That’s just the best. God is good to us 🙂
      Blessings for a restful night,
      Ceil

    • Hi Mari! I need a good soak too (obviously!). Thank you for your encouragement on the post. I will spend my life trying to read with intention and to let the wisdom soak in.

      God bless you and yours my friend 🙂
      Ceil

  3. Ceil…Yes, it’s hard to believe that all we need to do is trust God to take care of us. We keep thinking that we can can be brave with whatever is thrown at us, but from past experience I know this isn’t true. Thank you for your post, I needed to be reminded that God is in control, not my fears.

    “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10”

    • Hi Verona! I do think that it’s natural to fear, I would just hope that I spend less time in that place because I know God doesn’t want that for me.

      Thank you for your spot-on Scripture verse. I should have used that one in the post!
      Have a restful night,
      Ceil

    • Hi Pam! Thank you for your encouraging words about the post. God knows how much I need to internalize my own words!

      The leg is doing pretty well. My splint/cast feels like it weighs a ton after a day of lugging it around, but that’s a small price to pay for healing. Thank you for your prayers and concern.
      You are a good blog-friend,
      Ceil

  4. I hear you, my friend. Fear continues to wend its way in and out of my life from time to time. Whispering Scriptures and letting the words of old hymns fill my mind in the night helps.

    Journaling honestly to the Lord is a great relief. I’m so grateful He understands … And loves me all the more.

    Praying often for your healing, dear friend!

    • Hi Linda! Journaling is a great idea. I don’t do that enough. I love the idea of having a Scripture or two memorized to bring out at time of fear too. God’s words have healing and joy in them, no question.

      I can feel your prayers my friend. The leg is doing well, I just have to be patient. More challenges ahead I’m sure. But with the Lord there is always hope and healing!
      Hugs,
      Ceil

  5. Thus was excellent, Ceil!
    So very true isn’t it?
    Your point about the Advil sure made me think.

    I am praying for healing on your leg dear Ceil.
    Rest in the Lord.
    Much Love, Debbie

    • Hi Debbie! Thank you for your kind comment about the post. I really liked that Advil idea too. I read it once on another blog site. So descriptive!

      Thank you for your prayers for my leg too. Much appreciated! I was able to get up the stairs to the tub for a sponge bath, and I feel like a new woman. Yay! Clean hair 🙂

      Have a peaceful evening my friend,
      Ceil

    • Hi Joy! God’s love is always such an amazing revelation, I so agree. And it changes in message as we do. I know I’ll be learning all my life.

      I did have a blessed day, thank you for your good wishes!
      May God continue to fill you with his life-giving words,
      Ceil

    • Hi Victor! I love how God works. He gives us each other to lift and encourage in his place. Thank you for that wonderful affirmation!

      Hope you had a good day my friend 🙂
      Ceil

  6. Letting His Word sink in…..I’m guilty of not always letting that happen. 🙁 Tomorrow’s post is already planned….FOCUS will be the topic based on something that happened Saturday at our prayer retreat. Hope you have a marvelous Monday! 🙂

    • Hi Deb! I’m looking forward to your insights on FOCUS. That is something I could really use these days. I am such a space-cadet! I also think retreats are so wonderful. Time away to just dedicate to spiritual growth. Sounds like you had a great experience too.

      Have a restful night,
      Ceil

    • Hi Monica! Praise be to God who allows me to have an insight that someone else might understand too. Thank you for your kind comment. I really appreciate your support. 🙂

      Blessings,
      Ceil

  7. So aptly true, Ceil! I am guilty of rushing through a devotion just to say I have done it. Makes me feel good on the outside but on the inside…not so much. Thank you for sharing this gentle reminder that I need to let the Word of the Lord penetrate my heart daily!

    • Hi Anne! Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger my friend. I am also guilty of that. My mind can wander like a two year old in a garden. Ugh. All I can do is hope that God brings me his powerful grace to be able to absorb his word and wisdom. I think he knows what he has to work with in me!

      So nice to see you again! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year celebration too. I’ll come over and visit soon,
      Ceil

  8. You are absolutely correct…and thanks for the reminder! I have heard this same message on Joyce Meyer last week, from the message from my pastor just yesterday, and now here. I love it when God puts the same message in front of me through these completely different ways…it’s so obvious He’s at work, especially when this happens. I hope you are beginning to heal and that your pain is at a minimum…rest easy, my friend!

    • Hi Debby! I think I read the aspirin on the head thing on a Joyce Meyer presentation. Just brilliant, so clear and so understandable too.

      Sounds like God is calling you, his precious one, to come and listen to what he has to say. And you recognize that, which is so cool.
      I had a pretty good day. Rough night, but the day was a lot better. It’s a long road, so I think I’ll be learning patience, and that it’s okay to lower my personal expectations. I’m not that great at either one of them…

      Have a peaceful night my friend,
      Ceil

  9. Thank you, Ceil, for this beautiful analogy. I was just thinking this morning on the need for me to “eat” those words from God and let them nourish my heart. As Jeremiah did in 15:16 – “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear Your name, Lord God Almighty.” May God’s Word get past our heads and sink into our hearts!

    Praying for further recovery with your leg. Blessings to you!

    • Hi Trudy! That’s a great Scripture, a real companion to the idea of soaking in the words of God. It’s funny that we now see ‘eating our words’ as a bad thing. Yet, that is what we have to do with the commandments. Internalize the cure!

      I really treasure your prayers. Today was a better day, and I got up the stairs to the tub. It felt so good, even though I can only do sponge-baths now. I feel like a new woman 🙂

      Have a restful night,
      Ceil

    • Hi Tori! I’m so glad you found something in the post that you could relate to. Maybe in this new year, both of us can concentrate on letting God’s word settle deeply in us. It would be nice to have a fellow traveler with me!

      Hope you had a great Monday!
      Ceil

  10. I had to respond to this blog. I enjoy every one, and should respond more to let you know how wonderful your writing is, and how it feeds my spirit, but somehow this one just touched me in a very special way. Totally inspirational, and … “internalize the cure”, those words were just brilliant!!

    • Hi Jeanette! How fun to see you here! Thank you for commenting, it’s always fun to see your name pop up 🙂

      Thank you for your kind words about the post today. It’s really a grace to know that it had something you could relate to…God is very good to us!
      Hope you had a good New Years celebration, and that you are keeping warm. It’s brutal out there!

      Hugs and blessings,
      Ceil

    • Hi Susan! Great point about the Pharisees. I guess they are the poster-children for hearing the word, but not letting the word reside in them. How different everything would have been if they were capable of that!

      But you’re right, I’m like that too more often than I’d like to admit. Easy to point fingers. I have to start in my own heart.

      Have a restful night my friend,
      Ceil

  11. Ceil: I enjoyed this entry.When I read a Bible passage,I usually feel at home with the words. Sometimes, the tone of the writing tells me a lot about the stance the writer has taken. This piece is good in that I see what you see on the plant but, while I knew the fact of the roots needing water, I assumed the pores of the plant retained some of the fluid. Thank yo for the reminder.

    • Hi Cecelia! I’m so glad you liked the post today.

      I’m really not a plant expert. Maybe there are some pores that absorb water? But that’s not the way a plant stays alive. Unless the roots are given water, they will shrivel, and the plant will droop and die.

      It’s a great reminder to me too 🙂
      Blessings,
      Ceil

  12. Yes, it’s one thing to have head knowledge, and another to have the “heart” knowledge we need to trust Him fully in every area. I’ve long thought that renewing the mind also strengthens our “hearts” and builds the faith we need. We are works in progress! 🙂

    • Hi Karen! I have heard that saying about head and heart before, and another commenter said the same thing. It’s a wonderful visual in my mind, and describes the situation very well.

      I think strengthening our minds can lead to renewed hearts too, if we choose that.
      Oh my yes, we certainly are works in progress. I know I am!!
      Nice to see you today 🙂
      Ceil

  13. Ceil, you must know that these words truly spoke to this scaredy-cat. Fear is my worst enemy, my biggest nemesis, and the weapon that the devil uses most against me. I take great heart in the many verses that implore us to “Fear not.” And yet, it’s still a battle. I like the imagery (and the lesson) about the dew on the leaf, as opposed to letting the water sink deep into my roots. Yes, this is what I need, too. For it is only when the depth of my soul is watered that true HEALING will come!

    GOD BLESS!

    • Hi Sharon! I really think that we all deal with fear everyday. Sometimes successful, sometimes…not so much. But with God, there is mercy and hope. If I can just allow his words to make a home in me, then the difference comes. Just like you said: the healing will come.

      Thinking of you these days and your one year anniversary of your Dad.
      Blessing always,
      Ceil

    • Hi Linda! I’m glad you found some way to connect with the post today. But don’t be too hard on yourself, I can’t write about things I don’t know. I have had many dry seasons!

      Thank you for your prayers Linda, I really cherish them. It was a good day today 🙂
      Have a restful night,
      Ceil

    • Hi Bill! I think that’s what makes me so attracted to photography. I know I can’t take photos like that…they just make nature sing!

      But you sure don’t have to take photos to know where to find God’s words. Sounds like you know exactly where to go for the love and healing of God; the Light of Life as you said. Wonderful!

      Hope you felt the light of the Lord today,
      Ceil

  14. I love your writing, Ceil, because you make things come alive by using everyday illustrations that we can relate to. I loved this and yes, it is important that we absorb the Word of God and not just “read” it. Some of the most precious verses to me in the entire Bible are ones that He has personally put me in circumstances to teach them to me. Praying for your continued recovery.

    • Hi Dianna! Thank you for your kind words about the posts you have read. You are really an encouragement to me, thank you so much.

      I know that you are reading several reflections books right now, and I know that must help you bathe in the waters of God’s wisdom. But you’re like me too, I do seem to learn best through life. It’s a constant learning experience.

      Thank you for your prayers, they are so precious to me. I had a good day today!
      Blessings to you always,
      Ceil

  15. I certainly struggle with fear and anxiety. One of the most helpful resources for me has been the sermons on fear and anxiety at desiringgod.org. Many, many times I have fallen asleep listening to them when little else could calm my soul. It’s helpful in those times to have that reminder of God’s care for me.

    • Hi Loren! Thank you so much for passing along that website. I’m going to check it out for sure. It’s nice to know that we all share fear and anxiety at times, I really do think it’s human. But we should learn to lean on the divine…just as you show me. Beautiful!

      Blessings of joy and peace,
      Ceil

  16. “Internalizing the cure” is something I know I have to do, but fail to do so quite often. I always wondered how these holy nuns and priests had few distractions of family life and where able to internalize at all times. I find myself envious of those moments!

    • Hi Patty! Oh my gosh, I have thought the same thing from time to time. But then again, I think I’d go nuts being in a cloister. Then I’d be distracted by that!

      I can only hope that God will give me the grace to accept the grace of soaking in the word. I think that’s what St. Paul means when he says we all can’t take credit for anything (so we don’t boast). It’s all about the grace.

      I have a feeling that your soul’s garden is plenty seeded and watered. Your faith shines through your writing about your family. You have more than you know.
      Have a blessed day!
      Ceil

  17. Oh Ceil… this is so beautifully true!! Thank you for this reminder… to soak in His Truth, not just let it roll off your tongue. What a perfect description you shared with the morning dew…

    I think so many (including me) miss this power. They quote and repeat over and over and yet nothing sinks into their hearts. God’s word was to nourish the spirit, and we must learn how to receive His Bread the way He so desires us to take it in.

    I am going to work on this issue, because I have had many times where I find myself starving and dehydrated…

    Thank you, dear friend. You bless me.

    • Hi Chris! Thank you for your kind words about the post today. I love how you can describe yourself as spiritually ‘starving and dehydrated’. So descriptive. And that thought and longing are so God-given. You have a lot of wisdom my friend.

      Thank you for sharing with me 🙂
      Ceil

  18. I really, truly love how you write. 🙂

    This made me think of memorizing scripture. Not something I have done but wish I took the time to do. I have a feeling it would help with that soaking in. I have been thinking of you and praying for your successful recovery, friend.
    xoxo

    • Hi Beth! You are really, truly an encouragement to me my friend 🙂

      Thank you for your prayers. Today’s been a good day. Not too much pain. It’s hard to be so inactive, I have to say that. But I know I was very blessed that it was just the fracture. That knowledge keeps me from being too sad.

      Hope you had a great weekend! I’ll email you after I get the bulky cast off!
      Blessings,
      Ceil

  19. Hi Ceil,

    Thank you for your lovely post.

    Oh how I want to soak in Truth and be with the One who is Love. I find on my worst painful days that spending time just absorbing these gifts into the roots of my faith, help me so much. Oh how thankful I am.

    Blessings

    • Hi Anita! You are living proof of the power of God’s words. It often takes a long time to realize how helpless we are without his grace and presence. But you certainly know that well.

      I’m so glad that you have relief and a feeling that you are not ever alone in your hardest times. You are a real model for me. Thank you for witnessing to your faith, and encouraging me too.

      I hope today was a good day for you,
      Ceil

  20. “Thy Word I have hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” Psalm 119:11. I think when we read God’s Word, we must deliberately tuck it away inside our hearts, internalize it, “let it soak in”, so that it absorbs into every part of our being…and it will be there when we need it most…God will bring it back to our remembrance and nourish us with His truth. Thank you for reminding me of this today. You are so right…and I need to heed this lesson today. Blessings to you my dear friend. You are such a “JOY” to me! (how’s the ankle?)

    • Hi Pam! I like the way you explain how the grace of God just infuses our lives through his sacred Word. You are so right! God will remind us and nourish us again!

      My ankle is good today. Not much pain. I just wish this cast didn’t weigh 1,000 pounds! (Just kidding, it just feels that way!) Thank you for your kind comment about ‘joy’, it is my word for the year 🙂 Aren’t we so blessed to know each other through our blogs?

      Have a restful night,
      Ceil

  21. What a creative way of explaining the importance of soaking up the Word of God! What a blessing to read. Praying for continued healing for you, Lisa :O)

    • Hi Lisa! So good to see you here!

      I’m so glad you found something here you could relate to, that’s just the best feeling. And thank you for your prayers, I just cherish them. You know you are always in mine as well. I hope we will continue to be connected in 2015 🙂

      Blessings to you and yours,
      Ceil

  22. Ceil…I just read the post about your leg….I pray that God blesses you with a full and quick recovery! You are always so wonderful and encouraging – may God fill you with the hope and “joy” that only come from Him!

    This was a great post – I want to “soak in” every promise of God! Thank you so much for your sweet and kind spirit! Blessings to you and get well soon!

    • Hi Danise! Oh I know, isn’t it crazy? Now I really understand what the word ‘accident’ means! Lol!

      Thank you for your kind words about the post and the writing here. It just warms my heart to know that you find encouragement here. I feel the same way about your blog. It’s a great thing to find like-minded people isn’t it?

      I know I am healing more and more each day. I appreciate your blessings, and know that God will smile on them, and on me too.
      Have a wonderful Wednesday 🙂
      Ceil

    • Hi Mary! I really like your point about Scripture being personal. It certainly is. It’s a gift to be unwrapped everyday, whether in the written word, or just in spending quiet time with the Lord in prayer.

      Thank you for your kind words about the post too. You never fail to encourage me!

      Have a blessed afternoon,
      Ceil

    • Hi Stephanie! It is amazing isn’t it? Some people just have talents that lead to these creative shots. (Unlike me!)

      I appreciate your talent for writing and networking. We all have our strengths and gifts.

      Have a wonderful Wednesday!
      Ceil

  23. Hello there! It’s so weird but I knew it was your leg that was broke, I’m not sure why I typed your arm. Silly me! I am praying daily that your leg will heal quickly! Have you ever thought that maybe God wanted you to rest a while, to take a moment or a break and just really listen and ponder on his word awhile….

    I love your post… Very encouraging as usual. 🙂

    Hugs to you,
    Amy

    • Hi Amy! I didn’t think of that myself, but there have been many people who have suggested the same thing. When I first heard the idea that God wanted me to rest, I thought “Surely there has to be a better way to do that then to break my leg?”

      But maybe I’m a hard case, and that’s exactly what I needed. I bought a few books, one of them being “Finding Spiritual Whitespace” by Bonnie Gray. I don’t know if it will be good for me, but it sounded like something I needed to read. I’ll let you know!

      Hope your house is a ‘flu-free’ zone now? Have a blessed rest tonight,
      Ceil

  24. Prayers for your continued healing Ceil. I always find times of being physically slow that God quickens my spirit to new insights. Thanks for sharing your vivid analogy with us. As someone who has lived with well water since being first married, we have had those experiences of longing for water from time to time (such as when the power goes off and our pump does also!).

    • Hi Mindy! Thank you for your concern. I hope that God will bring me the joy of sitting at his feet and being loved and graced. That sounds really good.

      Oy, if your pump went out, you really would be longing for water. You know exactly where I am coming from.

      Hope you are having a great weekend,
      Ceil

    • Hi Topaz! Thank you for visiting two blog posts, and commenting on them both. That is very generous of you!

      And thank you for your kind words about the post.
      Have a wonderful Monday 🙂
      Ceil

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