Friday began with a restlessness that I could not put into words. All day I kept wondering why I could not be at ease. You know the butterfly type queasiness you get when you think something bad is about to happen to change your world. I prayed out loud to the Lord the scripture that always comes to my mind in those moments.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:6-7
I prayed it several times yet I could not shake the feeling but I had surrendered the worry to Jesus’ care.
I left work early to go to an ultrasound appointment with my son and daughter-in-law. We were going to get a 3D/4D video and pictures of the baby. I was excited to see the baby moving but was not fully prepared for the overwhelming feelings I had at seeing this sweet miracle of life. We got to see the whole baby, from top to bottom. Hands, fingers, feet, toes, ribs, arms, legs, bottom, gender, back, head, face and the tongue. Yes, babies, stuck its tongue out. I say babies, because we are not revealing the gender until the baby shower, only I know what it is….tune in later for the news! Babies kept grabbing onto the umbilical cord to hug it or put it in its mouth. At 26 weeks it is just the most precious proof of a sovereign creator.
There was a moment when the technician snapped a picture of babies with its hand up toward its face. It looked to be praying. It was at that moment the name of my grandchild popped into my head. I believe it was the Holy Spirit giving me the name. On my way home from the appointment I kept saying it out loud. I loved it, O what a beautiful name! Of course I would have to live with whatever name the kids gave babies but in Grammy’s mind I already had a name. Later in the evening our family watched the video we had purchased of the ultrasound on our television. When my son and I were alone I asked him what names they were thinking of for a boy and a girl. He told me the list of names and guess what??? YES, the name the Lord had spoken to me was on their list. I got goosebumps and said almost in tears, “Are you kidding me???”I told him what name came to me when I saw the picture and he was amazed! (He found out the gender at the appointment because he could not wait any longer but promised not to tell) We both had huge smiles on our face! And this Grammy had praise in her heart for a God so personal and intimate that He gives confirmation of His presence in a name.
Saturday came. I had planned a Scrap-booking Crop for Saturday at our church. Had 6 ladies come and it was a great day for fellowship and getting work done on some of my albums. And it just happen to be National Scrapbook Day, Yeah! I enjoyed being with friends and working through my creative outlet but I still had a nagging feeling something was wrong somewhere. I called my kids to check on them. Texted my husband a couple of times and just kept praying the prayer, trusting Him with all that may be ahead.
Sunday arrived. The morning service went well and the message was right on target as usual. But it was a strange day for mishaps. A few things misplaced and forgotten but thankfully the day ended well. Early in the day I sorted through a box filled with notes, cards and letters given to me over the years. As I opened them and read them the person writing them immediately came to mind. Their face and their life flowed through my memory. Their voice was in my head. I could hear them speaking to me, crying with me, laughing with me, praying with me or for me. It is amazing to me that God gave us a memory that at any given moment a sight, a sound, a smell, a word or picture can take us to a moment in time as if no time had passed.
Later we attended the Sunday evening bible study. There was a great discussion on pursuing after Jesus and also how we can miss out on what God has for us by losing confidence in our faith and giving up. As Peter did in stepping out onto the water when he saw Jesus. He pursued Jesus by asking first if it was really Him. Then he stepped out of the boat onto the water in faith. When he took his eyes off the Lord and onto the raging waves he became afraid and began to sink. It was then Peter cried out, “Save me, Lord.” And of course Jesus did.
The observation was made that many interpret Peter to have lost his faith in Jesus by becoming afraid but he suggested that Peter had lost confidence in his own faith, that it was not strong enough to keep him walking forward on the water. That spoke to me about how we often think we are unworthy to serve God. How we, continuously, are so consumed with our own failures that we give up and stop serving or pursuing Jesus. We stop short of the blessings God has for us in our lives.
We know the story of how Peter denied the Lord when Jesus was arrested. Jesus, himself foretold this to Peter and he did not want to believe he would ever deny his Lord. But he had done the very thing the Lord said he would do. Do you know, according to Scripture that Simon Peter is the first person Jesus appeared to after his resurrection? Perhaps to reassure him that He was still loved and still chosen. Can you imagine that meeting? Oh what love must have been in the Saviors eyes when Peter realized who it was appearing to him. On the day of Pentecost the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and Peter was so overwhelmed that he began to preach and 3,000 were saved that day. And so began the church. What if he had given up on his faith when Jesus had died on the cross? What if he decided he could never serve Christ again because of his failure? Thankfully he did not give up and received Christ forgiveness and love. He humbled himself under the Lord’s teaching and was built up in his faith. He became one of the boldest preachers of the Gospel ever known this side of the Heaven. Doesn’t that encourage you? It certainly encourages me!
When we fail the Lord, do we recognize Him when he comes after us? He pursues us each and every day through His Word, through others and through his creation. He waits for us to fellowship with Him. Do we run to him when we realize our mistakes? How much do we want Him in our lives? How much are we willing to deny ourselves and run after Him? Those were questions several asked in our group last night which are still on my mind today.
Well, here it is Monday morning. The weekend has come and gone. The feeling I had Friday is not nagging me any longer and as I awoke this morning I was glad that it had disappeared. Though I am not sure it is related, I had some terrible news this morning when I logged onto Facebook. A friend whom I have known for many years passed away on Saturday. I did not know at first how she passed away. I assumed it was her heart. She struggled for many years, as my sister did, with a drug addiction. It nearly destroyed her life. But by God’s grace she overcame it and was married several years ago to a wonderful man. She was attending school and making many positive changes in her life. I had not seen her face to face in several years but we often chatted on Facebook. I was so very proud of her and so thrilled that she was living what seemed a vibrant and happy life. When a short time passed after reading the news it was then I found out through a mutual friend that she took her life. I am in shock. I could not even imagine what was going through her mind at that moment. And my heart breaks for her family. Her dear family left to pick up the pieces. Left to ask the age-old question, why? It is the second time in a year that I have heard the news of friend taking their life. in such a manner. While I have experienced despair and devastation I can not imagine what held them in such grip to make them want to end it all. I am reminded again of Peter sinking into the water, looking at the raging waves instead of Jesus, the master and creator of the sea. Peter called out, “Lord, save me”
I find a familiar thread running through the past few days.
- God is the creator of all things and He is sovereign over all. Psalm 135:6
- God does not change because of our circumstances, it is our perspective that changes when we fail to keep our eyes on Him. Psalm 102:12, 25-28
- God knows what lays ahead of us and will equip us to handle it if we consistently walk in obedience to His Word. Jeremiah 29:11
Life is full of unexpected experiences, a miracle of life one minute and the tragic loss of life in the next. There are moments when life clicks and everything falls into place and there are moments when it is all out of sync and everything falls apart. I can not imagine living my life without God, without the one who has numbered my days and knows the very number of hairs on my head. He is so intimate and personal that He knows where to fill every ache in my soul with peace.
Lest you think walking with Christ is easy, it is not. It is a life of endless discovery of the good and bad in our hearts, forsaking the bad and choosing the good. It is a life of trying to do what is right every single time according to God’s Word. It is a life often filled with our cries to God for mercy & grace, which He freely gives. It is a life of continually dying to self for His glory. It is a life of far greater reward than any earthly riches can buy. And only if you choose to pursue Jesus will you discover this wonderful truth for yourself. Because when you call out, “Lord, save me.” He does!
Grace to you all,
Dedicated to my friends Marian S. & Michelle R. ~ may God use their circumstances in life and in death to reach someone for Jesus Christ.