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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Festoon me … with a carpet of petals

Festoon me with your finest sayings, GOD; teach me your holy rules.
Psalm 119: 108 (The Message)

Remember our girlfriend’s bouquet of roses? It truly was picture-perfect, big picture perfect. But where would a bouquet be without each bloom? Each long stem has its place, as does each petal, each leaf, the ribbon, the vase. My eyes are drawn to one single rose, as I exclaim over color, fragrance, the delicate curl of its petal.

It is the same with scripture; it is not merely the big picture. Inevitably our eyes must examine the fine lines of each verse to flesh out truth. As recent stem cell research confirms, your skin contains the potential for any organ in your body—heart, bones, blood, neurons, you name it. So too you need to know what is lurking within the big picture of God’s word by passing its detail under the microscope of the Spirit’s insight.

We girls put on our ‘readers’ and searched the phrases, the verses and the sentences. We asked the who, what, when, where, why and how in the world questions. We even became nit-pickers: every since, if, because and therefore came under scrutiny. After all, you have to know what they are there for. 

Did I mention we wrote in our journals? That is when it became the one-on-one, the give-and-take, the what-are-you-telling-me-God moment. Just you and the Spirit, deep in conversation with the Son and the Father.

Oh yes, true confession: being detail oriented, more often than not I needed to talk over the fine points with God to bring the big picture into my line of sight.

Right about now you’re shaking your head in disbelief. “Where did you find the time?” you ask. “We work. We have kids. Our houses get dirty. We can barely squeeze in a quick devotional.” That is our story too. But think about it, you have no deadlines, no schedule, no one to impress. You can read one chapter, one verse, or only one phrase, and still have time to talk it over with God.    

Let me tell you, the time we girls spent together has been amazing. We did not get bogged down in detail, as important as it was. Instead, when we met each week, what one of us had missed, another had uncovered. In the best of all possible worlds, we will continue; however, each of us is now able to go it on our own, anytime, anyplace. 

O God, festoon us with bouquets of Your finest sayings. Strew carpets of petals of Your holy ways under foot.

Nancy P

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