Thursday, February 21, 2013

If I could tell you a secret ...

... it would be this: you don't have to wonder - God does love you.

Want proof?  Breathe in.  Now exhale.

The mere fact that we have breath shows us we are created, protected, and known.

“God, the Lord, created the heavens and stretched them out.
    He created the earth and everything in it.
He gives breath to everyone,
    life to everyone who walks the earth.
And it is He who says,
‘I, the Lord, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness.
    I will take you by the hand and guard you,
and I will give you to my people, Israel,
    as a symbol of my covenant with them.
And you will be a light to guide the nations.’” 
            – Isaiah 42:5-6 (NLT) 

If you have anything good, it is because He gave it to you.  If what you see in your hands doesn't seem good, perhaps He is in the process of teaching you what His definition of good for you really is.  If you see evil around you, it could be His demonstration of how He can make good for you and through you, even out of the worst.  Because if He can show you that, you'll have no choice but to trust and praise Him.  Which is always His end-game.

How do I know this secret?  I found it here.

And what do we do once we know about this love?

Why, give it back, of course!  With a heart of gratitude

"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him, even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief." - [Paul to Timothy] 1 Timothy 1:12-13 (NLT)

I keep counting this Thursday and every day, of course.  Counting His love demonstrations for me every day, and counting with naming the endless love of my God is truly what gives me strength to do His work.  Here are a few, and perhaps you're counting by now too?  I sure hope so.

- for gifting T as a wonderful writer, and my privilege to edit with her

- flickering flame on a candle, and the reminder of Your presence with me

- "Who has first given to Me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine." (Job 41:11) ... Lord - You owe me nothing, and I too am Yours.

- Sisters ... know that prayer is more important than your breathing because your soul is more important than your life." -Ann Voskamp
- for the privilege of being exhausted for You, and for renewing, refreshing, and reviving me. "All my springs are in You." -Psalm 87:7 (MSG)

- food when we're all hungry

- for healing some insecure, hurt, bitter emotions in my heart, and the privilege of putting the control of my feelings into Your loving hand

- a warm, breezy day

- chocolate-chip banana bread, blueberry turnovers, and coffee

- writing together with my friends, and hearing some beautifully creative pieces

- the sleek, dark braid in a little girl's hair

- for the gift of humility, given to me through a time of dark sifting, when I was required to learn how to hear Your voice, and practice listening carefully

- for femininity and the privilege to stand up for the rights of girls and women

- song birds in my trees, and the bidding of impending spring ... soon, please, Lord ...

- silly giggles with little J, and her sweet hands, cheeks, and belly

- Your goodness over me, and the way you prove Your love and make good on Your promises

Jesus - thank You.  Your love is enough, and even more.  That you gave me Your life on a cross, and then gave me ALL OF THIS ... I am just bent low in praise.  I know now what love is.  Will You teach me even more?

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