Sunday, April 25, 2010

Another year of His faithfulness

There's a Vicky Beeching song entitled Twenty-Six summers that speaks about God's faithfulness in her life. I'm 26 now (haha, old for The Rock, not so old everywhere else ;) ) I woke up hearing the birds chirping after 2 days of rain/cooler weather. It got me thinking: How has God been faithful to me in this past year of me being 25? I also asked that question because on my 25th birthday Mom came to celebrate my birthday with my team at The Quad :) I spoke of how God was faithful to me thus far in my life and I am trusting His faithfulness for that next year. Also, I have struggled with God's faithfulness as I discovered how walking in Luke 9 type obedience challenged me in where I held my security: in God or in the Creation.

So here goes my list of ways in which God has been faithful.

The supreme way He has been faithful is while I was still a sinner He died for me (Romans 5:8). I like a sheep had gone astray and sinned, but God took the punishment for that sin (Isaiah 53:5-6). I believed that Jesus was Lord and God raised Him from the dead, trusted in His sacrifice alone to remove my sin, and thus became new (Romans 10:8-9, Romans 4:5, 2 Corinthians 5:17)

1. Allowing me to finish my Master's thesis
2. Having my Team be there for me and allowing me to spend the night at Chelsea's instead of alone after my graduation night meltdown.
3. Giving me grace when I still had some internship coordination to do after Finals week since I somehow forgot some things :(
4. Allowing me to go on a last Summer Infusion to EL Paso, TX
5. Allowing me to lead a giant group of 6-7 year olds around at Sports Camp and providing another adult to help me :) :) :) :)
6. Providing TONS of examples of Godly families and changing my heart toward motherhood and having large families courtesy of the Nelson and Everhart families :) :) :)
7. Also providing numerous times to go swimming a) to get away from the 100+ degree heat and to swim with cute little people and my crazy Infusion Team people :)
8. Providing housing in the form of The Quad (4-plex where 12 Rock / Symbio women live)
9. PROVIDING AWESOME ROOMMATES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) :) :)
10. Providing a free bed in my room :)
11. Providing a desk for 2 DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
12. Providing an example for me to follow in making my decision to go to Symbio.
13. Helping me grow more in contentment as a single person and trust in Him for marriage if that's His will :)
14. Allowing me to go through the Truth Project again so Truth sinks in this time.
15. Oh yes, and back to El Paso, allowing me to 'run away to Fort Collins' for a few days but then providing a way back thus helping me to see that where He wants me is where He wants me. End of discussion. Oh yes, and He used the Captured by Grace by Steele Croswhite CD to speak to me a lot :)
16. Providing an outreach opportunity even during those few days with a girl living in The Quad that I stayed with :)
17. Allowing me to nanny for a single-mom when I got back from El Paso
18. Allowing me to help a friend with her Thesis & share the Gospel with her before she went back to Thailand :)
19. Allowing me to help with babysitting for a women's Bible study at Summitview.
20. Providing for me in all 3 of those avenues :)
21. Also providing the Research Assistant and Call Center jobs.
22. Allowing me to grow closer to older women in Summitview through a Bible study and doing more for Biblical Femininity. Luke 9 really came true. Though in some ways I had to forsake my mom: her fears and her expectations (though I still do love her and we talk lots :) ), God has given me so many women to look up to :) Yay for my "Summitview moms" :)
23. Allowing me to be a coach in the Outreach Class :)
24. Preserving friendships even though my yuck in the flesh gets in the way
25. Providing interviews for jobs even though I haven't found where He wants me, He keeps on opening doors :)
26. Has allowed me to truly experience growing closer to Him through trials and as I give parts of my life that hurt to Him so He can be victorious.

Psalm 145 by Shane and Shane: Sums up a lot of this year for me :) I am striving by God's grace to live it more :)

"One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
and I will declare your greatness.
They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness."

Psalm 145:4-7

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Obedience through the generations (Jeremiah 35)

God is impressing upon me that my obedience now and trust in Him now affects not just me but the next generations. This often makes me go "!?!?!" in my head because so often I think of my own life and relationships in the present and do not have a long-term outlook on generations after me. That seems odd for someone involved in Children's Ministry, but mankind is still egocentric in varying degrees after the fall (Romans 3:23) I am no exception.

A while back I read Psalm 48. It is about God's protection over Zion. Verses 12 - 14 really hit me:Walk about Zion, go around her, number her towers, consider well her ramparts, go through her citadels, that you may tell the next generation that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever.

God gave me that verse to remind me that as I trust Him for provision and continued protection, this lays the foundation for me to tell the next generation - my children if that is God's will, or children He places in my care at Summitview or elsewhere - that God is real. Allowing God to use me to instill trust in Him as provider in their little hearts will keep them trusting in Christ no matter what happens. It will be easier for them to face trials because they would know in Whom they trust, they will not be like me who is still prone to going to deep despair. Will they doubt or worry? Sure. It's human nature, but I pray they will be prone to doing that less often as I have. Furthermore, they will have confidence not in circumstance or even in parents or other supportive adults as much as they will have trust in the Everlasting God.

I was reminded of that yet again in Jeremiah 35. The Rechabites helped turn a temple of Baal into a toilet (not kidding check out 2 Kings 10:18-25. I laughed super-hard when I read that.) Their descendants were nomads outside Jerusalem and came into the city when they were threatened by the Babylonian army. Jeremiah used them as an example of a people who were loyal to God generation after generation. Therefore he told them that God promised that someone from their line would always be in the service of God. Wow. That's like God promising Spurgeon that someone in the next generation would always be in ministry or be a pastor forever and ever and ever and... etc. That also struck me like, "What!?! That's sooooooooo coooooooool!!!!!!!!"

"... to the house of the Rechabites Jeremiah said, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Because you have obeyed the command of Jonadab your father and kept all his precepts and done all that he commanded you, therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Jonadab the son of Rechab shall never lack a man to stand before me.” Jeremiah 35:18-19 God saves by grace alone and what I firstly have to do is pray for God to grow my children / the future generations' faith so that they accept Christ since it is by faith alone that they are saved (Ephesians 2:8-9). God also reminded me that one way He would grow the next generation is by the example of the current one.

Lord help me obey You. Complete the good work in which You started. Help me remain in You so that You can bear much fruit and be an example to the next generation. I can't do it myself, but Your spirit can. Thank You for grace when I can't obey and the sure reward for when I do. Thank You for giving me a heart for the next generation to praise Your name so that they would be under Your protection for more of their development.