"But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing." Psalm 34:10
This verse is from my favorite passage in the Bible, Psalm 34 . I've read this passage probably more than any other chapter in the Bible. And it never gets old to me. (It was a special treat when Thomas, my six year old, memorized a good chunk of this passage in first grade this year. I loved listening to him recite it to me.) This week, as I read this passage, God took my mind to James 1:17: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." I'm so grateful to serve a God who knows what we need, when we need it, and exactly how it should be given to us. I can truly say the Lord has blessed me with many "good things." As I start a new year with Him, I can't help but think of the gifts he has given to me in years passed.
- His preparation in my life - It amazes me to look back at my life and see how God has prepared me for the ministry He has allowed me to serve in so far. When we came to the church and school where we serve, there was a need for a church pianist and JH/HS English teacher. I could do that! Yes, I was fresh out of college, but I had to start somewhere. And, no, I wasn't the best pianist in the world, but I was capable and willing. My husband was already serving in this ministry; I simply came on board. No resume or interview! My qualifications fit the vacancies. That is nothing but God! God had given me excellent teachers and role models to train me and prepare me for areas where I could be used to fill a need. Now I mostly stay home and he has brought other people (and better ones, in my opinion) to fill those spots. But that is also a gift! Presently, I can stay home with my children most days while seeing a ministry that I "babied" now flourish.
- His provision of our home - God literally dropped this home in our laps! Almost ten years ago, we went to see a loan agent to find out if we qualified for a loan. While we were sitting in her office, her real estate agent husband called, and upon finding out we were at her office, said he had a house we needed to see. It was close to the church, was a price we could afford, and was in a quiet little neighborhood. A few weeks later we were home owners! Has the home itself been perfect? Of course not. But living HERE has undoubtedly been in His will! We have had opportunity to be a testimony through our lives and words to a few families. Additionally, our next-door neighbors have become some of our dearest friends - whose boys are a GOOD influence on my boys. THAT in and of itself is a gift!
- His Peace - When I was in graduate school, I attended one summer session in which I was the only student! The university usually did not proceed with the class in that situation, but the Department Head insisted the class be offered anyways. For the next two weeks, the university's American Literature scholar led me in an intense study of American Colonial literature. I know that sounds like torture to some, but I loved it and thought I understood what a blessing I was receiving. Actually, I had no clue. You see, much of early American literature was written by the Puritans. The truly godly ones had great faith in God and proclaimed in their writings the blessing of His control in our daily lives. This particular professor pointed out several times that God's control over our lives was considered a blessing, not a constraint. I listened, took notes, and wrote the right answers on that test. The real test would come a couple of months later. At the end of that summer, we discovered (unexpectedly) that we would be having a baby. We were so excited! But when I was ten weeks along, we were told there was no heartbeat and I would need a D&C. After the shock, disappointment, and sadness had subsided just a little, my mind went back to the lectures and discussions of that class. God is in control! That brought me such peace. And, not ironically, the day I returned to teach my American Lit class, we were scheduled to cover Anne Bradstreet. For non-English buffs, Bradstreet is part of Puritan literature. Several of her poems express sadness at the passing of grandchildren (one even "in the bud" as mine was) but reassure the reader that there is comfort and rest in God's sovereignty. What a comfort to me! While I hesitate to call the miscarriage a blessing, I did consider it a blessing and a gift to stand in front of those Juniors and be able to teach that particular poem. God enabled me to get through the lesson (with dignity I believe); but more importantly, I believe I was given the gift of displaying the gift of PEACE to those kids because God had reminded me that HE was in control.
God has given us many "good things." But those are the few that have come to my mind often in the last several years and for which I am so thankful!
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