"I long to dwell in Your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of Your wings." Psalm 61:4 (NIV)
Yesterday I had to do some running to the shelter of His wings. I needed God Almighty to surround me with His great love and comfort. I have to admit, there have been times when I chose to just cover my head with the quilts of my bed...and I did that for a bit, until the tears had soaked my pillow...and then I felt Him beckon me to come to Him...to take my refuge in Him instead of my bed.
I fixed a pot of coffee, turned on the fireplace, got in my recliner, snuggled up with my doggie, and picked up my Bible. Now, here's a really cool thing. I got a One Year Chronological Bible for Christmas. I had asked for it because my sister-friend, Wendy Pope, over at Proverbs 31 ministries (http://www.wendypope.blogspot.com/) is shepherding lots of women...and some men...through reading this particular Bible in a year. (My hubby is joining me in this venture, as are my oldest daughter and her husband, my parents, and my precious friend, Christa!) Well, to follow with Wendy's group, it is important to have the same version, which is the New Living Translation. My sweet man accidentally got the wrong version (NIV). I didn't think it would matter until Christa came to work one day and was talking about Abraham and Hagar, and I had read about Job! So, my loyal husband headed to Lifeway to pick up the correct Bible...which had to be ordered. Meanwhile, I got quite behind in the daily reading. But God is so good. Yesterday, while I had all of that "catching up" to do, I read words that ministered to me...words that might not have caught my attention a week ago...or two weeks ago. Because of Wendy's vlogs (video blogs...She's waaaay ahead of me in the technology department!), I heard words from the mouth of a dear sister of the heart that ministered to me in my despair. God surely works all things together for good (Romans 8:28)...even if we don't stay on "schedule"! I spent the morning immersing myself in His Word...being encouraged and comforted.
From the beginning of Genesis, and God's words, "Let there be light," God spoke directly to me. I needed light in my darkness yesterday. I needed to hear the earliest uses of the names for God...El Shaddai, God Almighty...and El-roi, the God who sees me...Jehovah-Jirah, the LORD will provide...El-Olam, the Eternal God. I was blessed to read the words, "Do not be afraid...for I will protect you, and your reward will be great." (Gen.15:1 NLT) And then to see that in answer to the angel of the LORD's question, "Is anything too hard for the LORD?" (Gen.18:14 NLT) that there is indeed nothing to difficult for Him. I was encouraged to read of God's mercy (to Lot's family Gen.19) and His patience, as even the great patriarchs took matters into their own hands...more than once. As I read Abimelech's words to Abraham, "God is obviously with you, helping you in everything you do," (Gen. 21:22 NLT) I thought, "I want that to be said of me!" I want to walk out my life in a way that shows my faith in God...and His ability to do what He says He will do!!
Yes, I cried many tears...and know that there may still be many more to cry. But God reminded me of who He is...God Almighty. He is mighty to save! He proved to me that He is the God who sees me...and wants to comfort me in my pain. He promises that He will provide...and that He alone knows the perfect provision, even if it only comes about through a walk through the wilderness. And I was reminded that He is the Eternal God...the Alpha and the Omega...the beginning and the end...from everlasting to everlasting. He knows the past. He holds the future, and I can trust Him.
I love the words in Isaiah 45:3 (NLT) that say, "I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness--secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, the One who calls you by name." I already discovered some of those treasures in my moments of darkness...they're right there in His Word...personal words from the One who calls me (and you!) by name.
Precious Abba, Father God, thank you for being my shelter, my refuge, and my strength. Thank you for your Word that is alive and active! Help me to be a woman of faith and righteousness. It is truly in You that I live and move and breathe. (Acts 18:28) Thank you for your unfailing, everlasting, sacrificial love. I love you, LORD!