Tough days. Stressful decisions. Emotional challenges. They will continue to surface through life, sometimes without warning. Today, I made the final preparations for the grave stone of someone I loved very much. Tough? Yes. Stressful? Yes. Emotional? Yes. Alone? No. God is always with us, strengthening us for the challenge at hand–giving peace where it is lacking, giving comfort in the deep places of our hearts where hopelessness would like to dwell. He is faithful to cover us with His love.
How many times have I missed the opportunity? God had placed upon my heart something important. Yet, distractions came my way, causing me to focus on the immediate instead of the eternal. Each day I must learn again the lesson of the lost moment, and in finding His forgiveness, to look clearly ahead seeking what God would have me to do in the present.
It was the autumn of the year. I remember it well. Finally having made it to college, I should have been joyous. But I wasn’t. The weeks and months were empty, though they were filled to the brim with the busy-ness of academics. Through just the right circumstances and at just the right time, God brought me to the place where I knew I needed Him. I needed to ask for forgiveness. I needed to ask Him to become my Lord and Savior. Being disappointed with things as they had always been, I was thirsty. Thirsty for the living water. Thankfulness and praise will always be joined to the memory of that hour, when I came to trust Him completely with my life.
When the dew falls on the plants while it is still dark, the earth is watered. Gently and quietly, a rejuvenation takes place. As the dawn approaches, the droplets twinkle with the first rays of light, proclaiming God’s provision for yet another day.
The light of the sun casts it’s glow on to the grove of trees by my home in a soothing array of hues. With each passing day, new leaves begin to sprout. Taller blades of grass intermingle in the soft wind and the tiny buds of blooming wildflowers appear. Beckoned ever higher by the it’s encouraging warmth, they are both sustained and displayed by the light that insures their very existance. The light of God’s unfailing love will never cease to draw mankind to Himself, revealing our need for His salvation and the power of His will to redeem us through faith in His Son, Jesus.
Barren. Dry. Parched. Even the words seem to cry out for their opposites—Fruitful. Moist. Succulent. As followers of Christ, we are rescued from the arid existance we once knew. We are placed in His life-giving presence to be nurtured moment by moment through every situation, being well-watered by His continual flow of love toward us.
I really wanted to go to the beach. God knew that. Just before we arrived, the rain began. As we stopped the engine of our car and looked to the ocean, our son got out and ran toward shore. I quickly followed, spurred on by the attitude of adventure that sometimes overtakes me. Within minutes, the rugged beauty of the dark and billowing clouds riviting droplets down on to the crashing waves was before my eyes. Does God care about the desires of our heart? I spoke aloud something like, "Oh! If there could only be a rainbow!" Within seconds, a rainbow appeared in front of us. Very quickly, it was gone. As I spent the next hours perusing the shoreline, it would reappear, then fade. I know in my heart that God hears our longings, spoken or mute. In the moment that I wished for His bow, He sent one. A reminder that He is ever present and atune to every thought.
A family member from far away visits for the very first time. Perhaps an old childhood friend or a military buddy from long ago. "I can’t wait to show you around!" you say with excitement. With expectation of their response, you guide them through every favored place–the aroma filled shops, the woods nearby with their snow laced branches, the view from the upstairs guestroom of the bell tower in the distance. "Aren’t you glad you came?" you ask, beaming as you wait for their response. With every new discovery, God is ready to display the vast array of His creation for our pleasure. Surely, He is pleased when we gaze at a sunset or admire the intricate miracle of a newborn in our arms. As we arrive at that moment where we glimpse an understanding of God’s love for us, it’s as if He might be waiting expectantly for our response. May our reply always be that of never ending praise.
It is quiet now. The sound of my husband softly playing the classical guitar, the sounds of dishes and pans being used to prepare the mid-day meal, and the sounds of voices echoing through the house have now been replaced with the slow hum of the fan in the windowsill and the calm, yet rhythmic beckoning of the crickets from the cool ground below. It has been a good day. Now, it is time to rest. There is much to be thankful for. God has been good to me….
According to the dictionary, "establish" means : "1.to found, institute, build, or bring into being on a firm or stable basis.." I am thankful today that the work of our hands in doing the will of God will be established in His kingdom, as we seek to reach others with the good news of salvation.
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Where do we find direction in life? How can we rest in knowing the choice of the moment was the right one? Lighthouses have one function: guiding those on the sea to safe passage through unseen danger. We must choose to look for the light amidst the darkness. And, once we have found it, continue to follow its leading until we arrive securely at our destination.
Questions? Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
When I close my eyes to sleep at night, I do so knowing that God is awake. As I rise to meet the challenges of the day, I do so knowing that I am not alone. Nothing takes God by surprise. He is able to sustain me no matter what the current situation may warrant. He promises that He will be with me.
Sometimes I feel it. It can come quickly, without warning. That "Oh,no!" feeling that comes when you’re not sure if the interview went well or you’re wondering how to acquire the funds to pay the latest medical bills. Perhaps the anxiety comes when you feel you are all alone in the thing that God has called you to do. We must trust God and His ability to give all that we need when we need it. Where is God providing for you today?
There is nothing that we have of ourselves that we can offer up to God that He has not first given us. If we sing of His glory, it is He who has given us voice; if we proclaim the good news, it is He who has given us salvation. His great love for us abides forever.
There are many questions in life to which I have no answer. "Why?" "Could things have been different if only…?" The God of the universe is in control. He sees what I do not see. He understands what I cannot. His power is unfathomable.
Many times it’s difficult for me to relax. Events of the day crowd my thinking. Yet, there are times when I know that I need to be restored spiritually as well as physically. He replaces the sorrow with hope, the worry with calm.
When we show love to others, something happens. A bridge to a wounded heart begins to form. A passageway that was previously non-existent is now a possibility to consider. A broken spirit begins to mend. The flower of forgiveness starts to bloom where once there were only weeds. The debris on the edge of the shoreline is washed away, leaving smooth sand that beckons our feet to travel the uncharted distance into another’s life.
Have you ever met someone and—after only a short time—you feel like you have known them a very long time? When God lives in your heart, there is a bonding that can occur with others who love Him, too. It can become apparent very quickly. The heart that loves God has an open door to the heart of another that has also responded to the Lord with repentance and devotion.
Friends are beautiful gifts God has blessed us with. The closer we dare to look into these precious gifts, the more amazed we become at the intricate patterns of encouragement, comfort and love that is ours for the asking.
I was just leaving the park with one of my sons when I saw it. One of the most beautiful blooming bushes I had ever noticed. Stopping the car, I just had to grab my camera and get a closer look. I stood under the towering blooms as they reached high into the clear, blue sky, proclaiming silent, yet visible praise to their Maker. Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to ponder Your greatness displayed in nature at that moment.