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Tonight as I drove home and saw in wonder the picture God was painting in the sky, the words came to me:”The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.BLESSED be the name of the Lord!”And in the midst of the ups and downs, trials and tribulation, joys and sorrows, questions and answers, this rings so true.  Lord, BLESSED be your name! And because I am his daughter, because you are his son/daughter, WE are blessed!

 

Rumbling along in my (currently my) truck, I was reflecting upon the day’s event and LIFE in general. The sky was bursting with the hues of many colors, the new moon becoming more luminent as the sun set, the dark clouds rolling in as the light sky faded, large drops of rain sporadically pelting the windshield.

 

I will forever be in AWE of the Lord’s handiwork, and yet so easily I become distracted of my purpose, so easily I struggle with such thoughts/feelings as “I’m not good enough”; so easily I let my eyes drift to the problems rather than to my Protector, Healer, LOVER of my soul, Counselor, Friend, Guide, Savior, Miracle worker, and He who is SO MUCH MORE.I just want to acknowledge the Lord MORE; I desire to savor the moments spent with those God has placed before me/on this path that He has so graciously and mercifully given me the opportunity to tread upon! In a few short days I have come face to face with fears, insecurities, death, and the enemy’s attempt to steal the new joy and peace filling my soul!

 

But I have found strength in weakness, change of perspectives, beauty from ashes, love overflowing, cleansing tears, amazing life stories, encouragement and affirmation to move forward, and purpose in places I would have never imagined to set feet upon.The Spirit is always bidding us to draw near; God is constantly speaking to us. But how often do the worries and cares and (consequences of) sin of this world deflect this? More than ever, I am finding that brokenness and uncertainty and reckless faith and surrender and whole-hearted TRUST (and tears even!) bring us closer to Him than little else!  We must see our need for Him. It is the sick and hurting and those dying without hope who need a doctor, who need the Lord! (Read Matthew 9:9-13)  The Word also tells us that He came while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8)! ALREADY we are GOOD ENOUGH; we may not deserve this gift of abounding GRACE, but He has made us worthy of it and sees our true value.

 

God is connecting me to some wonderful people; He is showing me it is okay sometimes to be transparent and vulnerable with others; He is allowing me to ENJOY Him and life and see things at new levels; I am being filled MORE with his Spirit (and this allows us to be a salt in the earth, a light to the world!); I am learning to TRULY walk in the valley of the shadow of death while fearing no evil!; I am a “resident missionary” at my own job and God is preparing me for His big picture.I am able to love and care for the residents in the last (possibly) weeks/months/years of their life at the assisted living and memory care facility I work at. Recently a hospice patient/resident passed away and in her last days/moments I saw a joy, peace, and contentment in her countenance. God knows the moment each of us will pass on from this earth; we need not fear the time; our lives are in His hands. He even cares for the “birds of the air!” (Matthew 6:26)  In her case, I believe she was ready. And in the situations where we find ourselves feeling fear or anxiety, remember to trust Him (Psalm 56:3) and to cast our concerns and anxieties on Him (1 Peter 5:7)! Today, despite death and stories of seeming hopelessness, I found joy, peace, love, and MORE purpose. He desires that each of his children on this earth would know Him, in order that we might be in relationship with Him and experience all of these BLESSINGS (there’s that word again!).

 

Psalm 23:6 says,”Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”So wherever you find yourself, know that He loves you and longs to pour out his BLESSINGS over you. Every face, every person has a story, and I believe He calls many of us to listen to these stories that He may have the chance to write it anew. BLESSED be the name of the Lord!Now is the time to turn to Him!

 
“He restores my soul.He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil, for you are with me…You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.You anoint my head with oil; my cup OVERFLOWS.Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”-from Psalm 23

 
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us”-Romans 8:18