Spiritual Meditations:

Short Stories That Have Encouraged My Life

Rev. Wayne K. Bumbry, Pastor

 Introduction:  During the following weeks I will be sharing short meditation stories that have encouraged my life. I pray that it will do the same for you.

 Story #1: Box of Kisses

The story goes that some time ago a man punished his 5-year old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.

 Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, "This is for you, Daddy."  He was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction but his anger flared again when he found the box was empty. He yelled at her, "Don't you know when you give someone a present, there's supposed to be something inside it?"  The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Daddy, it's not empty, I blew kisses into the box. All for you, Daddy."  The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl and he begged for her forgiveness.

 An accident took the life of the child only a short time later and it is told that the man kept that gold box by his bed for many years and whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there. Mother Teresa once said, "It's not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving." 

 In a very real sense each of us as human beings have been given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, friends and family. But most of all, we also have the love and kisses of God. For he said in John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should nor perish but have ever lasting life."

 The moral of the story: You might feel that you have nothing to give to anyone today. Remember this little girl and her kisses in a box.  You might not have a lot of materialistic gains in this world, but if you have the love and kisses of Jesus, you have everything.  Luke 6: 38 says, "Give and you will receive.  Your gift will return to you in full…pressed down, shaken together to make room for more; running over and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back."   Thank God for what you can give someone; don't complain in what you can't give.

Story #2: The 23rd Psalm

 One of the greatest meditation scriptures in the Bible is the 23rd Psalm. If you divide it into parts, you will notice that anything that can produce fear, hurt, discouragement within us is covered by the promises of this Psalm.   Notice the various promises that are proclaim as you read it with me, right now.

 The Lord is my Shepherd: that is having a Personal Relationship with God.

 I shall not want: God will supply every NEED that we might have.

 He makes me to lie down in green pastures: God gives me Rest.

 He leads me beside the still waters:  This is Refreshing and Soothing.

 He restores my soul: God can bring healing in every situation we face.

 He leads me in the paths of righteousness: God desires to Guide me in developing a right relationship with Him in this life.

 For His name sake: That is the Purpose of His Guidance.

 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death: God is with me in my testing's.

 I will fear know evil: God Protects me in spite of the trials I face.

 For Thou art with me: God is Faithful and will never turn from His Promises towards us.

 Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me: God's Discipline is for my own Good.

 Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: God gives us Hope in the face of trouble.

 Thou anoints my head with oi:  God Consecrates His children in their service towards Him. 

 My Cup runs over: God gives me an over abundance of His love, grace and mercy.

 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: Now this is an indication of God's blessings upon us in our obedience towards Him.

 And I will dwell in the house of the Lord I am so glad that God showers me with His SECURITY. I have a home not made by hand. Death is not the end.... it is the beginning of our eternity with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 Forever: That is for ALL ETERNITY.

 Anything that we face today, is covered in the timeless truths of this Psalm. Read it over again and again and again.  Meditate on it.  And be filled by its Promises...

Story #3

Waiting For Something to Happen Without Doing Your Part

 Once there lived a lazy farmer who did not enjoy working hard in the fields. He spent his days napping under a tree. One day while he was resting under a tree, a fox came chasing a rabbit. There was a loud THUMP...the rabbit had crashed into the tree and died.

 The farmer picked up the dead rabbit and took it home, frustrating the dickens out of the fox. The farmer cooked and ate the rabbit for dinner and sold its fur at the market place. The farmer thought to himself, "If I could get a rabbit like that every day, I would never have to work again."

 The next day the farmer went right back to the tree and waited for another rabbit to die in a similar way. He saw a few rabbits, but none of them ran into the tree like before. Indeed, it was a very rare incident, but the farmer did not realize it.

 "Oh well" he thought to himself. "There is always tomorrow."  Since he was just waiting for the rabbit to hit a tree and die, he did not give any attention to his field. Weeds grew in his rice field. Soon the farmer had no food at all and grew hungry as he ran out of his rice and never caught any other rabbit. The farmer came to the realization that luck does not bring satisfaction and feed you but positive effort and work does.

 The moral of the story:  Do not wait for good things to come without doing anything. Do not give your life up to luck without working for success. James 2:26 says, "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." 

 Works or deeds are the outer reflection of a inner transformation by Jesus Christ. Works and deeds are the evidence of a heart that has been and is continually being transformed and renewed by God.  Are you waiting for something to happen in church and in your family? Or are you working with your Pastor, and your family........ being a humble servant of God and making a positive difference in your life and the life of those around you? This is something you can meditate on during this week.