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It’s a Honeysuckle Day

The sweet scent in the middle of the summer comes from the Honeysuckle Vine bringing remembrance of being young and going to sleep with the windows open. As I close my eyes, I remember the sweetness of honeysuckle.
         One day, our pastor asked for prayer requests at the end of our 10 AM Bible Study. There was a pouring forth of needs for prayer like an unleashed fountain of water. It was difficult to write all the requests down.
         Our pastor then asked for Praises. The silence was deafening for an uncomfortable ten minutes.   I wondered, what is a big enough praise or blessing to share? Did ‘every day’ blessings count? I reviewed my list.  The sun came up, I am still breathing, nothing hurts, breakfast was satisfying, and my internet worked.  Nothing out of the ordinary–just ‘every day’ blessings and praises.
         Then the gentle voice of my friend Phyllis filled the room.  “I love the smell of my honeysuckle bush by the front porch when I pray in the morning!”
         Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes, “In the Christian community thankfulness is just what it is anywhere else in the Christian life.  Only he who gives thanks for little things receives the big things.  We prevent God from giving us the great spiritual gifts Has in store for us because we do not give thanks for the daily gifts.” (page 29 of Life Together)
         The outcry of the clamor of voices and noise about us, sometimes we forget how to listen to the richness of stillness and find true peace.  “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” John 46:10.
         The day I substituted in a first-grade room for an afternoon was an eye-opener.  I taught sixth graders usually, and I didn’t know how to get the students to listen. One boy came to my side and tugged on my hand and asked, “Can we play the Quiet Game?”  Intrigued, I asked what the rules were and how was it played.  He carefully explained, “We see who can be quiet the longest!”  We played the game!
         Playing the Quiet Game taught me a life lesson.  Now I play the ‘quiet game’ and listen for God’s still voice often during my day. 
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening, accompanied by a ten-stringed instrument, a harp, and the melody of a lyre. You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done. O Lord, what great works you do! And how deep are your thoughts.   Psalm 92:1-5.
We praise God for all of Creation—the mountains, the seas, the trees, animals, birds, and Adam and Eve, and all those who follow. But have we ever noted the importance of a pleasant aroma or incense? We use man-made perfumes and deodorant to smell our best for others.  But what aroma pleases God? In the scripture, we find several ways to create the scent God desires.
Psalm 141:2Accept my prayer as incense offered to you, and my upraised hands as an evening offering.
Proverbs 27:8 – The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.
Revelation 5:7And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 
            Prayer and heartfelt counsel of a friend pleases God. Ephesians 18b-21 gives us the way to please our Father in Heaven.
         Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
It’s a Honeysuckle Day!
It’s a Honeysuckle Day when…
…The sun shines and breezes rise
…The clouds play peek-a-boo in the skies
…I give God all the praise
…For each gift in all my days.
It’s a Honeysuckle Day when…
…My family is all around
…And God’s joy abounds.
…I sit as quiet as can be
…And all His glory I see.
It’s a Honeysuckle Day when…
…I pray to my Father above
…So thankful for His sacrificial love.
…I know without a doubt
…What life is all about.
It’s living for Jesus
Serving Him, with Him I stay
Though darkness clouds my way
I give praise for my Honeysuckle Days.
                           Emily A. Combs

                           May 3, 2012

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