March 5, 2015
Happy Thursday, Blog World! What a great and glorious day it is today! I am happy to be alive and to be healthy. My little bit of mess is well-blessed (thinking of the Francesca Battistelli song titled, "This is the Stuff").
Yesterday was just awful, awful, awful. From start to finish, it was one of those "let's just forget it" days! I made the decision by mid-afternoon to forget about it (and all the details), but by early evening, all I wanted to do was hide under the covers of my bed (how is that for a rotten day?) I am glad that day was put to bed, so to speak, and that today is a beautiful new day. God has given us each day to experience His goodness and His mercy -- each day is a new opportunity to come to see how much He loves us and He cares for us (Psalm 55:22). For those who have placed their hope (their trust and their security) in the Lord, there is happiness (joy and peace) to follow. Yes, my hope and my reward is in the Lord, and it is in His name that I place my trust. Selah!
As I consider today and how each day is shaped by the passing moments, I realize just how instrumental the Lord is in creating and sustaining my life. Yes, nothing slips by the Lord. Nothing is beyond His care and His knowledge (Psalm 139). He knows everything about me -- my comings and my goings -- my needs, my wants, and my desires. Furthermore, He understands exactly what I need each day to live, to prosper, and to find success. He knows my Name, and He knows the plans He has for my life. I am not willy-nilly moving here or there; but rather, I am moving to the beat of a beautifully choreographed procession. I am walking along side of and with my Lord. It is a beautiful, a wonderful, and a very good thing, indeed! Selah!
The Lord is good to me. He is so very good to me. I know I write this statement every single day, but I cannot help but say it. In fact, I say it, I pray it, and I write it at least once or twice each day. It is something the Lord has placed on my heart, and I find that I cannot keep myself from repeating these words. I don't know why the Lord has chosen these specific words to place on my heart and mind, but suffice it to say, He has done so.
I can remember the day when He said to me "Carol, tell people about my goodness," and I said "Yes, Lord." Since that day, this is exactly what I have done. I don't do it intentionally, meaning that I don't remind myself to say God is good, but rather, I just do it. I find myself saying these words unintentionally all the time. I might be in the car or at the grocery store and I will say "God is so good!" The words just pop out of my mouth, and I don't even think about them.
I do try to tell people about His goodness, in a rational way, I mean. I write blog posts that detail and describe the Lord's goodness. I tell people at school, at work, and at church. I am not shy about saying it, and if I am asked why I believe this is so, then I tell them what I know -- that God is good, that He has been good to me, and that He is good all the time. I want them to believe that this is a true fact about God, and not just some wishful thinking. Frankly, God has gotten a pretty bad rap lately (well, from the beginning of time, really). I mean, most people think that He doesn't exist, and if He does, that He is either mean and punitive or that He is distant and unknowable. Then you have the God-haters out there who just hate anyone and everything about God. They seek to devour and destroy all good things, and they refuse to give attribution to the God of the Universe. Furthermore, these people seek to pull down anyone who maintains faith in the existence of God or in a personal relationship with Him. This is not news, really, because God has never been a popular figure. Well, sure, a thousand years ago, perhaps He was more accepted. Since the reformation, however, God has been treated roughly and has been sanctioned to exist within the minds of religious fanatics and the deliriously insane. Yes, no reasoned and rational person would choose to believe in an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present God.
Despite their best efforts to stamp out God from our world, there exists numerous billions of people who claim a personal relationship with Him. Yes, these folks are insane and irrational -- yet -- there are billions of people, from all walks of life, all cultures, and all places who claim to have had a personal divine experience with the all-Mighty God. Hmmm....
The sheer volume of people, the various attributes of these people (their skills, their education, their knowledge) gives testimony to the fact that they are not all crazy, ignorant or uneducated people. In fact, there is only one correlation between all of these people, and it is not anything human. It is rather the fact that they all claim to have met the Person of Jesus Christ in some form or fashion, and as a result, their lives have been changed by that encounter. Yes, it is the blessedness of an encounter with Jesus that has changed the hearts and minds of the billions of people (and billions before who have already passed on) who bear testimony that He is God, that He lives, and that He has a personal relationship with them.
The God we believe in is real. He is tangible. He is good.
Thus, my heart joins in with the billions of others who sing praises to the God of the Universe, to the One who lives within my heart, and who comforts and cares for me, personally, intentionally, and with great affection. My God is good. He is good. He is good all the time. Selah!
I sit here today, blogging at my computer, and I thank the Lord for His presence in my life. Really, I would be nothing, nothing at all, had I not encountered the God of the Universe almost 48 years ago. Yes, I was a little child, yet in my little child-like way, I met the One who created me. I didn't understand anything beyond the fact that God sat down next to me and spoke with me. He came into my little world, and as a result, my life began to change. I don't remember much about those early days, just that God was always near me, with me, and around me. I would cling to Him, I would pray to Him, and I would cry out for Him to help me, to save me, to keep me safe. As a little child, the Lord was my blessed security. He was always with me; He never left me alone.
I didn't always stick close to Him. No, in truth, as a grew up, I did what most kids do -- I walked away from Him. The Lord didn't let me go to far, and I thank Him for that grace because it is what kept me from going off the deep end, so to speak. So while I did suffer at times, and I did experience heart ache, I never lost "it" (my life). The Lord consistently showed me that I was valued, I was important, and that no matter what people did to me, I mattered to Him.
I came to faith as a child, but I came into a personal, working relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ as a teen. I came to understand the Gospel message, and I came to realize the depth of my sins. I knew I needed a Savior, and I knew that Jesus was the One who died to save me. I accepted His forgiveness, I confessed His Name, and I pledged my life to follow after Him all the days of my life. Of course, I strayed. I strayed mightily and often. I backslid, as they used to say, and I indulged in sinful lusts and behaviors, things that went against Scripture. I confessed those sins, and I repented of my ways (many times). I struggled with doubts, with fears, and with an abiding sense of failure (feeling inadequate) for many, many years. Then when my life was nearly on empty, I encountered a different Lord and Savior. I encountered the Living God in a way that changed me, deeply and completely. No more trying and failing -- only doing and succeeding. Yes, I met the Living God, and I surrendered every detail of my life, every fiber of my being, and every ounce of essence that was "me" to the Hand of this God, Jesus.
In an instant, I went from being a person who believed God existed, who believed God cared for me, and who believed God saved me to a person who KNEW God existed, who KNEW God cared for me, and who KNEW God saved me. Yes, my heart and my mind were changed, and I knew, I really knew Him. Granted that knowledge developed over time, but I moved from believing in God to knowing Him, and as a result, the person I was -- died -- and the person I am today -- now lives! God did this in my life, and I have been given the task of sharing my story, my path, and my experience with others. Along the way, I bear testimony to the fact that God is good. Yes, He is so very good.
Now as I consider the plans the Lord has for my life, one thing is for certain. The Lord has transformed my life from what was once a hollow shell into a vital and vibrant vessel. I am now positioned differently, poised, and prepared to do a specific work, to fulfill a specific calling, and to proceed toward the ultimate place of the Lord's choosing. Yes, the day the Lord took hold of my life changed me infinitely and completely. I am no longer the same person, seeking the same things. I am a girl on a mission, so to speak, and I am living and loving every moment of this God-inspired, God-fueled, and God-determined path. He is so good to me, so very good to me!