Blessings in the Storm

I trust that all my friends and visitors to this blog have had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year to come.  God has truly blessed my family this Christmas with a great family, church family, and a wealth of friends. I say all of this to say that this time in my life has not been without its struggles and things to lay at the feet of our Lord. Many times throughout our walk with the Lord we will face the unforeseen. It will come out when we least expect it and for a moment even hold us so tightly we cannot see which way we should turn. Storms can come upon us suddenly and dark clouds can bring fear to our hearts, yet in all of this we know we have someone who is there beside us in the midst of the darkness and fierce wind. Then it begins, the rain pours down. I have not thought of the rain as blessings, but it truly is so.

We need the rain. The rain nourishes the dry areas. It gives us something that watering from the hose in the yard will not. It cools the atmosphere around us. The leaves of the trees turn upward to receive the rain from the clouds. Sometimes the leaves will actually turn upside down to receive the rain at the place that will give  the most benefit for its delicate root system. The hard ground  softens under the impact of the rain upon it.  When you think about it, the rain has the healing properties in it to make things better for the earth, yet to receive the rain it must be accompanied by the storms.

I have found recently that in the midst of my storm, the Lord has sent his blessings of rain to overwhelm me.  The blessings have covered me at times with small drops and other times with large torrents. Over and over I have felt the love of my heavenly Father cover me with his strength, encouragement, love, and the cascading rain of His blessings. In my time alone with Him, I lifted my hands and heart to accept what He has for me as His spirit pours down like the rain. It has been what I have needed to help me when fear has taken hold of me. I wish that I could say that I am strong enough on my own to weather the storm. We try to hide our weakness so often for fear of what people will think of us, or put on a brave front because we feel it is expected of us. If you could see inside of me, you would know I am so weak and fearful. It is God who has been my strength. If I did not have Him with me I could never face the storms of life.

Not only have I received the blessings from the Lord, but also from the gracious friends and family who have interceded with prayers for me and my family. I do appreciate all of the prayers that have been sent on behalf of us. Thank you. You have been apart of the sweet rain that has covered us.

Blessings to you!

Snow and Cotton

As I was driving to work this morning, puffs of white drifted across my windshield. I was taken aback a moment because it looked like snow. For those of you who are not aware where I live it is quite an unusual occurrence for South Georgia doesn’t normally have snow. When I realized what it was, I laughed at myself for being silly. Someone close by was cutting the cotton from their cotton field.

It’s funny how we sometimes think something is one thing when it turns out totally different than what we thought. God is just like that. When I think I have a certain part of his nature figured out, he up and surprises me with a new part of who He is.  It is then that I realize that I can’t put God in a box like a Christmas present and say this is the only way He does what He does. I am constantly amazed at how wonderful God is. I have had the opportunity to get to know Him in so many ways. I know at times I will have to go through difficult things to find out more about who He is and to receive new glimpses of His nature. I also know that God has proved that in all things He is working out “all things for my good”. (Romans 8:28)

I was watching a movie the other day and the two main characters were discussing why God allows some things to happen. One replied, “Without suffering there would be no compassion.” This is so true. God shows compassion and love when I am hurting, and He gives me the opportunity to show love to others when they are hurting. If I never went through a hard time, I would not know how God could be my Comforter. If I never was betrayed by someone, I would not know how Christ could be “a friend that sticketh closer than a brother”. If I never knew sickness or pain, I would not know how God could be my Healer. If I never lost a parent, I would never know that God could be a true “Heavenly Parent” and bring peace to my heart. The list could go on and on. As I go through this life there will be circumstances that test me beyond what I thought I could endure. Yet in all I know that God is faithful.

I don’t know what you might be going through at this time in your life. I do know that we have a great God who will be the strength you need to face life’s trials, and when you least expect it, He will surprise you in wonderful ways and with blessings you did not think were possible.

His Name At The Top

I had the nicest Christmas List—
The longest one in town—
Til’ Daddy looked at it and said
“You’ll have to cut it down.”

I knew that what he said was true
Beyond the faintest doubt,
But I was amazed to hear him say,
“You’ve left your best friend out.”

And so I scanned my list again,
And said, “Oh, that’s not true!”
But Daddy said, “His name’s not there—
That friend that died for you.”

And then I clearly understood
‘Twas Jesus that he meant;
For Him who should come first of all
I hadn’t planned a cent.

I had made a lengthy Christmas list
And left the Savior out!
But, oh, it didn’t take me long
To change the list about.

And though I’ve rearranged some names
Of folks I like a lot;
My Lord must have the most—because—
His name is at the top.

—Author Unknown

‘Tis the Season

The Christmas season is here. The time has begun to fight for parking in the Wal-Mart parking lot and the mall parking lot, and to wait in long check out lines behind 50 other people while the store insists on only having 3 lines open and 15 lines closed.  Nevertheless, I take great joy in the Christmas season. 

I love the lights and sounds of Christmas.  I decorated my office yesterday with all things “Christmasy”.  Colors, Red, Green, and Gold, abound everywhere.  “A Charlie Brown Christmas” CD  is playing in the background. (“dun, dun, dun,”  “dun, dun, dun,”  “dunnnnn, dun”)  I always look forward to decorating my home so tonight is the night.  It’s time to trim the tree.  We will have white chili bubbling on the stove, and the smell of Christmas cookies lingering in the air.  We always have such fun putting up the tree and even more so since last year we purchased one of those pre-lighted ones that come in three sections. My hubby, Gordon, is rather fond of the new tree. The manger scene and Christmas village are soon to follow.

Truly, the No. 1 reason I love Christmas is to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, The birth of our Lord.  I am so glad He chose to come to dwell among men, and give us an opportunity to be clean before a Holy God.  Jesus came because He knew it was the only way to save mankind from the sinful state in which we were entangled. 

In Galatians 4:4-5, we read, “But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”  Jesus is the only way to God. He made a way when there was no way. We were in bondage under the law, and the law demands justice for sins committed.  Christ came to redeem us so we could be extended grace and mercy.  We now have the opportunity to come to God.  “Thank you, Jesus, for coming as a baby, living a sinless life, and dying on the cross to bear my sin, punishment, and shame.” 

Tonight as I am trimming my tree and spending time with my dear ones, I will continue to thank him for coming to earth and being willing to give what only He could give to me…Life Eternal. 

‘Tis the Season…