We just returned from vacation and as I resumed my place at my desk to study and pray, I was searching for a blog topic and nothing came up. Continuing to pray and getting nothing until a light came on and I remembered while traveling twice we were driving in heavy storms for about ten miles or so. It was not wise to pull over and the vision was limited so I prayed as my husband drove. First, the fear needed to be handled and then complete trust! When we finally left the storm behind, I could never remember a time when I was so grateful!
Gratitude fills my heart along with surprise that it took so long to think of something to write. “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2 Today I will be grateful in all things or at least pray that God will support me in that endeavor .
When discouragement attempts to sneak in at anytime, Joseph immediately comes to thought. It seemed he had one challenge after another and he continued to grow spiritually. Anyone familiar with this story knows that the same brothers that had plotted to kill him but sold him into slavery instead, later in life they owed their very existence to him. They had to come to him for food. I never read this without going to Romans 8:28 which reads “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Every challenge he faced was necessary for his growth, but he was never separated from God and neither are we. Whenever I feel I am stuck, I simply remind myself that I just cannot see the entire picture yet, but I know it is always good since my life is guided by God and it will soon be revealed to me.
While at my desk studying and praying, I received a frantic call from someone in another state asking me to pray about the weather since the predictions do not look good. The verse to a Hymn we sing at Church came to mind:
“In heavenly Love abiding, No change my heart shall fear;
And safe is such confiding, For nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me, My heart may low be laid;
But God is round about me, And can I be dismayed?”
Isaiah 41:10 states “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” These words appear to me to be a promise and I will take them as such.
Recently while visiting another city for five days, and after our first taxi ride which was pricey, my husband and I agreed to learn to ride the subway which would be much more cost-effective since we had numerous meetings to attend. We were sitting on the “T” and looking over the map of the city and becoming more and more confused. Sitting next to us was a young man with his ear plugs in and reading. It was apparent he was from the middle east and we then wondered if he spoke English. Then we thought he may not want to be disturbed, but finally my husband leaned over and tapped him on the shoulder. Immediately, he took out his ear pieces and smiled asking how he could help us. The next fifteen minutes he not only explained what we should do and where we should depart and get back on, he also told us he was working on his PHD in medical science and going home, which was the mid-east, to visit family. Our time with him was so loving, enlightening and helpful but we had to overcome fear first.
Isaiah 60:2 reads “See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you.” The darkness became light as we listened, obeyed and just loved!
While at my desk studying and praying, it really dawned on me that this is a new day! I don’t have to wait to receive fresh inspiration; it can happen right here, right now. Rather than rehearse the past, my thoughts can be filled with God’s wonder today, instead. This is always up to me. By turning any and every limited human thought into the expectation of peace and harmony is what I will do today. Revelation 21:5 reads “And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.'” What a freeing thought!
As I greet the day with thanksgiving, briefly I think about memorable times in my life and I find it is not necessarily the large raises I may have received nor the awards or large material gifts. What comes to mind instead, is a beautiful sunrise over the mountains, something good happening to a loved one or standing in as a grandparent at school for a child that didn’t have one here. The feelings I had with human accomplishments or gifts were fleeting but the genuine ones I can call up in my memory bank and recall the actual feeling.
When I remove self as in self-righteousness, self-absorption, self-pity, self-condemnation I can get in touch with my real self; the one God knows and sees. This is when I can relate to verses like Jeremiah 31:3 which states “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.'”
This morning my prayer include all the people who have been working tirelessly throughout this disaster as they may experience “burnout”. By turning to God and letting His Love envelop their outreach to others, their energy will be renewed. Matthew 11:28-29 states “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Exodus 33:14 reads “The Lord replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. I will remember these verses as I pray today.