I look for words … for confirmation …. little notes from God on a billboard, scribbled on a scrap of paper, spoken from a DJ streamed across the airwaves, written in a book, tatted on a bicep, glossed into a magazine, from the mouth of a friend, preached from a pulpit and written in spray paint within a graffiti message … because God can use any medium, ya know? I believe He speaks to us all the time … but, sometimes we just aren’t.listening.
I know I still have it … somewhere … It was a note mailed to me by a young girl who was still in high school at the time. I remember being moved .. that a teenager would allow God to use her to speak into my life … Me? … a woman near the age of her mother. Me … Now, she has graduated, gone to college, medical school and is now a practicing physician in south Georgia. She is the daughter of a friend.
She sent me a card and on the outside of the envelope was a handwritten verse – Jeremiah 29:11 – The card was sweet and thoughtful, but it was the e.n.v.e.l.o.p.e with God’s holy, living, moving, active word that lived on my refrigerator for the four years that we lived in Bainbridge, nestled in a pecan grove outside of town.
The verse came to me at a tough time in my life when everything I had known was beginning to unravel.
To this day, this verse snuggles deep into my soul. It’s one of those verses that I ponder. I wonder what it truly means. I ruminate on how the God of the universe can have a plan for my little, insignificant vapor of a life. But, somehow, I believe it to be true.
Because I continue.to.watch.Him.move. He proves that His word is true.
The biggest lesson that I learned during this difficult time was that all my trying to “fix” the situation was completely futile. I held more hope in my own doings than I did in God handling the situation. When I finally gave it all to Him … I laid it all down and let it go … I stepped back and walked away from the “fix it table,” THEN God could work. That was when I found hope again. That was when I experienced a peace unlike I had before. Then and only then was able to find peace.
Lately, I’ve seen this verse begin to pop back up time and again. When Stone and I worshiped together one Sunday morn, I remember that it was quoted from the pulpit.
Recently, I watched Stone struggle with something that happened in his life
and I felt led to join that verse
with a photo from our Lula ziplining trip
to create this image that I emailed to him.
After I mailed that image, I visited his house and saw the verse posted on his refrigerator … an important enough message for him that he tore the page from the Upper Room devotional book and placed it upon his fridge.
That’s what we all need, isn’t it? For it is when we are without hope, that we give up. We quit trying. We cease to put forth effort. We collapse.
We need love, peace and patience. We enjoy life when we have joy, happiness and contentment. But, H.O.P.E … is integral. Without it, we give up.
Have you given up hope in some area? Wherever you are, whatever the situation, I encourage you to look UP. God can and will take care of the situation. When we look to Him and stop trying to “fix” things on our own, He can fill us with a joy … a peace … a h.o.p.e that is beyond understanding. He may not do a miracle and override the situation and make it all better … but He will love us, strengthen us and teach us great lessons as we walk through the storm.
Here at Christmas, with the celebration of the birth of the Christ-child only days away,
may you find joy … peace …. and most of all H.O.P.E … in Him and Him alone.