Wednesday, April 29, 2015

All Of Our Riches Are In Christ

My daughter says, "The answer to everything is Christ".

I recently spoke with someone who visited a food shelf. They needed food and knew they could get help there. However, they knew they couldn't get certain items there, such as milk, olive oil, bread and eggs. The food shelf never has fresh items like that, so they prayed and asked the Lord to provide the money so that they could buy those 4 items from the supermarket. They told me that the people there always are so good to them and try to help as much as they can. They picked out the items they needed and upon leaving, one food shelf volunteer said to them, "could you use a gallon of olive oil? How about milk? Oh, and could you use bread and eggs"? This person told me they were amazed. I pointed out to them that we, as earthen vessels, think so narrowly when it comes to God. They asked God to provide money so they could go and buy. Instead, he did exceedingly, abundantly, more than they asked, or even thought possible. He gave them the items!

So often we tell the Lord what we need, asking him to provide in a particular way, with the intention that "if you'll just do this much I'll do the rest". The fact is He already knows our need before we ask. (Matthew 6:8)
He gives us good things. (James 1:17)

His gifts and his calling are irrevocable. (Romans 11:29)

God help us to really trust you. Help us to rest in you with the knowledge and understanding that all of our riches are in you. (Philippians 4:19)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Father's Love

My husband and I have very recently had a new grandson born. With one phone call, "at the drop of a hat", we drove nearly 5 hours to be there with our daughter, Kelly, our son in-law, Nathaniel, and to greet baby Caleb when he arrived. We barely slept a wink that night because of praying every moment. Praying for strength, peace, health, well-being, wisdom, you name it.

After being in labor all night, Kelly's doctor told her that she felt it was necessary to perform a c-section. Every time she had a contraction the baby's heart beat would drop dramatically. The doctor felt that because baby Caleb was so small (4 lbs-8 oz) that he would not have enough reserve to tolerate the natural birthing process.

Caleb was born about 7:45 a.m., delivered by c-section. During the procedure the doctor discovered that the umbilical cord was wrapped around Caleb's neck very tightly. This of course explains why his heart beat dropped so dramatically each time Kelly had a contraction. His air way was being cut off. If not for the hand of God, guiding and giving wisdom to the doctor, Caleb could have easily died during natural birth. Instead, because of the mighty hand of God, he arrived crying loudly showing us he had very healthy lungs!

As I got quiet before the Lord today to give him "proper thanks" the tears began to flow. And I could not shut them off. I told the Lord how grateful I am for what he did. And I began, once again, to count our families' many blessings. I recalled the words of my brother saying, "I've watched. And God walks with your family".

I couldn't stop the flow of tears, not only because I was recalling so many blessings, but also because I was struck by how much our Heavenly Father loves us. Matthew 7:11 says, "If you then, imperfect as you are, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

My husband and I made a small sacrifice. We dropped everything, drove a long way, stayed awake all night, prayed; sat in hard hospital chairs, and waited. We waited patiently and excitedly for this new baby. And as we waited, the love that we have felt for him all these months started to bubble over. Jeremiah 1:5 says, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you". That's how we felt. This child that we had been praying for these last 9 months, we already knew him. And now here we are, sitting in the waiting room eager to finally meet him.

On our drive home we received several phone calls congratulating us. One of our friends jokingly said to my husband, "are you excited"? My husband joked back, "no, not really. I've done this before. OF COURSE WE'RE EXCITED"! You see, it didn't matter how many grandchildren we have, we love each one with a love that just can not be explained. There's a place in our hearts for each one that can not be filled by any other.

John 14:2 tells us that "In His house are many mansions". If we, being imperfect, love like this, how much more does our Father in Heaven love each one of his children? That's why the tears flowed today. Because I am amazed at the Father's love.