This Sunday finds me in Orlando, with Mom now at the rehab hospital. It's been a tough week, what with bad reactions to pain medicine, poor sleep, and feeling out of control. But, in an attempt to help ease Mom's fears and calm her panic attacks, I've had to do something that I should have been doing all along: spending time in God's Word.
God likes to do that to me: when I'm not paying attention to Him, He'll drop me into chaos and then He'll remind me that true peace comes only from Him.
So, these past couple of days, He's given me some verses in Phillippeans 4...
First, verse 13: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." That has been a true source of comfort to me this week. It tells me that whatever comes my way, God has a plan to work it out, and that - if I obey and follow His lead - I can come through it. I can deal with it. I CAN do it, because El Shaddai, the Lord God Almighty, is with me and gives me strength. His strength never fails, even when I am beyond my last frail power.
God also put verse 8 in my mind: "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." Here, He reminds me that I need to focus on the good things, the rich and uncountable blessings that He has given me. Each of these things He has given me were unearned and undeserved, but He gave them to me anyway - because that's the kind of God He is. He loves to bless His children, He loves to see their joy. As His children, we need to remember all our Father has given us, and rejoice in His bounteous goodness.
And out of all the rich and gracious blessings He has given me, I can name the two that are the most important: He has given me His salvation, and He has given me breath and tongue to sing His praise. If He chooses to take all else away from me, I can still rejoice in Him and say, "Blessed is the Lord God Almighty! Blessed is the God of Israel, who loves and cherishes me, who died for my sins, and has risen again to give new and everlasting life! Blessed is He among all the people and in all the universe!"
Thanks, God. I don't say it enough. But thank You, Lord, for who You are and for what You've done. Thank You!