Surely Goodness and Mercy

Psalm 23 flock

This past year has been a time of remembrance of God’s goodness and mercy as I wrote my soon-to-be-released memoir. The other side of this valley is nothing short of God’s goodness and mercy.

We serve an awesome God!

True, there are things we can accomplish on our own. But only God can turn an impossible this to a that, an improbable here to a there, and an inconceivable do to a have done. All we must do is move from where we are, trust Him, and rest assured His goodness and mercy follow close behind.

So if you are in a hard place, don’t give up. God wastes nothing. He will bring a good from every situation.

Reflection: How do you see God’s goodness and mercy when looking back through your life?

Blessings in Disguise

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. Isaiah 43:2

This past week I read an article written by Courtney Westlake on Michelle Cushatt’s blog, Making Peace With an Imperfect Life. In the post, Westlake talked about preconceived ideas in our lives—how we think something should be or ought to be.

Life teaches us to expect certain outcomes in certain situations. Plant a garden, reap produce. Get married, have babies. Work hard, enjoy retirement. Serve God, be blessed. Right? But what happens when things don’t turn out the way we imagine? What if the blessings come in unrecognizable packages?

“Sometimes, when something is different than we anticipated or hoped for, it leaves us disappointed, confused or even grieving a kind of loss.” Courtney Westlake

As you can tell, the story resonated with me because I’ve lived long enough to know we don’t always get what we imagined. As children, we imagine a blessed life to be:

  • happily ever afters
  • healthy babies
  • perfect jobs
  • more-than-enough income
  • successful kids
  • retirement
  • disease-free lives

But then life happens and the enemy whispers, “Where is your God in all of this?”

Sometimes, the questions are instantly silenced. Othertimes, years may pass before the taunts are quietened. Still, other questions will never be resolved until we stand face to face with Him. In those instances, let us be reminded we are not alone.

I don’t think…

  • Job thought he would lose all and be stricken with a disease that left him sitting on a trash heap listening to accusations from his so-called friends.
  • Joshua and Caleb pictured themselves remaining in the wilderness for forty years watching their kinsman die when they departed Egypt.
  • Mary imagined herself pregnant and unmarried.
  • The disciples visualized their Royal Deliverer hanging on a cross and buried in a grave.

 

At the onset of heartache, we see nothing but what we didn’t get or what we’ve lost. That is the goal of the enemy of our souls. However, whether that heartache is divorce, disease, or even death,  we are blessed because God is right there with us through it all. He will never leave us nor forsake us.

  • Job talked with God.
  • Joshua and Caleb saw the promises of God.
  • Mary birthed the Savior, Emmanuel, God with us.
  • The disciples realized Jesus was more than just an earthly King. He was the Lamb of God.

Truth, we will face heartache that will almost destroy us, but in the end, if we allow God access to the deepest regions of our heart, that heartache will make us stronger. And what we see as a trial, will turn out to be the very blessing we need to teach us of God’s faithfulness.

We are blessed no matter our circumstances. God has always been and always will be with us through the waters of uncertainty, the rivers of faith, and the fires of impossibilities. And. He. Will. See. Us. Through.

May we always recognize the blessings in disguise!

What about you? Have you any blessings in disguise?

 

 

Click here to read A Different Beautiful

Click here for more on Courtney Westlake

 

 

Worthy Of Praise

Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Psalms 107:8

Psalms 107 is a song of thanksgiving and an exhortation to testify of the many blessings of God.

  • Deliverance
  • Safety
  • Redemption
  • Healing
  • Guidance
  • Blessings

Spring is a season of renewal. The earth wakes from winter’s nap and burst forth in song.

centerofhiswheel.com

centerofhiswheel.com

Everywhere I look, I behold the beauty of the Almighty’s hands. I see His handiwork in the heavens and in the earth. I breathe in His fragrance.

My faith is renewed. My spirit, uplifted. A joy like no other fills my soul. Do I have a reason to testify to friends and loved ones?

Yes!

When I read this chapter, I see that everything He promised, He delivered. If He did it then, He’ll do it now. Do I have reason to fret?

No!

From Genesis to Revelation, the writers testify of His faithfulness.

Everything He promised, He delivered.

 

And when I dig past the circumstances, when I push aside the worries, when I call to mind

centerofhiswheel.com

centerofhiswheel.com

all the times He has seen me through, I can praise His name!

However, praise, like water, will not flow from a dry well. It must be primed. When my mind is filled with clutter, and it seems I have nothing to praise Him for, I look to the cross.

Praise, like water, will not flow from a dry well.

 

He came looking for me when no one else did. He loved me when no one else did. He

centerofhiswheel.com

centerofhiswheel.com

helped me when no one else could. He healed my wounds. He guided my steps. He blessed me beyond measure

He alone is worthy of praise.

Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Psalms 107:8

 

When I praise His name in the midst of my trials, my circumstances change. He lifts me above my sorrows, eases my pain, and gives me strength to face another day.

Blessed be the name of the Lord!