This week has been one filled with reminders of God’s faithfulness. I need them, don’t you? Yes, we know He is faithful and we know that we are not forgotten.. but we need reminders. He is willing and able to provide them.
As I was out walking, praying, and asking God for someone I could talk with..a brand new friend came from the other direction in our valley. She was someone who could listen, someone who could speak into the situation, and someone who would pray for me. She did all three things..God is so good.
Later in that same day I found myself needing help once again.. as I was thinking about how I might extricate or change the direction of a conversation, someone I knew showed up to join in and suddenly the problem was solved. God’s perfect timing.
Both of these incidents may seem minor, but for me they were not. God’s ability to provide just what I needed jumped out at me as I reflected on His provision. He met me and rescued me.. He cares so much that he brought people just when I needed them.
In the bigger picture God will come for us wherever we are, with whatever we need. He sees us and knows when we can’t take another minute of our current circumstances. He is not late and we are not alone with unsolvable problems. He sees the future and will intervene just when we truly need it. He is ahead of us, behind us, and His arms are beneath us. He surrounds us and waits for us to trust Him fully.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”’
These pictures remind me of God.. God reaching down and touching us with His handiwork..He is an artist.. He creates a beautiful world so He can take our breath away. His creation is a place for us..a mini-retreat for us.. open the front door and take a look. The sky is so blue..the grass is so green.. the sounds of birds are everywhere. The flowers are beginning to bloom. Spring is here and He is doing His redemptive work in our lives and in this fallen world.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
That’s the way I feel the day after Christmas. The packages are all unwrapped and the anticipation is over.. but I feel pretty wrapped up and ready to unwind. I love this week before the year ends. There is a quietness and a peace that seems to fall on everyone. We are all tired and some of us actually get down time..time to rest..to reflect..just to be. The flurry of activity leading up to Christmas is gone and we are able to step back from life and prepare for the year to end.
Since I was born on New Years Eve.. this is a very special time for me. My year ends right about the time when 2011 ends. I begin a brand new year of my life on January 1, 2012.. the same day you can begin a brand new year. It doesn’t have to be your birthday..you can have a new beginning..a fresh start. Periodically we need these things..markers of one season ending and another one coming. As we look ahead we can ask God to renew our hope..to strengthen us..to enable us to continue living fully with Him.
I enjoy the opportunity this provides for dreaming, renewing old desires, remembering, trusting, and believing. We are entering unknown territory as 2012 unfolds. We can anticipate new adventures, gifts, and blessings from the hand of our Provider. Yes.. there will be difficulties and challenges..but He is going to equip us and strengthen us as we face these things. Our God is with us!
Lord, I pray for each person reading this today..Prepare each one for the things that lie ahead and renew their hope. We want to end this year with our eyes on you. We need more faith..we need more of you. Keep us in the shadow of your wings and fill our hearts with gratefulness. We love you and we trust you!
The last two days I’ve been receiving reminders from God. I’ll explain what I mean by that. God knows us..He knows everything we care about..every desire we have..everything that matters to us. It is very hard to believe that because no one else does. Yes..there are people who love us and care for us but they don’t know us the way He does. He keeps track of our desires..long after we may give up on them or convince ourselves that they don’t really matter and we shouldn’t even have them. He sees it differently and at times He will remind us of how well He knows us by giving us surprises.
This happened to me yesterday and today..I was in two different thrift stores run by Hospice. In the first one I found a silver bracelet and an old edition of monopoly..two things I have been thinking about recently. The bracelet is delicate and fits perfectly and the game is the very version I played as a child. Wow! Only God knew about these two things and there they were in a store that I was visiting for the first time.
Today I went to our local Hospice store to donate some things..looked around and found a corduroy shirt from LL Bean for a few dollars. It fits perfectly and is the perfect color for me. No one knew that I really wanted a shirt like that (I had been looking at it online and thinking how comfortable it would be)..except our God. Once again..He surprised me 🙂 I also had two wonderful conversations with women while I was in the store..one where I could listen to someone who is suffering from cancer and another one with a woman who needed to talk about how hard it is for us older women to find clothes in today’s youth oriented world. Two good conversations..something I just love. God is good.
So.. now you understand reminders. He wants us to know that the details of our lives are important. He wants us to know that He can lead us to the very things our hearts desire. He wants us to have faith..to believe.. to trust Him even in the darkest hours. I’ve been praying for faith and my husband has been praying for encouragement for me lately. God is answering and He will do the same for you. Ask Him..He is always listening.
“Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.”
I’m filling my new journal with reminders of the sweet moments that God gives me every day. As I record these things..using words and pictures..my heart is encouraged. We need reminders.. our memories are short. Disappointment and fear can rob us..tempting us to turn our eyes away from the goodness of God.
Encouraging books and movies are another tool. Are you slipping into discouragement? Is your heart heavy and weighed down with the cares of this world? Watch the movie ” Rust”..or ” Faith Like Potatoes”.. how about ” Facing The Giants”? These movies infuse us with a sense of hope. There are heroes in these films..people who endure great trials and emerge victorious..because of their God. We need these reminders.
Our world is filled with atrocities and immoral acts. Stories that make our hearts cry out for justice. We are living in dark times..but we are people of the light. Our lives are still directed by our Great God! He has not lost control.. His plan is still unfolding and His works of redemption continue. Focus on those things that will bring life to you everyday and you will be able to keep trusting and believing.
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”