I so appreciate all of the thoughtful and truly encouraging comments you all left on the last post. I have really prayed about what to do and I am still putting one foot in front of the other. I appreciate your exhortation to get into the Word, and you were right. So, I have also begun a new Bible study on the Psalms of Ascent. It's a Beth Moore study... I wonder if any of you have done this. It begins by having you commit to really getting facedown before the Lord. Well, it was just the kick in the seat that I needed. I have found it hard to stay focused in my time in the Word over these past months. So this should help keep me focused for a while.
Since we're on the subject, I wanted to give a little bit of testimony. I have made no secret of my spiritual leaning here on my blog, but I haven't really told much of the story. But I am celebrating my 25th birthday in the Lord this fall, and I do feel like truly celebrating. As I was leading worship at my church this past Sunday morning and we were singing "At the Cross," it dawned on me that it was just this time of year as a freshman in college that I first really came to know the Lord. I don't mean know about Him, but really know Him. I didn't know it was possible. But someone shared THIS with me, and it made all the difference. I can remember walking across that campus and how the sky seemed bluer, the trees even more beautiful than ever, and my steps so much lighter. Since that day, I know that God has been with me every single day for twenty-five years! My relationship with Him has grown closer and stronger... much of that in direct proportion to how much time I have spent in His word.
Over the years I have studied and even led a number of small group studies (most all the Beth Moore studies as well as some of Kay Arthur's and others.) I have always said that I must have that firm foundation of His word under my feet, prepared in advance so that when the storms come I will be ready... even if all of the of the ground around me crumbles except for what is directly under my feet. I love the Word; it is the roadmap I cling to for direction in this life. It is the light that shines in front of me, lighting just enough of the path for me to keep moving forward one step at a time. It shows me who God is, who I am, and how much He loves me. I want those things cemented in my heart because I know that it is the ONLY way on this earth that I will find true peace and joy.
One of my dear friends and fellow church members found out today that she would be losing her job. It was a complete shock; she had no inkling it was coming. We went right over to their home (taking a pie with us, of course, because in times like these we must have comfort food.) But what a joy it is to be able to help shoulder and share in the burdens of our brothers and sisters. She was totally taken by surprise, yet she and her husband were not shaken. Why? They know Who holds their future and that His plan is the best plan. Does it present a problem for them right now? Sure, she wasn't planning on having to change jobs again because she would retire in 2 years. Is she happy about not seeing all her friends and coworkers that she's been used to seeing these past years? Of course not. But she knows Who is holding her and her future in His hands. What a blessing to pray with her and share in her grief.
Another friend and fellow church member didn't make it to church Sunday because of severe back pain and actually passed out from the pain later in the day. They rushed him to the ER and were able to get enough pain medication in him that he was able to function. We went by the hospital to see him Sunday night but they didn't know anything. We all prayed together, and I also prayed for him again yesterday morning as I was doing my Bible study. He has been struggling with this nagging back problem for a while and has seen several doctors. They did an MRI and found that there is a little piece of his spine pushing on a nerve. They will be able to do an epidural block Wednesday which should relieve the pressure of the spine on the nerve. He is giving God the glory and praise for answering many prayers on his behalf that he would not have to have back surgery. What a blessing to be able to share in this burden.
And I suppose I am saying all this to let you all know how special you are to me. Thank you for sharing MY burden with me and for taking time to write and give me pearls of wisdom. One of these days we'll meet face to face... and we'll know how special it is that we are really just all part of one family.
"Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ." - Galatians 6:2 NLT