Thursday, March 25, 2010

“You, LORD, are the light that keeps me safe. I am not afraid of anyone. You protect me, and I have no fears. Brutal people may attack and try to kill me, but they will stumble. Fierce enemies may attack, but they will fall. Armies may surround me, but I won't be afraid; war may break out, but I will trust you.” Psalms 27:1-3 (Contemporary English Version)

I’ve written about this scripture before, but that’s the way God’s Word is; though it never changes, it can give you what I call “Customized encouragement” for what you may be going through at the time.

This time these words remind me that I am not alone, and not unprotected. Living as a widow for the past eight years has been a journey and learning experience. The Holy Spirit has been not only my “tour” guide on this journey, He has also been my teacher. Back at the end of year 2008, I felt like the Lord was encouraging me to seek more “Wisdom and Understanding”; to get to know Him better. And that He would give me more wisdom and understanding by observing simple everyday things. Thus with the help of my son while sitting at his kitchen table in sunny California, the beginning of this blog, and God has been faithful.

So many times we look for revelations through big happenings, when I believe He wants to speak to us in the very simple things of life. And so it was this morning as I was getting ready for work that I noticed water dripping from the breakfast area of my kitchen. ARRRGHHHH! Through some inspections with the help” of my Chihuahua puppy (at one point he grabbed my much needed flashlight and ran); I discovered what the problem was. New rain gutters and downspouts are over due on the back of the house. I knew eventually I would need to replace them, but these things always seem to come as a surprise.

Along with the completion of making arrangements to have the gutters replaced, came a feeling of weariness and self pity. These feelings usually come with the need and sole responsibility to take care of repairs and making life altering decisions. Before you call me a wimp (though I know that was the farthest thing on your mind **wink wink**) let me just add that until my husband passed, I had never lived alone. I went from home with a mom, dad and siblings to college with two roommates, to being married. So this living alone thing was absolutely brand spanking new to me. Over the years I have acclimated somewhat, but when things happen like my morning experience, the “poor me” syndrome rears its ugly head.

Oh yeah I almost forgot the part about the feelings that repair and sales people are trying to get over on me because I’m a woman and a widow (single). And though these feelings can be justifiable; I still cannot let my fear overtake my faith that God is looking out for me. So I am learning to get knowledge and feedback from people that I do trust and from there make the wisest decision that I can…the rest is up to God.

I am not alone… He has my back, front and everything in between. God protects me from all harm and injustice as I trust in Him. The Lord IS my light and my salvation! I will not fear because He is working it out for my good. Thank you Lord for reminding me that I do not walk this journey alone, I have you by my side, and sometimes You even carry me.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

God is Happy!

The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

I love this scripture; it speaks of God’s restoration to a people that were in exile and being held captive by a very hostile nation. A people who in no doubt had suffered all that goes along with being taken from your home and held prisoner for years. The writer of this book of the Bible was a prophet who had the undesirable job of telling the people the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth; even it meant bad news…for a season. Zephaniah tells them in no uncertain terms of their rebellion to God, but in verse 17 he begins to tell them that God; who is a God of Justice, is also a God of Mercy. (Micah 7:18 says God does not hold His anger and delights in His mercy)

God’s Mercy restores, and He is glad, rejoices and delights in restoration! God is happy when we are happy, He rejoices when we rejoice! He is not happy when we go through trials or suffer; He is touched by our feelings.

About 2 years ago, I was visiting family on the West coast. On our way home from the beach, I sat in my most favorite spot; in the back seat of the car beside my grandson and granddaughter. It was there where I made up stories and told them in my corny British accent. And where I asked them silly questions and they gave corny answers that made us all laugh. We’d had a great day and as we chattered in the back seat, my then 6 year old granddaughter drew with her crayon a picture for me; it was a picture of her and me holding hands walking on the beach. The sun was shining and she wrote “God is Happy”. I was obviously moved when I saw it and asked her “Why do you say God is happy?” She replied “Because we’re together and that makes God happy.” Wow! Okay I’m full right now just remembering that.

I’ve kept that drawing posted on my refrigerator ever since, not only because my granddaughter drew it for me, but as a reminder that GOD is HAPPY, He desires for good things to happen to me and for me, He is on my side. And when I do go through trials He is right there with me feeling my pain and doing everything He can to get me on the other side of that pain. And when I come out of that time, He rejoices with me, He delights when I am restored!

In this world we were never promised that we would never go through times of trial, but God has promised that not only will He be with us continually, but He will rejoice over us with gladness when we are restored! A lot of folks are going through some tough times right now, some so tough it’s hard to even imagine…and yet God wants to restore us.

Is God happy about the earthquakes, tsunamis and other catastrophes that are going on in the world right now? No! That does not make Him happy; He is still a God of mercy. As we entrust our lives to Him, He has promised that He will protect and keep us during these strange days. He IS in our midst and He rejoices when we rejoice. He is a Father that cares for His people. Those that have given their lives to Him are not orphans, but we are His children, His beloved. And He rejoices over us with singing!

Do you KNOW Him? Until you get to KNOW Him you will never understand His mercy. How do you get to know Him? By simply asking Him to come into your life, then and only then will you understand the Just and Merciful God, who really wants to give us Joy!