Monday, July 20, 2020

Ding Dong! Jesus Calling!



Revelations 3:20
Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

I can feel the tendrils of depression wrapping around the essence of my heart.  My mind.  My soul.  What is wrong with me?

I'm reading inspirational blogs of fellow Christians, who encourage me.  I'm keeping up with my daily Bible study.  I'm praying for others.  Where are you, Jesus?

I'm at my wit's end.  At this blog, I purport to be an inspiration to others, yet I'm feeling lost.  Frustrated.  Floundering in the faith.  I'm weary, tired, doubting.  How, Lord, can I go on?

Seeking respite from the negative noise and chatter in my head, I retreat to our deck, hoping that the greenery and calm of the forest surrounding me will grant me peace.  Let me know that God is present, even when my feelings overwhelmingly strive to convince me otherwise.

And then, I hear it.

The unmistakable chime of an Avon bell.  Seriously!  I'm floored and flabbergasted.  In my heart, I know Jesus stands at its door, waiting for me to welcome Him in where only He can deliver the solace I need.

I hastily reenter the house and ask my husband, "Danny, did you just hear a doorbell?"

"No," he replies, regarding my statement with genuine surprise.  "Why would you think that?"

"I heard one," I insist.  "I promise you, I did!"

This prompts Danny to recall that evening when we were still caring for his mother, and a week before she passes, we both hear the ring of a bell.  Something we cannot explain in rational terms, but an event we can most definitely corroborate.  We take it, at the time, as a sign from the Lord that Mimi is nearing the end.

And years before this, when Danny gallantly offers to take my beloved dog, Maggie, to the vet for one last time, I'm in such grief that I escape yet again to our deck.  There isn't a breath of wind, but the wind chimes hanging above me strike one gentle note.  I'm sure it's God telling me that Maggie has passed on to the Rainbow Bridge.

When I have been beside myself with worries and sorrows, Jesus stood, and still stands, at the door of my heart, knocking or ringing the doorbell, asking me to let Him in once again.  He longs to assure me that He is ever present, and will never let me down.

Nor will He let you down, dear friends, no matter what depths of despair or hopelessness you may be feeling in the moment.

Listen for that knock on your door, that bell to ring.

And answer.

Amen!

41 comments:

  1. So glad you saw the bell ring as a reassurance of the Father's presence and not live in fear of it being a "for whom the bell tolls" thought. I love how God reaches out to His children in so many different ways. May you find His reassurance and presence in your everyday. Love to you and Danny.

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    1. Never once did I perceive the bell sound as ominous - only comforting and welcoming, Bill. And yes, God does reach out to His children in so many different ways, the ones He knows will best get our attention and get us back on track.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. I am sure Jesus does not sell Avon cosmetics. I've just checked the Bible.

    But yes, Martha, sometimes, when we are feeling very low, and the devil plays havoc with our mind to tempt us away from God, Jesus does come and stand at the door of our soul. I have heard several such stories as the ones you mention here.

    Remember, the closer we are to God the more the devil fights us. He doesn't waste time with those who do not believe. So count yourself privileged that he spends so much time fighting you. Resist, and trust in God. I am praying for you.

    Feel free to write at my e-mail if you wish.

    God bless always.

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    1. Yes, I'm sure Jesus doesn't sell Avon, but He knew I would react in the way I did if He used such a sound to get my attention. And you are so right about the evil one, Victor; he does his level best to discourage and depress us, especially when we are growing more deeply in our faith. I guess I should feel privileged in that case.
      Thanks so much for your prayers, and know I'm praying for you, too.
      Love and blessings!

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  3. This is one of my favorite posts ever on your blog, and there are many of them. I so appreciate your honesty and willingness to share your real self. Like you, I have had times recently when I just felt drained of any energy to deal with all the things happening in our world, and sometimes all the things happening closer to home in my family. I wrote recently about letting my practice carry me through those times.

    I LOVE the bell story. And the humor in the comments about Jesus selling Avon. Who knows? Maybe he does from time to time in order to visit people. After all, Jesus can show up as anyone! But really, the bell itself is just marvelous.

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    1. Yes, Galen, the bell was an absolutely wondrous gift to me, reminding me that Jesus is right at my door even, and maybe especially, in the times when I can't feel His presence.
      And I'm so touched by your kind words about this post being one of your favorites to date. I had my reservations about being so frank and honest, but I know now that that is exactly what resonates with others struggling in these uncertain times. And our practice of prayer, meditation, etc. will get us through it all.
      Love and blessings!

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    1. So glad you liked this post, Regine.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. I was reading Psalm 42 this morning and I noticed how the writer asks WHY am I so discouraged? WHY is my heart so sad? But God comes through!

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    1. Yes! Why is my soul so weary? If the psalmist could ask this question, then we are in good company when we are down, And you are so right, Marja, that God always comes through.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Sweet story! I loved the pop of humor, imagining Jesus with a little Avon train case. How poignant, the wind chime heralding Maggie's transition. There are definitely things we can't explain, but that doesn't mean I don't believe. Blessings!

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    1. And that's exactly what faith is all about, Mevely - believing even when we can't or don't understand intellectually. I'm still chuckling over Jesus' sense of humor using the classic Avon sound. It sure got my attention!
      Love and blessings!

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  7. We have all felt such emotions and uncertainty and especially during this uncertain time. I praise God He is right on time, whether it be a doorbell, word softly spoken to our spirit, or other emergences I love that He reminds me He knows our frame of mind and is often the healing balm we need. I have to cling to His word “He will keep you in peace whose mind is stayed on Him” because my mind can wander down unwanted roads.

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    1. I believe we are all guilty, Valerie, of letting our minds and hearts wander down roads we were not created to be on. These times have, indeed, made so many of us feel we're on a non-stop roller coaster ride, and that is so unsettling. Let us cling to God and His Word together!
      Love and blessings!

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  8. Isn't it wonderful when God rings that bell, or knocks on the door, or causes one not to chime!! We just need to listen. Thank you for this reminder, Martha Jane! Just listen and open our hearts!

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    1. Yes, Terri, we all need to open our hearts and listen to our Father in all things. And I treasure how He does this in such unique and unexpected ways for all of us!
      Love and blessings!

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  9. It's these troubling times we live in, dear friend. But you know this already. Love this scripture and your story here. Thank you for sharing your heart. I thought of this song as I read your words, an old hymn from when I was a child. You may have heard it too: "In times like these.." So many of these hymns have been surfacing lately, which is one thing that keeps me steady on my feet as I travel along.

    "The bell still rings for me... as it does for all who truly believe."


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    1. Debra, I've not heard of that hymn, "In Times Like These," but I certainly will look it up! Yes, these are troubling days we are living through, but live, we must, trusting that God has everything in His most capable hands.
      Love and blessings!

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  10. I had to stop and think for a minute about the "Avon bell", but remembered the commercial "Avon calling". And yes, Jesus knows just how to reach us at the precise moment we need Him most. A bell, a birdsong, a windchime, that "still small voice" letting us know that He is always near and ready to welcome us into His arms of comfort. Thank you for this post. Much appreciated.

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    1. I'm so glad you could identify with this post, Pamela. Yes, Jesus is always near, even when we don't "feel" His presence, and He can remind us of that in so many unique and imaginative ways. He is God, after all!
      Love and blessings!

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  11. Wow, Martha! This moved me, friend. Such a powerful thought that Jesus is still standing at the door of my heart and wanting to come in and commune with me in tender care.

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    1. Yes, Karen, Jesus is always right there, waiting for us to invite Him in. Sometimes, it takes a bell to get our attention!
      Love and blessings!

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  12. Martha, I really love this! You have such lovely ways of getting your point across. Isn’t it comforting great to know that our Lord is only a knock away? We need to heed His voice above this current wave of noise. Thank you and blessings.

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    1. Heeding His voice above the current wave of noise is exactly what we need to do, not just in these troubling times, but each and every day, Nells. So glad this post spoke to your heart!
      Love and blessings!

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  14. I love that you heard the doorbell ring, Martha. Jesus is so faithful to let us know that he is present and waiting for us to welcome him in. It's often in the silence where we can hear him the clearest. Thanks for your wisdom, to listen for him and to answer when he calls. These are such hard times for all of us so we need encouragement!

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    1. Hard times certainly do call for encouragement, and lots of it, Lisa! I'm so grateful that Jesus will remind us, sometimes in unexpected ways like the doorbell, that He is always with us.
      Love and blessings!

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  15. He's always with us Ms. Martha; we just have to remember to open the door my sweet friend. I don't hear bells, but I see colors; and I can feel Him as He nears me. What a wonderful feeling it is when He comes near my friend. Praying for you ma'am. I pray I can encourage you as much as you do me.

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    1. J. D. our Lord has His ways, and will greet and meet us wherever we are. I love how your signal from Him is color. I can't thank you enough for sharing this unique connection! I'm sure that your revelation will give others permission to connect with the Lord as you have, and relish their unique ways.
      Love and blessings!

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  16. Martha, this is a beautiful post. God is so amazing about reminding His children of His nearness. And your Scripture above: picture this...Jesus standing and knocking on the door of our hearts...the handle is on our side and not His. We are the ones who open the doors of our hearts to the Lord.

    We're all struggling in some ways at this time; supporting and encouraging each other now is more important than ever. I'm here for you!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. I'm here for you, too, Kin! Let us continue to hold one another up in Christ's love and grace, knowing that He is knocking at our door each and every day. He is the ultimate master of encouragement and hope.
      Love and blessings!

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  17. I think we all have been where you are, Martha. I certainly have. Even more often during this COVID mess! A good reminder that Jesus is always at the door, waiting for us to let him in.

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    1. As I have followed your blogs, Laurie, I know you are right there with me. But neither of us have given up hope. Jesus is at the door of our hearts, offering that always and everywhere.
      Love and blessings!

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  18. Dear, sweet friend! I surely know how you feel and can relate. This tring time is really, really testing all of our souls and emotions. I have had some similar times lately, and it is just so overwhelming that I sometimes just cry and plead with the Lord for help. Sometimes you look ahead and see no hope - but that is just in this life. We have an eternal hope in our souls of a better life beyond this one, praise God. May He bless and comfort your dear heart today.

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    1. Cheryl, I'm so glad to know I'm not alone in those times when despair wants to rear its ugly head. And whether we can "feel" Jesus by our side, we can know that He is always with us, ready to hear our cries for help, and to offer us comfort.
      Love and blessings!

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  19. Martha Jane, this is a wonderful blog post! Like you I have felt at loose ends with all that is going on and changing so rapidly in our world. I have felt bad for feeling that way and want so much to "be found faithful". I know some will fall away in the last days, and I sure don't want to be among them. I know I won't lose my salvation, but I sure want to be strong in trusting Him clear to the end. Your words helped me to understand that the Lord knows how we feel and He is still here. He's never left us. I remind myself (it's probably the Holy Spirit reminding me) that what is happening around us is what we have heard it will be like in the last days. I just never really thought it would happen in my lifetime. But here we are! I don't hear doorbells chiming, but of late I've sensed a unique sweetness in the air on a couple of occasions. Nobody around me seems to catch the scent like I do. I tell myself the scent is a reminder of the Lord's Presence and to not worry at all. Hmm. This is a long comment. But I think responding to your blog post has helped me to voice some of what's been bottled up inside of me.

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    1. Oh, Barbara, I'm so glad my post helped you to sort out what you have been feeling, sensing and going through during this time! "A unique sweetness in the air" - Yes! Jesus manifest His presence in different ways for different followers; He knows exactly what will get our attention and draw us closer to Him. These are difficult times to live through, that's for sure, but in the end, may we all be found faithful and trusting that God's got this in every way.
      Love and blessings!

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  20. Love this and yes you did encourage me tonight. Thank you

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