Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Praising God for His Faithfulness and Goodness

     I need to write of God's goodness and faithfulness towards me this past week and a half.
     First though, a little background information: I've recently concluded the studies Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby and Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa TerKeurst, and from both of these I have gained a new perspective on God and my relationship with him.  The Holy Spirit has revealed two of his plans for me.  The first is that I've been reserved to be a good wife to a good man (all of which is a whole other story in and of itself).  The second is a more immediate plan -- to be less self-centered, and with God's help and grace, I've been trying to do this.  Specifically, I've been praying Colossians 3:12 for myself, that I would clothe myself in tenderhearted mercy (compassion), gentleness, kindness, humility and patience.
     And now for the preface: since I've moved into my new place, I've been feeling a little blue -- not full on depression, but the outskirts of it.  It was only today I realized that these blues are just some silly demons trying to get in the way of God's plan.  But my God is bigger and stronger, and he is mighty.
     God is mighty, and he is faithful.

     She and I haven't actually met yet in person, but I've discovered that my downstairs neighbor is thoughtful and kind.  Receiving thoughtfulness and kindess from people I hardly know, I always view as God's kindness to me.
      I haven't been feeling social and have not wanted to be around people or meet people I don't know the past several days, but Sunday a couple who sat behind me at church service introduced themselves.  I wouldn't count this as a blessing except for the beauty of hindsight -- it might have been God trying to keep me from hiding out in my lovely, little shell for too long.
      Another one on the "I haven't been feeling social" list: I have a friend trying to put together a little do, and God made me brave enough to help out by calling a couple people.  (Forgive me if I'm stereotyping, but I feel only introverts will truly understand what a big deal this one is.)
     I've been attending a women's Bible study with a friend.  My friend was unable to attend today because she was needed in childcare.  I still went -- dude, I need to get out of the house!  As the minutes ticked by, I kind of wanted to be there less and less, which was due to a few factors: I had missed breakfast because I'd stayed in bed too long, so I was hungry, which, for me, equals cranky; I scheduled a much-needed grocery shopping trip for after Bible study, which I wasn't looking forward to; and I was just generally tired and still a bit gloomy.  After study, I ended up finagling an invitation to lunch out of these two nice sisters.  Well, they invited me, but I feel like I maybe manipulated the situation -- I didn't, I just feel like I did.  However it happened, their invitation was an answer to prayers, even one answer I hadn't asked for.
     And that answer I hadn't asked for -- God's been giving me that answer a lot today.  I'm not writing here what that specific answer is -- what's important is that it's an answer to a request I'd never made.  Something God just did. It's an answer I'm uncomfortable accepting.  I suppose this is what it means to "clothe yourself in...humility" (Col. 3:12) because I'm having to set aside my pride and allow someone else to be a blessing in my life.
     God reveals his plan to the individual (e.g. for me to be less self-centered) and then provides that individual with the gifts, talents, opportunities, etc. to obey him.

"Great is Thy faithfulness, O God, my Father.  There is no shadow of turning with Thee.  Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not; as Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be."

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