I’ve been quiet these past couple of months. It’s been an uneventful time… just “normal” life. Summer has ended, the kids are back in school and establishing a new routine again. Drop offs, pick ups, after school activities, sports, squeezing in every little thing. Then came Florence. Thankfully our lives are still able to go on as normal, but tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of people will not have normal again for a very long time. They have lost almost everything in the wake of this disaster, some even lost their lives. I read the story of the 3 month old, not far from where we live, who was killed by a tree landing on the mobile home they lived in; the 1 year old who was swept away in a car by the flood waters outside of Charlotte; and the mother and her baby who were also killed by a tree falling on their home, along with so many other stories of loss. By last night my heart just couldn’t take it; these precious babies, gone too soon, and the family members that are left behind to grieve them. Then I remembered… He is Good! Those little souls are in HEAVEN. And as much as I KNOW their families are aching for their losses… I pray that they each remember that because of our Father’s ultimate sacrifice, they can see these sweet ones again some day!
I was struck this morning with an urgent desire to share, again, the goodness of our Father, His promises, and what we have to look forward to. I have no intention or desire to preach at you, only to offer some encouragement to those who may need it. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” The storms may rage, literally and figuratively, but He has promised us that He has great plans for us. And not just some of us. Each and every one. I encourage you, right now, to pick up your Bible, or open your Bible app and read Psalm 139 (one of my personal favorites). This chapter has carried me through some very difficult times these past 15 months and has always reminded me of how unique and valued I am to The One who created me. He pursues my heart and seeks an intimate spiritual relationship with me. He promises great things for us because He knows us better than anyone or anything in existence… He knows the desires of our hearts but He also longs to be our greatest desire!
I’m getting sidetracked. I can’t pretend to comprehend what is happening in the lives of countless people across our two states… the country even, but what I can say is that God is Good. I can’t answer the question, “Why did God allow this to happen?” or “Why did He do this?”. It’s one that I’ve asked myself until I’m blue in the face and have yet to come up with a good understanding of. But every day I continue to grow in my realization that I may NEVER know why. Because it is not mine to understand right now. What I continue to believe and trust in is that because He loves us so wholly and unconditionally, He wants only the very best for us. And although the road may get bumpy from time to time… maybe even seem impassable, with God we can.
I have daily struggles with things in my life that I have no control over, things that leave me wondering what in the world is happening. I’ve been left feeling utterly worthless and incapable, unimportant and undervalued, alone and inadequate. Then God reminds me, whether through His voice spoken to my heart, or that of a friend, telling me that my worth is not of this world. Measuring my value in how much I can do, my job, my friends, my coworkers, my family, or my STUFF… it is not what God ever intended for me. Or for you! “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold… but with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18). Each of us is worth the life of God’s own Son.
I feel like I’ve been a little bit all over the place with this today, but the past couple of weeks have shown me, through some good times and some tough ones, that God is near to His children. Too often I’ve allow the devil to begin to plant seeds in my mind, and these seeds grow at a furious speed. But my God is good… and because my heart is His, I always wake up to what is happening inside my mind and allow His goodness to wash over me and His name to speak life and light back in to my heart. So in times of despair, let Him do the same for you! Don’t give the enemy any pleasure in knowing that he is stealing even a moment of your joy!
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4:4
I shared this with a friend today, which was what ultimately set me on fire to share what was on my heart today… I hope it can speak to you the way it continues to speak to me!