As I added the above picture to my blog header today I was reminded once again of the goodness of the Lord.
I took that picture a couple of weeks ago from my front porch. The picture only shows a portion of the big, beautiful rainbow that we saw over our barn. We could see the whole rainbow from one pasture to the other. Then, a double rainbow appeared for a short time before they both disappeared.
Our two year old, Andrew, had never seen a rainbow before. My husband, Alan, and I enjoyed sharing his first rainbow with him. We talked about the promise that the rainbow symbolizes--God's promise to never flood the earth again. Then, we talked about how we can count on God’s promises.
The following Sunday I decided to discuss promises with my 3 and 4 year old Sunday school kids. I used the above picture on their take home memory verse paper along with a portion of Psalm 18:30, “All the Lord’s promises prove true.” I was thrilled when each of the kids came back the next week knowing their memory verse. I pray they will remember this verse and that it will someday truly penetrate their hearts because it is such a powerful truth of the Bible.
We discussed some of the promises from the Bible. I told the kids that if God’s Word says it you can believe it. If God makes a promise you can count on it; either it has already happened or it will. God never breaks a promise! It never ceases to amaze me how the simplest truth from God’s Word, truths that even preschoolers can understand, can at the same time be so profound!
A few weeks ago it seemed like everything I read had to do with time. Now it seems like everything I’ve been reading (mainly the Bible) has been referring to God’s promises. I think the Lord’s trying to tell me something.
I have to admit that lately I have been pretty discouraged at times. I’m dealing with some pretty serious back and neck issues and have been since last fall. I won’t go into all of the details, but I will fill you in a little. I have been doing therapy three days a week with a chiropractor and exercises five days a week to try to avoid having the surgery the surgeon says I need. I’ve been on and off of a few different medications. I’ve tried some natural remedies. I’ve had to deal with a lot of pain, quite a few nearly sleepless nights and have had too many side effects to mention. There have been a lot of ups and downs…good days and bad days. Just when I think I see progress, I have a bad day where it seems worse than ever.
I hesitate sharing this information because I don’t like to complain. I don’t like people feeling sorry for me. Although I appreciate the prayers, I don’t like others thinking that I’m looking for sympathy. Maybe that’s not right of me, but that’s the way I feel anyway. Regardless, I have to be honest here: the truth is it’s hard being in pain everyday. I get so tired. Some days lately I’ve found myself praying for strength to just simply get through the day…and that’s a real bummer.
Most of the time I’m able to keep my focus centered on Christ and His provision. I try to stay in God’s Word and meditate on His truths. Still, there are times when I wonder why I have to go through this pain. I wonder what the Lord is doing. I often ask Him what he’s trying to teach me through this. There are times when I feel so lonely in this pain…like there isn’t another soul who understands. At times I have felt like there is no hope, that the pain is too much and that it’s going to be like this forever. The truth is: feelings often lie!
I read through Psalm 106 today. As this chapter recounted the events of the Israelite ancestors I was reminded of my own forgetful, sinful nature. Over and over God would prove Himself to His people; then time and time again they would forget what He did and rebel against the Lord. Each time when they repented and chose to believe His promises He would show compassion to them by coming to the rescue once again. (see Psalm 106:24 &25 and 43-45 for a good examples of this).
The question is how does a person remember in hard times that the Lord’s promises ALWAYS prove true? The answer: Past experience. Look at what He did in the past. Has He ever left you? Has He ever failed to see you through a bad situation? Has He ever failed to strengthen you when you felt weak? Has He ever failed to show love and compassion to you when you were hurting? He has never failed me! In fact, He's blessed me in ways I never thought even possible. The problem is I tend to forget His faithfulness at times.
Back in September we had a miscarriage. That was a hard time for us, but much easier than it could have been because we chose to trust the Lord. During that experience I wrote the following:
God is our Good Shepherd (John 10:11). A Good Shepherd loves, cares for and protects His sheep. He knows His sheep and they know Him (John 10:14). Not only that, but our Good Shepherd has a plan for us (Jer 29:11). We can trust in Him and His plan for our lives (Prov 3:5). His purpose is to give life in its fullness (John 10:10). He causes everything to work together for good for us (Rom 8:28). He helps us in our distress (Rom 8:26).
Jeremiah 29:11-13 says, “For I know the plans I have for you”, says they Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster (evil), to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me.”
My own words remind me that God didn’t promise us that life would be easy. However, He did promise us that He would be with us and hold us close (Psalm 27:10).
I must remember, no matter what I feel that:
I am not alone and He will not fail me (Deut 31:6 & 8).
I can talk to Him and He cares about me (I Peter 5:7).
My hope is in the Solid Rock (Psalm 62:5 & 6).
I am weak, but He is strong (I Cor 4:10).
He will give me the strength I need from day to day (Phil 4:13).
I will choose to believe His promises and trust His plan even when I don’t understand it because I know that the truth is: "All of the Lord's promises prove true."