spiritualsnippets.com

Seeing life's events in the light of God's Word.

“Here I Am!”

Revelation 3:20- “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

Rhonda and Dwayne drove slowly through the once-small city in Arizona where they both had been born and raised. Where they met, fell in love, and married.

Nothing looked the same. High rise apartment buildings seemed to have sprung up on every corner. Old landmarks had disappeared. The place was almost unrecognizable.

Dwayne pulled over and studied the handwritten map Joe had sent. He doubled back. They had missed the turn.

Joe and Sandy were waiting on the porch when Dwayne pulled the SUV into their driveway. They had changed. Gray hair. Lines on their foreheads and at the corners of their eyes. 

Rhonda and Dwayne had aged quite a bit, too. Fourteen years will do that to you. 

But three hours later, the uneasiness at seeing each other after such a long time was gone. The awkward conversation had vanished. It was just like old times. 

They were family. Laughing, joking, telling stories. Eating a Thanksgiving meal together.

As Rhonda and Dwayne started for home the next morning, both couples promised to keep in touch and visit more often. Even if face-to-face trips weren’t possible, phone calls, emails, and Face Time would suffice until they could be together again.

God must feel that way, sometimes, too.

Listen. You can hear Him say

“Come over more often…”

“Stay longer…”

“Don’t forget to call…”

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Giving Thanks for a Stroke

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Genesis 45:4-8a “Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God.” 

 

We had just arrived at our New Year’s brunch destination when my sister called to inform us that our brother-in-law had a stroke and had been admitted to the hospital.

You may have received one of these drop-to-your-knees-and-pray phone calls at some point in your life, also. And, hopefully, it was followed a little later by another one saying that your loved one was doing fine—a full recovery expected.

However, in this case, after hearing that good news, further testing detected a serious heart problem.

We prayed, of course, about this new health-related difficulty, but we also had cause for praise and Thanksgiving for the stroke. Without it, the heart complication might not have been diagnosed—until it was too late.

So, the silver lining to the cloud is that now my brother-in-law can see a specialist and perhaps undergo life-saving surgery.

Genesis tells the story of Joseph’s brothers. They sold him into slavery, but he found favor in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the end his father and brothers were allowed to settle in Goshen and avoid the devastating effects of a severe famine. The brothers had evil intentions that guided their actions, but God used their actions to put Joseph in a position to save many lives.

Be encouraged today. The situation you now find yourself in—the health scare, the misunderstanding among friends, the financial setback—may be a blessing in disguise.

Our Heavenly Father, our Healer, our friend knows our present and future needs and is able to supply them in accordance with His will.

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Giving Thanks for Future Blessings

Romans 8:28- “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Occasionally, I find myself missing my days of teaching elementary school. This is especially true around Thanksgiving.

Each year, my little kindergarteners would choose to be Indians or Pilgrims, making Pilgrim hats or headbands with colorful feathers. They would use brown paper grocery bags to make Indian vests or black and white butcher paper for Pilgrim attire.

Mothers would come to school and help us prepare stew, cornbread, apple cider, and spice cake and/or cookies for our customary “feast.”

The faces of those little ones were so precious as each child stood and told the class what they were thankful for… their families…their homes.

I know several families who are currently suffering from health issues. I know one going through a divorce. I know one dealing with broken relationships with siblings; another saddened by the estrangement of adult children.

It’s easy to be thankful for blessings like wealth, wisdom, newborn babies, and good health. It’s quite another to be thankful for the trials in this life, isn’t it?

But, many of us know that it’s in the hard times that we learn to trust God…that our relationship with Him deepens as we depend on Him for the strength to get us through.

It’s possible, that years after a hurtful event, we are able to see the good result(s) God brings about because of our dire circumstances. In fact, there are times when we can look back on what we once viewed as tragedies and see that they were actually future blessings—in disguise.

Which brings me to this point: If we, as Christians, believe the truth of Romans 8:28, shouldn’t we be able to trust God now?

Even if we never see the future?

Even if He never answers our question, “Why?”

Because that is really what faith is, isn’t it?

According to Hebrews 11:1, “…faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

We may not be able to see what God is going to do with a tragic circumstance, now, but we can have faith that those “things not seen” will someday come to pass.

Thanking God for the blessings in our lives, today, and for those in the future,

Brenda

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The Sunrise–God’s Reminder

Colossions 4:2– Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.

Our youngest grandson turned nine years old this month. I looked at the envelope in my hand. It was his thank you note for the “big” gift from us—new rollerblades.

Saying thank you is important, whether it’s in person, a phone call, or a written note, like Owen sent. So, how and when do we thank our Heavenly Father for His many gifts?

Hopefully, we don’t wait until a designated holiday rolls around to remind us to thank God for His blessings and for answered prayer. We have so much to be thankful for, on a daily basis, that we need to remember to thank Him every day.

I have been as guilty as anyone for praying petitions—asking for things—but failing to acknowledge Him in words of thanks when my prayers are answered. The Bible reminds us that His mercies are new every morning, so I have started using the sunrise to remind me, daily, to praise and thank God for His abiding love, His provision, and for answered prayer.

Beginning each day with a thankful heart helps me keep the rest of my day in perspective. It doesn’t require stationary, a stamp, or the U.S. Postal Service. I simply need to bow my head each morning to acknowledge my Creator, my Savior, my Lord.

How and when do you thank God? Please leave a comment.

Brenda

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