I know….it’s been DAYS! I’m rotten, I know. But during this time of uncertainty and (a little) worry, God has been doing some amazing things. In and of themselves, they are little, nothing like a sea being parted or my house being miraculously paid off by Matthew McConayummy because he was so thankful for the advice I gave a few posts back….
…but they are reassurances that God is definitely keeping His eye on us and He’s moving and working around us. And for me, that is keeping me breathing regularly.
Last week, I was trudging through Ezekial. Yes, I said trudging, I know that’s not nice, but my husband lost his job of 7 years, I’ve lost 1/3 of my income this week, and I’m having a difficult time reading about how God is going to punishment the Israelites. Yes, the deserved it. TOTALLY. But I don’t desire to read about it this week. So I came to a decision and I told God, I’m skipping it.
(and He DIDN’T strike me with lightning! LOL Can you believe my nerve?)
But I was going to skip it: I just can’t do it anymore, God. I’m sorry. I’ll come back to it, but I’m skipping it for now…..
And then I came to November 16th in my Daily Bible, Ezekial chapter 34 and I stopped completely. Let me share it with you (I’m only putting in certain verses because it’s LONG):
God, the Master, says: From now on, I myself am the shepherd. I’m going looking for them. As shepherds go after their flocks when they get scattered, I’m going after my sheep. I’ll rescue them from all the places they’ve been scattered to in the storms…..I’ll feed them on the mountains of Israel, along the streams, among their own people. I’ll lead them into lush pasture so they can roam the mountain pastures of Israel, graze at leisure, feed in the rich pastures on the mountains of Israel. And I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep. I myself will make sure they get plenty of rest. I’ll go after the lost, I’ll collect the strays, I’ll doctor the injured, I’ll build up the weak ones and oversee the strong ones so they’re not exploited.
‘I’ll make a covenant of peace with them. I’ll banish fierce animals from the country so the sheep can live safely in the wilderness and sleep in the forest. I’ll make them and everything around my hill a blessing. I’ll send down plenty of rain in season—showers of blessing! The trees in the orchards will bear fruit, the ground will produce, they’ll feel content and safe on their land, and they’ll realize that I am God when I break them out of their slavery and rescue them from their slave masters.
They’ll live safe and sound, fearless and free. I’ll give them rich gardens, lavish in vegetables—no more living half-starved, no longer taunted by outsiders.
They’ll know, beyond doubting, that I, God, am their God, that I’m with them and that they, the people Israel, are my people. Decree of God, the Master:
You are my dear flock, the flock of my pasture, my human flock,
And I am your God.
Decree of God, the Master.'”
And I just sat. And I just stared at that chapter. And then I read it over and over. I am your God. You are my dear flock. He is our Shepherd. We have done a lot of reading of His Word, and a LOT of praying. My husband is spending just as much time in the Word and in prayer, as he is job-hunting.
And then God said, pray this chapter. Put it into prayer form and pray it. So I sat, put it into prayer form and have been praying it. And cried. And said I was sorry for telling Him I was skipping parts to please myself.
Heh. I’m not perfect. I’ve always said it. I admit my mistakes (publicly in a blog for goodness sakes) and apologize and carry on.
And then immediately after Ezekial 34, for the days readings was Hebrews 13 (which I’ve already read) and jumping out at me was (again I’m only including certain verses as this is getting quite long):
Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love. Be ready with a meal or a bed when it’s needed……Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,”
Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship—a different kind of “sacrifice”—that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets.
Just in this last week, since Mike was laid off from his job, we have had the opportunity to share food and water, as well as Christ, with 3 homeless men, Chandler was able to do a Samaritan’s purse Shoe Box I didn’t think we’d be able to do, and we were able to help another family that needed gas money.
I don’t want to be the kind of person that goes through rough times, and loses my heart for other people. Not that I would ever do that…..ever….. 😉 We have next to nothing, I can’t share with you. I have to keep it for just in case…. I want to be the kind of person that trusts in God, and gives what I feel led to give.
And in this last week, these are the things that God has done for us:
Requests for photography sessions have POURED IN:
(thanks Kerrie and Travis!)
My favorite cake-baker in the entire WORLD made me a cake just because she likes me:
(Thank you, Jordan!) I may or may not have actually licked it right in front of her. heheheheh. 🙂
We have had 2 random people just give us $100. (I don’t have pictures of that. 😉 It’s in the savings account.)
I had a very nice person at church give me a new wallet! And it happens to have been bought in C@MBODIA which really just ups it’s incredible value all the more to me because it came from C@MBODIA….like, actually purchased in C@mbodia….And I won’t mention his name either so I won’t embarrass Jeff by calling him sweet. He’s gagging right now if he actually made it through this terribly long blog. He says I write too much. 😉 HAHAHAHAHA
And I had a random reader that just happened upon my blog offer to send me a new purse! And it’s really an adorable purse!
I’ve had people at church I didn’t even know come up to us in church to let us know they are praying for us! I’ve had friends stop what they are doing and pray with me. And I’ve seen my family pull together and concentrate more on what is truly important.
So, it’s a scary time if I’ll let it be. Or it can be a time for God to bl0w my socks off with His incredible blessings and love.
And I’ve chosen the latter.
Hug someone extra tight today. And when you see the homeless man on the side of the road with his sign that says “Will work for food”, instead of turning your head away and not making eye contact, give him a gift bag with snacks and a bottle of water. Maybe a pepsi or dr pepper if you’re extra blessed. And let him know that God loves him.