Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Security of God's Presence - Dinner #62

     I’m SO grateful that God has chosen to give another Little Blessing to our home! I’m rejoicing in the fact that God reached down from Heaven and is making my body ABLE to carry another baby, despite the world warning me differently!  But there are so many times, when I look around me and wonder, can I really do this?! I’m struggling right now, just dealing with an active 13-month-old who’s had runny diapers and been staining outfits left-and-right for the past week!  HOW ON EARTH will I EVER do dishes or keep up with laundry when I’m back to sitting on the couch, nursing for 8 hours out of the day? Or how will I EVER properly correct and discipline as Brooklyn moves into the 2-year-old stage? Am I really READY for two children? I think I need to re-memorize Psalm 57:7 – “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.” And then there’s my special verse in Psalm 113:9 - “He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children . . .” A JOYFUL mother of children!  Yes! Ok! I can do this! I just have to trust in the Lord! I’ll be joyful! It will all work out! And then I begin to question and doubt again . . .
    What other thoughts have been plaguing this expectant mother’s mind? I have no idea where this baby is going to be born!  Is the Lord suddenly going to supply the job, the house, and the money required, for us to make a long-distance move? If we stay here, can we possibly fit two cribs in that one small bedroom? How can I start planning, rearranging and decorating for this poor little one, if I don’t even know where we’re going to be in the next few months? Will I even still be here NEXT month, to find out the baby’s gender, or will we be caught in the middle of an insurance transition? My mind just wants to go CRAZY sometimes with all of the wonderings, the fears, and the “what ifs”!
     Do you know what I KNOW that I need, more than anything, right now? THE SECURITY OF GOD’S PRESENCE.  Psalm 36:7 declares, “How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.”  Our daughter Brooklyn usually cries HYSTERICALLY if someone is vacuuming in the house, but if someone else is HOLDING HER during the vacuuming, she’s perfectly fine!  How often are we just like that? Completely flipping out when we’re overwhelmed and scared, unless we STOP and realize that we are being HELD by our Heavenly Father! Psalm 34:17 “The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.” Psalm 34:4 “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Not just one of my fears – ALL of them! How I need to hold onto that verse, once again!
     If I feel alone with my fears, Psalm 139:7 reminds me, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?” Why have I chosen to write about these things, tonight, as my baby girl is sleeping and my husband is working? Perhaps, because it is during the quiet moments, that we tend to THINK and to FEAR the most.  The month of July has threatened to choke my heart with fearful discouragement, this year.  I wrote this devotional because I NEEDED to write this devotional! I NEEDED these verses, this month! Are you, too, in need of the security of God’s Holy Presence, tonight? Then may we pray the words of Psalm 61:1-2, 4: “Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I . . . I will trust in the covert of thy wings.”  God Bless, Dear Sisters, and Goodnight!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Refreshing Your Spirit - Dinner #61

     Two weeks ago, my husband and I returned from a missionary training course at CAMP BIMI in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  If I could describe that week-long camp in one word, it would be “refreshing”.  What a blessing it was to our hearts!  I had attended the camp before, when I was in high school, but there was something about being able to leave the day-to-day world behind, that was so much more meaningful to me now than it was back then!  I didn’t have to cook meals! I didn’t change any diapers or prepare any bottles! I didn’t have to fight to “squeeze in” a devotional time!  I didn’t have the distractions of television or the internet! I think EVERY ONE of us needs some life moments like those!
     In Psalm 51:10+12, David cries out, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me . . . Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation . . .” When was the last time you closed out the “day-to day”, and just spent some time alone with God? When was the last time you played an inspirational CD, just for the sake of refreshing your spirit and reminding you that GOD IS GOOD? During our week at camp, I began reading through the book of Hosea. Hosea 2:15 says, “. . . and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth . . .”   Are there certain hymns or praise choruses that take you back to a specific camp meeting or Bible college dorm house? Jesus wants to RENEW YOUR JOY and to bring that musical rejoicing back to your heart! Hosea 6:3 declares, “. . . he shall come unto us as the rain . . .” Just as the rain refreshes and waters dry ground, the Lord Jesus desires to REFRESH OUR SPIRITS.  Will you allow Him to?
      Do you know what one of the most refreshing elements of CAMP BIMI was, this year? The TESTIMONIES of the other campers! Our electricity went out for several hours, during a storm, this past week, and as I used one candle to light another candle and another, I was reminded of those testimonies.  Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Just like being lit by someone else’s candle or being sharpened by their piece of iron, it is a BLESSING to hear how God is working in other people’s lives, and to know that He can do the same for YOU! If you cannot physically “get away” and listen to the stories of others, then I encourage you to READ them in biographies and autobiographies! Take note of the life examples that preachers use in their sermons! And let your spirit be lifted by the knowledge that our God is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
     Are you feeling dry and parched in your spirit? Are you caught up in the whirlwind of dishes, and laundry, and meal preparation? I have to admit that, since returning from camp, I have been overwhelmed on several occasions.  I need this reminder just as much as you do! In II Corinthians 4:16, Paul tells us that we don’t have to live a “parched” life. “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” I thank the Lord that He is in the business of REFRESHING AND RENEWING, if we will but allow Him to work in our lives!