My Father is so good. In a week that could have been frantic, He used His Word and His people to lift me up, give me hope, and keep me on track. Two years ago, I would have had a meltdown, yet now I find that I don’t need the same comforts of this world that were my crutch in the past. There’s no way I can fully explain in the brevity of this post what He has done, but I would like to highlight a few things.
Jeremiah 29:11. It’s Jonathan’s favorite verse.
Always having to be “different,” I have more or less overlooked it. It’s a lot of people’s favorite verse, right?
My Father got my attention with it this week though. It was a part of my study, Cultivating Holy Beauty (Jessie North), from my women’s group. I couldn’t avoid it. In my arrogance, I thought it was so commonplace that it couldn’t speak to me deeply. I mean, it’s a great verse, but it seems pretty self-explanatory. I think the problem in my thinking was “self.”
I had started having some for real anxiety about Russia, Ukraine, and all the fallout from this conflict. I am a deep empathizer, so I was hurting for the people in these countries and the additional adverse effects around the world. Selfishly, too, I was panicking for how these might impact my sons. Jon and I can fend for ourselves, ha! Then came my quiet time with this verse. I can’t explain how God did it, but He spoke to me, calmed me, and erased all fear. All I had to do with sit with Jesus and His word. He has plans to prosper me. It just reiterates to me that every single part of His word is for my (our) good. It speaks to me, if only I give Him room.
Then I met with a friend with an incredible story. I wish I could tell it in detail, but all I can say is that her attitude, in her particular set of circumstances, changed my life. Instead of fear, she said “thank you, Jesus.” Instead of choosing herself, she chose others. What stands out the most is how she faced her dread. Jesus changed her mind on anxiety and dread to….”I get to…” And those words changed my life, too. Simple cognitive, behavioral therapy really.
The enemy has thrown a lot at me this week.
There’s going to be a food shortage in Europe. Ezra will go hungry. You will be closer to conflict. People aren’t going to listen to you. You are too insignificant to matter. The world is too far gone to respond to a saving Gospel. You are going to miss your moms, dad, brothers, sisters, etc. Look at all these great friends you have. You are nothing.
Well…I GET TO! I get to go to a place where God will show up and experience His grace and mercy and miracles. His love and compassion. His love for others. I get to see Him work miracles in people’s lives in the face of conflict. I get to be a vessel for the Holy Spirit to speak. I get to know that I am significant to the only One who matters. I get to see how He works in a world that seems too broken. I get to see lives saved! I get to know that, back home, I have people who love me. I get to pray for my family and friends. I get to do all this with my best friend and my son. I get to pray and trust God with my eldest son as he stays behind.
I get to love on Scotland’s people. And I get to know that I am really something because of Who lives in me. My Jesus (Jesus who, if you do not know him, wants to be yours, too, because of his great love for you!).
And not one thing about it has to do with me. You know the old saying, “Forget you!” Well, forget me!
Just get to know Jesus. ;)