God’s faithfulness

On January 1, 2012, I began to read through the Bible using the 3650 plan. I had no idea on that first day of that year just how full of suffering 2012 would be. (Isn’t God good not to overwhelm us with future knowledge?) I used a brand new ESV Bible, and I marked it up, sometimes jotting a date beside a Psalm. Oh, what a treasure that Bible is to me! Immersing myself in Scripture was truly a means of grace that terrible year, and now I have such reminders of God’s faithfulness jotted in margins. It’s almost like a journal.

This particular Bible is fairly compact, so while I’m using a different one in my daily reading, I take this one to church. Last Sunday as I was flipping to the Psalm we were reading, I passed Psalm 57 and saw the note:

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Psalm 57 was the one I “happened” to read on that dark day as I worked my way through the 3650 plan. And how appropriate it was! Just look at God’s encouragement to me on that saddest of days:

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.

I cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfills his purpose for me.

He will send from heaven and save me;
he will put to shame him who tramples on me.
God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!

My soul is in the midst of lions;
I lie down amid fiery beasts–
the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!

They set a net for my steps;
my soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my way,
but they have fallen into it themselves.

My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!

Awake my glory!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.

For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!

Oh, how good God is to us with His Word! This Psalm was true for David in the cave as he fled from Saul thousands of years ago, and it was true for a brokenhearted, grieving, and weak woman in southwest Georgia on a hot summer day in 2012. And it’s been true for countless believers in between and since.

I knew, even in the depths, that God was with me and for me, and I had to take every step in faith because I just couldn’t see how He would work out His plan for me. And, of course, I have no idea what’s coming, what other valleys He will lead me through.

That year I marked every reference to God’s steadfastness and faithfulness I came across because I clung to that aspect of His character. And He proved Himself over and over. He still does, even as He reminds me in this joyful season of life that He has been with me all the way — comforting me, strengthening me, and preparing me to meet Paul. It is good to look back and see how God fulfills His purpose for me.

I begin this Sunday full of joy and gratitude at how good my God has been to me. He was good to me in that valley, and He is good to me today. He is good all the time.

With a joyful heart,

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random thoughts

~ I just noticed the theme of the grocery list hanging on my fridge.  Milk, Keurig, LaCroix, Coke… Only beverages.  Not much cooking going on these days! I’m looking forward to returning to some domesticity after my honeymoon.

~ 9 days until I marry this guy!

~ Is it just me or are the news headlines this week more depressing than usual?

~ Auburn football kicks off TOMORROW! I’ve got a busy day and and a long to-do list to take care of before that kickoff.

~ random thoughts, random photos:

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~ As I mentioned above, I haven’t been cooking lately, and I miss it. But yesterday I had lunch at Liam’s with some friends and then supper at Jonah’s with Paul. It was the perfect Thomasville day. And earlier this week I went to a work party at Sweet Grass and met with two friends for reception planning at Grassroots. We have some good eats in this little town. Which explains why I had to swap the dress I’m wearing to my wedding for a larger size.

~ I finally had an evening this week to clean my house. I can’t tell you how much better I feel and how much I thoroughly enjoyed such a mundane task! I’m even getting up earlier in the mornings because I enjoy my tidy surroundings.

~ A peeve: I get annoyed when I’m making a purchase in a store and the cashier/salesperson never says a word — not “hi”, “you’re total is _____,” “thank you,” etc.  And then when I say “thank you,” she says “you’re welcome” like she just did me a huge favor.

~ A positive: I’m so grateful for where I work. I imagine it would be terrible to spend 40 hours a week with people you didn’t like or get along with. I’m so thankful for the pleasant, positive, and funny people I’m with during my work week.

~ The “Rant & Rave” section of our local newspaper can be pretty funny:

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And with that I wish you a Happy Friday and a good Labor Day Weekend,

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“Here’s my peace, my consolation, my ballast…”

everydayprayersFrom Scotty Smith’s Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith:

Like most, I have an aversion to pain and suffering. Like many, I’d love for the Christian life to be an antidote for all discomfort and distress. Like some, I get overwhelmed and overtaxed by the sufferings of others. Here’s my peace, my consolation, my ballast, Jesus: you’re not calling us to suffer for you but to suffer with you, and that makes all the difference in the world. We’re called into the fellowship of your sufferings, not into the isolation of our sufferings. You’ll never lead us into hard places where you’re not present. You’ll never leave us or forsake us, Jesus. You will lead justice to victory, and in your name all the nations will put their hope. I pray in your kind and compassionate name. Amen.