No. 82
From Wendy Howard [Editor of Despatch magazine], Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia.
Access Online

Getting to know God together.

We went to a beautiful beach last weekend.
The tide was out, and the sand was so wide and long
that it made you want to run and jump like a little colt.
The sky was as blue as can be, with a few fluffy clouds down near the horizon.
 We could see boats out in the ocean. Big boats, a little tinny dinghy,
sail boats and a fishing launch.
I got my slacks wet up to the knees, splashing in the shallows.
It was warm enough to swim, although it is nearly winter here.
We are on the Pacific Ocean on the east coast of Australia.
Have you seen where we are on a map?
We walked a long way on the beach, there were very few people there.

On the way back I patted a tan puppy.
The owners said her name was “Sandy.”
A good name for a puppy sitting on the beach.
Then we walked through the bush lands back to our car.
There were rainbow bee-eaters - sweet little birds,
white-faced brown honey-eaters and red-backed wrens in the bush.
A warbling friar bird was singing away with all its heart.
A huge eagle-type bird called a Brahmini Kite
was circling around looking at everything from way up high.
Sea Ospreys in our area swoop down and catch fish right out of the ocean,
so can the Brahmini Kite.
He eats fish, small reptiles and rodents (bush rats and the like).
What a lovely day we had.
I am so glad that the Lord God made such lovely animals,
birds and plants in our world.
There are so many different ones too.

We had our tea at MacDonalds.
I didn’t have the soft-serve with hot chocolate sauce.
It is too fattening I reckon. We ate too much chocolate on our holiday.
There were hundreds of Lorikeets in the trees at the restaurant.
Settling down for the night. T
hey are small multi-coloured parrots.

A river runs into the sea at that beach.
There were reeds in the water along the river bank.
God talks about reeds in Luke 7:24.

“A reed shaken with the wind.”
God gives a picture of a man shaking like a reed,
and bent over by the wind.
Reeds grow in soft mud by the water’s edge.
They are not strong and big and even tiny breezes
can make them  bend and shake.
God is saying that a lot of people are like the reeds.
John the Baptist, Jesus said in our verse,
was not like a bendy reed.
He was firm and stood up straight and tall for the Lord and His Truth.
People are often not rooted in Jesus Christ,
but their roots go down into the soft mud of this world.
They have no fixed place to stand,
but move and sway with every “wind” of other people’s opinions.
Like reeds.

The boy who cannot say no when other boys tease him
to make him smoke or drink or take drugs.
He is like a reed in the soft mud by the river.
The girl who wants pretty clothes, and fun,
and going to parties more than she wants to please God.
She is like a reed bent and swayed by the wind, growing in soft mud.
They are everywhere, you know, those reed people.
Who wants to be a reed? I don’t!
Who would like to be like an oak tree, growing as solid as a rock,
which no storms can bend and sway.
I do! I hope you do too.
Jesus Christ can make you like an oak tree.

“And he shall be like a tree
planted by the rivers of water,
that bringeth forth fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither;
and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (succeed).” Psalm 1:3)


The analogies of the reeds and the storms and rocks are seen in other places in God’s Word. The Lord knows that we go through many storms in life, and He wants us to be able to escape being battered and bruised, like reeds, in life’s storms. Look how kind and loving God is when we get bashed about through our own sinfulness
“A bruised reed shall he not break, and a smoking flax shall he not quench...”
(Isaiah 42:3). A “smoking flax” is a plant that is nearly consumed, almost eaten up by fire. We are like that when we get into a mess through sin. But God will save us, not just snuff us out!

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