Thursday, April 14, 2016

Blessed Assurance - Even Thru the Rain

 "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, 
he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing."  Zephaniah 3:17
On those cloud-filled, dreary days...when the rain is either pouring or there's a threat of a downpour at any moment (either outside my window, or inside my heart)...Jesus is mine.

When I'm ready for the sun to shine again...when I'm tired of the gray, ugly days and long for a moment of bright sunshiny goodness...Jesus is mine.

I'm reminded of the sweet song of a curly, red-headed, little girl - "Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow..." Isn't that we all desire on occasion? For the rain to go away and the sun to shine again? When we're having one of those types of days, don't we all long for tomorrow?

While I was humming that simple tune today, my heart was suddenly filled with peace at this simple assurance. Though there will be times when the clouds may hang low, and I know the song itself has absolutely nothing to do with our spiritual lives, yet I have a promise of a better day...a tomorrow. How do I know this without a doubt, you may ask? I have this blessed assurance because...Jesus is mine!

(back to Annie's song) "...just thinking about tomorrow clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow til there's none ..." - now, again, I know there's nothing really spiritual about those words; but isn't that a bit like throwing up the umbrella of faith on a bad day?

"...when I'm stuck with a day that's gray and lonely, I just stick up my chin and grin..." - yes, no matter what my day brings, because I have Jesus, I can stick up my chin and grin. That's peace. That's joy. That's hope. Blessed assurance.

" gotta hang on til tomorrow come what may..." - that's persistence. We're all tempted, on occasion, to give up on those not-so-pretty days. If we can just hang on til tomorrow though...there's that sweet assurance that God is in charge and things will get better.

So, from a child's song, comes some godly principles which can greatly help us big kids. Who knew?! If we can just hang in there on our dreary today, if we can poke our chin up and smile through the gray, if we can be patient and weather the storm come what may...the sun will come out again.  This is my (and your) blessed assurance...because Jesus is mine...and I am His.

If you're day is dreary or rainy, if you're longing for a bit of sunshine, I encourage you to lift your voice while you're waiting. Stick up your chin and sing with me! Let's be like those tiny, song birds sweetly singing in the rain or maybe just clumsy, little children dancing and singing thru the puddles. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine...even thru the rain.

Dedicated to a dear someone who has spent much time teaching me 
to look through the rain and see the sunshine on the other side
of the storm - because God is always there. 
Thank you for showing me how its done!
Love you, songbird~


Friday, April 8, 2016

When Life Gives You Potatoes...

Would you like a warm bowl of creamy potato soup? How about a chilled bowl of zesty potato salad? What? Would you rather snack on some home-made french fries? Regardless of which you decide, you must know all derived from a perfectly simple bag of potatoes.

We've all heard the phrase, "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade." I'm rewording this one today: "When life hands you potatoes...get busy making something yummy." True, there's nothing special about the food I mentioned above. However, an unexpected bag of potatoes is what made it all possible.

I thought about this when a friend blessed me with a bag of potatoes before leaving town on vacation. During the week, I made potatoes several different ways. We had soup one night, potatoes as a side dish with some chicken another night, and potato salad on yet another night. It was quite a simple blessing, but spoke volumes to me about trusting God before it was all said and done.

Sometimes God allows unexpected situations to come into our lives. We might question and wonder how anything good will come out of it. Suddenly that little-BIG word pops up. You know, the one we all have trouble with on occasion.  OK, maybe I'm the only one with the issue - TRUST. I'm so thankful God is patient with me!

We've been taught this since we were children in Sunday school: God works things together...for our best interest...every time. His will is always the best option for our lives. Always. Period.

It might not look anything like what we had anticipated, we might have to learn to be flexible, we might have to learn a new "normal" or recover from injury; but, whatever the case, God will help us take our "bag of potatoes" and turn them into something unforgettable if we'll be willing to learn. He will teach us how to use them. He will grow us along the way as we choose to to trust Him one moment at a time. Learning the lessons. Experiencing the amazing power of God. Yielding to His will. What we do with the potatoes we're given is what counts.

Whether it involves lemons, potatoes or something much scarier like those deep dark valleys or trials that wiggle their way into our days causing us to fall or bow a little lower under the weight of the burden. Yes, my friend, no matter what IT might be, there has got to be a way for something good to come out of it. It is a promise of God and He cannot lie. Have faith! 

What unexpected things will you turn over to God and allow Him to use for your good? Pull up a chair and let's share this yummy plate of fries...and thank God with me for the unexpected bags of potatoes in our lives. It's good stick-to-the-bone kind of stuff that will sustain us as we grow and mature in Christ. Enjoy!