Floyd has had a quiet week. One of the carers said she had the most responsive time with him ever. And the next carer said he slept through the whole time. :) You just never know how he'll be! I'm so grateful that he is well and healthy. Several friends have had bad "warm weather" colds. I'm praying that none of those germs get to Floyd.
This week I was reading about Noah. I was struck afresh by his faithfulness to God in the midst of a people who weren't serving God. And his obedience - oh my! Can you imagine being told to build an ark no where near water? And to gather a pair of every animal on earth? And then to go into the ark and stay there when everyone was ridiculing you? Noah had a level of hearing the voice of God and obeying Him that I think I'm still working towards.
I get terribly seasick on boats, so I can't imagine being shut into that ark for about a year. And I can't even begin to imagine the smell! And then finally when they could be on dry land again - God sent the rainbow, His promise to them that the earth would never again be destroyed by a flood. God "sealed" His promise with that rainbow.
I've always loved rainbows. God has spoken to me through them on several occasions - including once on this unexpected journey when a rainbow was with us all the way home from the hospital as we drove home on what had been a very hard day! God spoke to me so clearly that day that He's with us, with me.
As I’ve been thinking about this over a few days, one morning this week I looked out the window - and there was a beautiful rainbow spanning the sky. I've made it the picture for this post. It only lasted a few minutes, so it's quite amazing that I even saw it. It immediately resonated in my heart of God's goodness, His faithfulness, and His continuing care for me, for Floyd, and for our family during this long season. I was so blessed. A little spark that leapt inside me when I saw it has stayed in my heart.
There was a phrase I read in my devotional this week that said to look for how God speaks to us as we go about our day. God certainly "spoke" to me through this beautiful rainbow. I'm grateful for the symbol of His promises and faithfulness.
"I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind." Genesis 9:13-15
"Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations." Deuteronomy 7:9
"The Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one." 2 Thessalonians 3:3
"The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23
I've had an intense week. I've been dealing with big issues of Floyd's care, and of my care. I found myself quite weary after all this, and feeling the aloneness of carrying all these things without Floyd's help! It was so special, so meaningful to me to see that rainbow. I love how God knows just how to speak His goodness and faithfulness to our hearts.
Once we enter Dec., I love thinking and meditating on the Christmas story of Jesus's birth. I usually think through the whole story, and every year something "pops" out that I haven't thought much about before. That's what happened this year.
I love how the angel spoke to Mary and to Joseph about Mary being the mother of Jesus. I'm continually amazed that a young woman (in many ways still a young girl), could so willingly obey such an unusual request. The "load" she had to bear was huge.....not the baby - but the questions, scorn, shame, etc. And what Joseph had to deal with was almost as big. I'm sure his friends were telling him to put her aside and marry a "good" girl. I would imagine a key point was the angel coming and speaking so personally and clearly to each of them.
So what impacted me this year is the fact that both sets of parents also carried a heavy load in all this. I'm sure they had lots of questions! An angel came and talked to their daughter??? That might be hard to believe. And there was shame, embarrassment, confusion, and loss of reputation with her pregnancy. Why didn't an angel come and speak to them too? It sure would have made sense to me for that to happen.
As I was thinking about all this, I began to apply it to my life. I would love for God to give me some clarity on this journey we're on. Yeah - an angel would be great! A few answers to nagging questions would be so helpful. And yet God doesn't work by our pushing a button expecting answers. He knows who to send the angel to.......and who needs to walk a trust journey of resting in His sovereignty. It looks like I'm in the second category.
I'm sure you can identify with me wanting more clarity, more answers. You probably have your own questions you've brought to the Lord about things in your life. God could easily send an angel to help us understand our situations! And yet He rarely does.
I'm convinced that one of the purposes of this journey that we're on is what God is doing in my heart, what He's teaching me. Everything I've ever known about Him, everything in my walk with Him - has all been taken deeper and deeper as the months have ticked by. It's hard sometimes (lots of times!), but I'm so, so grateful for all the lessons. I'm so thankful for the increased intimacy with Him. And I'm so grateful for how He's carried me, held my hand, and sustained me when I didn't think I could survive another hour. He has been so faithful!
I'm not quite to the place where I can say I'd willingly walk through all this again because of what He's done and what He's taught me - but I hope I'll get to that place. I certainly don't begrudge any of the precious lessons He's brought my way. They are worth more than silver and gold!
"O God, You have taught me from my youth, and I still declare Your wondrous deeds." Psalm 71:17
"I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me." Psalm 119:102
"And many peoples will come and say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths.' " Isaiah 2:3
"Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way He should choose." Psalm 25:12
"I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you." Psalm 32:8
"Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; teach me the way in which I should walk; for to You I lift up my soul." Psalm 143:8
I love the personal-ness of a God who loves His children enough to teach them valuable life lessons. I'm so very grateful for what He has been speaking to me and teaching me on this journey.