Thursday, January 23, 2020

not your typical Friday faves, and on a Thursday

Do you ever have those weeks when it seems as if the Lord is really trying to show you something?  I have had a week like that.  Well, let me back up a little.  I've had a couple of days of that.  I was sick from Sunday through midday on Tuesday with a terrible stomach virus that knocked me off of my feet for all that time in between, and thus the reason for no Friday favorites this week, but since Wednesday morning, this is how it's been. 

Let me explain.

First off, I think a lot of this stems from where I'm reading in the Bible.  I've been in Job since Sunday, and I have seen a main theme over and over and over again.  That is that the Lord is sovereign.  That word's meaning, when used as an adjective and according to when I typed that word into the Google, is possessing supreme or ultimate power.  Job was a righteous and upright man, and we see in the beginning of the book that Satan comes from prowling the earth and asks about Job.  And God gives him permission to test him.  Everything Job has was taken from him, his cattle and other livestock, his home, all of his children.  Immediately we read that he tore his clothes and he bowed and worshiped the Lord, and that's where this that I so love comes from.

And he said, "Naked  I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return.  The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."  Job 1:21

I don't know about you, but if I were to lose everything of importance to me in such a short time, I'm not sure that would be my first response. 

But, it is Job's, and even though his wife basically tells him to turn from God, he doesn't, and he mourns, and then his three friends come to comfort him.  Though they weren't really of much comfort to him, and they hurt him with their words.  I'm purposefully leaving out a whole lot, because you should read it for yourself, but by the end of the book, everything turns out alright for Job.  This is where I see in between the lines in this book in the Bible, and I recognize God's sovereignty.  (When I say that, what I mean is that before I read the Bible each day, I pray that the Lord would give me knowledge, wisdom, and insight as I read, and that He would speak to me through His word.)

I don't know why He allowed the enemy to test Job in such a way, but He did.  Just like today, I don't know why certain things happen to friends and other loved ones, but I know that God is sovereign.  God is complete control, and He possess that supreme AND ultimate power that the word means.  He was around even before anything on earth was here, and His word tells us that He simply spoke things into existence, and He has known from the beginning of time everything that happens in this world. 

In these two days, I have been thinking so much about God's sovereignty.  I have also thought about it a lot in the last year, as people I know and love have walked through tremendous grief.  And THREE times in about a twelve hour span, the Lord has either brought into my path or into my social media feed names of women who've lost their husbands.  Three.  I'm not making this up!  And I have to wonder why He would do such a thing, but whatever the reason is behind it, I'm here for it and I am opening myself up to be used by the Lord.  I pray that every single day, so I know He uses me, for His glory and honor. 

Today I was getting my nails done.  (It's amazing who the Lord brings across my path while I  indulge in this lovely task.)  I overheard a lady next to me talking, and I commented something, and then that was all it took.  She tearfully told me her husband had just passed away a mere two or three days ago, he had just fallen asleep and didn't wake up again.  She was getting her nails done to make the trip back to where they were from for his memorial service tomorrow morning, and the Lord just happened to put her in my path today.  I just let her talk.  She shared a little about her sweet grandchildren who are all adults or almost adults, and I just listened.  At one point I asked her what her name was, and when she told me, I promised Twila (?) I would pray for her during these next few days and weeks, and I meant it.  I've already prayed for her several times, because I can't imagine being in my home without my husband.  She is a believer already, we talked about that, and I told her I would be thinking of her as she travels to Michigan tomorrow.

The point in all this is isn't the fact that the Lord has given me the ability to carry on a conversation with a brick wall, but it's that when I slow down and take notice of all that is around me, when I engage with the people I come into contact with, that is when the Lord brings someone to me that I can share with or encourage.  He brings these people right to me.  I couldn't avoid them if I tried, and I'd much rather talk to someone while my nails soak rather than sitting in silence for twenty minutes. 

Again, I will say, the Lord is sovereign.  I have to trust that these moments are packed with a very significant purpose, and I have to be bold enough to share my faith.  When I say that, this does not mean that I share all the parts of the gospel every time, but I share about my relationship with the Lord, and I will sometimes ask if they know Him.  (They almost always say yes, because I think so many people think they're believers based on the fact that they're good people~but that's for a whole other blog post.) 

I just talk to them.  They usually ask me what I do, and today Twila asked me that and I told her I'd somehow become a very typical housewife who does a lot of volunteer work.  And I do~I do a lot of things for free.  I told her that I help my friend who is the director of women's ministry at our church, and that I write.  She immediately asked me where I went, and when I told her, we started a whole side conversation, but I have to trust that the Lord used those significant moments before to really comfort and encourage her. 

The other two people who lost husbands are people I don't even know, but I've prayed for them by name, as well.  One is an acquaintance of another friend and the other is a client of my husband's. 

God is sovereign.  He is in total control, and I take such comfort knowing that I can trust Him with my life.  He is the Creator of everything, and if He was able to do all that, I think I can trust Him with however many years He blesses me with here on this earth.

I love this image I came across on social media this week.  We have a choice in life~we can complain about everything or we can thank the good Lord for everything.  Everything is from Him, and in Him, all things hold together.

He is before all things, and by him all things hold together.  Colossians 1:17

He is so good, my friends.  I say that all the time, because I don't want to be "that one" who only says it when things go well for them.  He is good, because He is God, and He cannot be anything but.  Regardless of circumstances, He is amazingly good and kind and gracious and merciful and beautiful.  I was sicker than a dog this week, and I was thanking Him for helping me through it all, even while I was sick.  (I detest stomach viruses.)  We should all live life like this, because if not for one, not a one of us would be here.  When we take the time to really open our eyes and behold what is around us, we cannot help but see Him everywhere. 

God is also trustworthy, and we can rest in His plan for our life.  I just read that today as I wrote out scripture for the day from Proverbs 3:5-6.  It's comforting knowing that I can trust Him.

All of this is true, but to really know it for yourself, you must be a believer in and follower of Jesus.  If you're not, would you reach out to me so that I can tell you about Him?  Or would you reach out to anyone?  I'd be willing to bet, if I were that kind of lady, that you could walk into any Bible-believing church in your area, and a pastor would be willing to talk to you.  If you need a church home and you're local to me, why not come and try mine?  That is not necessary for salvation, but the Bible tells us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.  Hebrews 10:24-25

(Day refers to the day when Jesus returns.)

I pray these words reach the person who needs to read this. 

Thanks, as always, for reading.  Love to all. 


Here is where I was reading in Job yesterday that prompted this whole post.

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