Thursday, February 24, 2011

Haunted By A Kutless Song...

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about how many things in life are beyond my control. I suppose maybe I watch too much of the news on TV!

Globally, there are people protesting against their governments, demanding that their leaders step down. The price of oil and gasoline are quickly climbing because of it. Our National government can't reach an agreement on it's budget. Our state governments want to do away with unions. Our school district wants to cut 88 teachers. My husband most likely will be one of them. And that is exactly what began my train of thought on how much is beyond my control.

I would be lying if I said I don't have any occasional moment of worry or fearful thought. But each time one begins God seems to come at it head on before I can even voice it to Him. Sometimes it's with a Bible verse, sometimes it's with a song. Lately it's been a Kutless song that keeps haunting me with the question it asks, so much so that I have been talking to God about it.

The song is titled " I'm Still Yours" and the lyrics that haunt me are:
" If all my world was swept away would You be enough for me? Would my beating heart still sing? If I lost it all would my hands stay lifted to the God who gives and takes away?" Then at the end of the song the lyrics say " Even if You take it all away You'll never let me go. Take it all away but I still know that I'm Yours. I'm Yours."

I have been asking God what He is trying to get at with this song. I have been asking Him for two weeks now! Today I put the CD on and listened to it in the car on my way to the grocery store. When the song was done, I heard Him say " Haven't we been down this road before?" "Don't you remember where we have been together?" I answered yes. I remembered and interestingly enough it wasn't just how difficult that previous time was that I remembered, it was how He held me through it, how He taught me through it, and how it grew my faith.

In 2002 before my husband was a teacher, he was self employed and lost all of his work. Within one month, out of nowhere, we lost all of our income and I had a miscarriage. Those were some trying and sad times. But I look back on them today and I feel the sweetness of God's love and how He brought us through. That was the question He was asking me with that Kutless song. Did I remember where He and I have been together and that I am still His...

I know this will be cheesy to some of you, but I hope it made God smile. I couldn't help but put on the CD after my conversation with Him and give Him my answer in the form of another Kutless song that I sang along with since there wasn't anyone else but me riding in the car! It is the song "Taken By Love" and the lyrics are: " The world will fade away as I lift my hands. The King is worthy of praise, is the great I AM. The joy You've given rings out as I lift my voice. I'm captivated by Your ways, so I will worship You. You've taken me by love. You've taken me by grace. You've taken me away, I can't resist because You've taken my heart."

So today I saw God in the reminder to remember where He and I have been. Remembering what God brings us through gives us hope, strength,and courage for the journey that lies ahead of us. How about you? Where have you been with Him? What do you need to remember for your journey? Don't forget who you belong to!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines' Day...

Today is Valentines' Day. For some people it is filled with expectations of flowers, chocolates, and dinner dates. For others it's a lonely holiday, a painful reminder of the fact that they are single or alone. For me it's a reminder of how God has loved me through the special people He has sent in my life.

I don't view it as just a holiday for sweethearts. I view it as a day to be thankful for anyone in my life who was kind enough and generous enough to show me love. That is what I celebrate. I celebrate my grandparents, my parents who continue to love and support me ,my brother and sister-in-law, my husbands family that has become my own, my husband, my children, my friends,and my church family.

I find that viewing it this way removes expectations because it no longer is about whether my husband got me flowers. (This let's him off the hook! Let's face it Valentines' Day is a tough day for guys, so many expectations! ) It's about how can I show my appreciation and love all these people back well.

Love is a gift. God showed us what it looked like to truly love through Jesus. So today I see God in the challenge to use this day as an opportunity to practice loving others well and to be grateful for anyone who has loved me well.

So how about you? Will you stop and be thankful today for everyone who has loved you? Will you take the opportunity to tell them how thankful you are for them, and how much you love them? Will you allow the hallmark version of Valentines' Day that says its all about romance, cheat you out of the joy of basking in the love of God and those in your life who love you? Will you maybe seek out someone who normally spends this day alone and invite them to spend it with you so that they can feel loved and cared for too?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

God 's Reminder...

Today I see God in some Scripture verses that He keeps filling my mind with. He brought them to my attention a couple of weeks ago when I was talking to Him about some frustrations and struggles I was having. They brought me comfort and peace. I hadn't given them much thought since, but He reminded me of them again at the grocery store today.

I have been on a quest to be a better caretaker of my finances where groceries are concerned. To do this I have been learning to clip coupons and use them on things that are already on sale to save the most I can on what I already need to get. So I went to Shoprite today to give it a try. It seemed as though every aisle I turned down I saw the same elderly man. I couldn't help but notice how carefully he was looking at the prices and reading the fine print on the sales signs. I had to wait for him to move along in order to get to the toothpaste that was on sale because he was there so long looking the display over and reading the sign. He picked up the toothpaste and then put it back again twice, and then looked at his list once more before moving on. I had come prepared too. The toothpaste was on sale and with the coupon I had I would be able to get it for only 28 cents. But then God told me to go and give that man my coupon...

So I walked over to him and mentioned that I had a coupon for the toothpaste and offered it to him. He smiled and took it. As I walked away God reminded me of the Scriptures that I mentioned earlier, they are found in Isaiah 46:4. "Even to your old age I will be the same, And even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it, I will carry you; And I will bear you and I will deliver you."

Please join me for a minute as I let my imagination ask the question : Did God who knows all things, know that this man needed that toothpaste and wasn't going to buy it because it wasn't the price he could afford, and so God sent me to give the man my coupon? Could it be that God's bearing this man in his old age included making sure he had toothpaste? I don't know about you, but I love the thought that the God who created the universe cares about such small things that we need like toothpaste!

Someday I will be like that man in the grocery store. I will be gray and old and in some ways life may be more of a challenge than it is now. But no matter how I change or how the world around me changes, or my circumstances change, God is the same. He will never change and I can always count on Him to see me through. I share this with you because we all at some point in our lives need to be reminded and encouraged that God loves us and cares for us consistently, especially since we live in a world that is rapidly changing on a regular basis. I don't know about you but I am thankful that I can grow old with God!