Monday, January 30, 2012

in every single detail...

A Starbucks gift card. A special smile from my sweet girl.   A song sung in church that spoke directly to my heart.  A good home-cooked meal eaten around my mama's kitchen table.  A reusable grocery bag.

What do all these things have in common?

Every single detail was orchestrated by God.  Every single one. 

God is in the business of blessing us in the midst of our storms.  We just have to stay focused on Him and recognize the blessings as they come.

You have given him blessings that will last forever.
   You have given him the joy of being near you.
~Psalm 21:6

After a rather emotionally brutal weekend, it is nice to sit back and reflect on how God had His hand in every single detail of the events that took place this weekend.

Without going into detail, some situations took place that took a toll on my heart.  A heart that truly has good intentions, but still a sinful heart. The heart of a sinner. 

The story could end there.  I could bore you with the mundane details of how it all unfolded.  But I won't.  Because that is not the real story.

The real story is a story of grace.  A story about how my Maker works all things together for good.  A story about how my Creator pours out His abundant blessings on me day after day, minute after minute.  Only this time, my eyes were open to His work.  I refused to close my eyes and focus on the negative.  Instead, I sought Him like crazy through the tears.  And this is how the story unfolds.

Before any of the events of this weekend took place, my Savior knew every small detail.  He wove it all together beautifully.

Saturday was spent in lots of prayer as I cleaned house.  Then, the mail came.  Bills, bills, ads, and then a small brown envelope addressed to me.  Inside, a Starbucks gift card from a high school friend.  Months and months ago, this friend had asked me to pray about a situation that I really knew nothing about.  Last week, God put this person on my heart and I reached how to see how the situation was.  Again, I do not know any details about the situation.  I only knew to pray.  I know that God worked in that situation to restore a couple's marriage...a couple who were friends of my friend.  So, this friend, mailed me a gift card to Starbucks, with a note that read, "God put you on my mind--thought this would be a nice surprise." Well, most people would see this as a nice gesture.  I see this as a huge blessing.  God knew the precise moment that I would open that card.  And He knew that my heart would be in shambles.  He knew that this surprise would cause tears of joy. 

God knew that each smile from my daughter would bring lasting happiness to my hurting soul.  He knew that with each smile it would erase a little bit of the hurt.  This weekend, I chose not to just see my daugther's smile.  I chose to see how my Jesus lavishes His unending love on me through Sweet Petite's smile.

A song sung in worship yesterday spoke directly to my heart.  You see, God knew the exact day that song would be sung.  And He knew that my heart would need to hear it.  Here are the lyrics....

Jesus, Draw Me Nearer

May this journey bring a blessing
May I rise on wings of faith
And at the end of my heart's testing
With Your likeness let me wake

Jesus draw me ever nearer
As I labor thro' the storm
You have called me to this passage
And I'll follow tho' I'm worn

Jesus guide me thro' the tempest
Keep my spirit staid and sure
When the midnight meets the morning
Let me love You even more

May this journey be a blessing
May I rise on wings of faith
And at the end of my heart's testing
With Your likeness let me wake

Let the treasures of the trial
Form within me as I go
And at the end of this long passage
Let me leave them at Your throne

Jesus draw me ever nearer
Jesus draw me ever nearer
Jesus draw me ever nearer to You
To You

And just like a good song brings healing to the heart, a home-cooked meal at your mama's house, enjoyed with family, brings abundance to the soul.  Lunch yesterday healed my soul through and through.  This meal was planned long before the events of the weekend took place.  Yet, God knew it would be just what I needed.

And just in case I wasn't paying attention to His abundant blessings over the weekend, He decided to lavish me with one more this morning.  A reusable grocery bag.  But not just any reusable grocery bag.  A Clemson reusable grocery bag.  Given to me by my boss, who, by the way, is a diehard Gamecocks fan. 

I am absolutely giddy over His handiwork.  Giddy, I tell you.  I mean, who could orchestrate such a mighty plan under such dire circumstances.  Only God.  Only Him.

I have always believed that God has a plan for everything and that He is a part of every detail of the plan.  I mean, after all, He basically gave Noah a blueprint for the ark.  I am not sure what His plan is after the events of the weekend.  But I do know this, He is working it for good.  And it will be bring Him glory.  Perhaps being confident of those promises made it easier to focus on the blessings this weekend.

I choose to count this current trial as pure joy.  Because God has something bigger in mind.  He always does.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,
whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith
 produces perseverance.
Let perseverance finish its work
so that you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything.
~James 1:2-4

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