Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The Best Meeting

 


I know I've written quite a few times about Hagar, but her story intrigues me. I think I can relate to the rejection and loneliness she must have felt. In numerous devotions, I've talked about how God met her right where she was. She did have God "find" her twice. But there are other people in the scriptures that God met too.

The list is a bit longer when we start thinking about how many times God met someone along the way. Twice He came and ministered to Hagar, He met Saul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9), He met Balaam and stopped him before he sinned against God (Numbers 22). Jesus went through Samaria on purpose to speak with the woman at the well. He crossed two taboos in their time - going through Samaria and speaking to a woman! (John 4) He walked out to the disciples in a storm in Matthew 8. And the Angel of God came to Gideon when he was hiding from the Midianites in Judges 6.

It's easy for today's religious thinkers to label these Bible characters with negative terms and ideas. Gideon is often said to have no faith - but he is listed in Hebrews 11 among the faith giants. The disciples in the storm are obviously frightened. the woman in Samaria was a woman and unmarried - not worth anything to the religious leaders of the day. Hagar was rejected and we often hear Ishmael mentioned as a curse instead of a blessing. Saul was busy killing Christians. But God chose to meet each of these.

In Isaiah 64:4b-5 it says: ...nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him. You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness, who remembers You in Your ways.

God goes out of His way to meet us. He didn't have to meet any of the above-mentioned people. He chose to. He went to those who were rejected and condemned by religion. He sought out those who thought they were beyond hope, beyond reach. Sometimes as a caregiver, the isolation tries to suffocate. It is easy to feel alone- because often - we are. It's easy to feel neglected or rejected by society because too many times- we are. But God will meet us - right where we are in our caregiving messes! lol

We can still wait for Him and He still acts on our behalf. He chooses to meet us in our pain, confusion, and even in our doubts and fears. He calms us, soothes us, comforts us, and often carries us. (Maybe it's just me!) It's the best meeting ever!

Today, I will look for Him to meet me right where I am. I will purposefully wait for Him today and look for Him in my day-to-day. My thoughts will be on how He chooses to walk this journey with me - He won't abandon. He won't reject. He remains faithful even in caregiving. I'll watch Him move in my life today - will you join me in waiting on Him today?


                                                                                                                                          


If you enjoy these devotionals, I have others! I've expanded my bookstore on Amazon. My devotionals are available in Kindle or print format. The new Bible study guides are now available on Kindle and in print! Check out my growing bookstore! 

I also recently opened my own bookstore. I'm presently filling it up with my books - check out the ones I have available in eBook format. You can download them and read them on your phone! Dove's Fire Ministries Bookstore.


 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Living Grief

Eli waling beside Chris' chair

 As caregivers, many of us deal with daily grief and a constant sense of loss. Even though we don't feel these emotions all of the time, they do keep coming back. For me, mine is often sparked by seeing something on my Facebook feed. I'll see one of Chris' friends or a memory and it'll tip my emotional bucket right over. Living grief is one of those things the church doesn't know how to deal with. Well, honestly, who really knows how to deal with it? It's not just going to go away, now is it? :-)

In some hyper-faith circles, grief is pretty much forbidden. Yet even under the old law, it was allowed room. If you lost a close loved one such as a spouse, parent, or sibling, you were given an entire year to mourn. Our culture allows a little time, but then we are expected to be back at work, back at church, or back to our daily lives after a very short time. We just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

But living grief continues. When we deal with parents who have dementia or Alzheimer's, we grieve over who they were even though they are still with us. Many of us are caregivers of children or other family members who suffered injuries in an accident. They are still here, but who they were is gone. Some such as one of my dear friends care for children who have needed intense care since birth. They grieve over children who haven't had the opportunity to even begin a normal life.

Grief is real. It is constant for many. Grief can be debilitating. Yet day after day we climb out of the cave to provide for our loved ones. Oftentimes, we do this while carrying a load of grief that doesn't ever quite go away. It's there. Nagging. I find it easier to work through and get past as time goes on. But it returns over and over to taunt my heart.

How do we overcome such a sense of loss? Is there no end? Usually, I pull up a few scriptures to help me work through them. Stuffing the emotions will cause a giant explosion eventually. So, I pour out everything in my heart to God. I tell Him exactly how I feel It's not like He doesn't know, right? 

Then I begin to remind myself that He gave us THE Comforter. And He walks alongside us. He is here to help us carry our load day after day. I can toss all my cares and concerns over on Him and ask Him for comfort, peace, and wisdom to make it through each day. (Or each hour...or each minute.) Somehow - He always answers and carries me when I need Him most. God is Faithful.

Today, I'll remind myself that no matter where my emotions run - my heart always runs back to Him. My meditations will be on His Faithfulness and how He keeps our souls. I'll think about how He continues to walk through time with us, by choice. Will you join me?

                                                                                                                                          


If you enjoy these devotionals, I have others! I've expanded my bookstore on Amazon. My devotionals are available in Kindle or print format. The new Bible study guides are now available on Kindle and in print! Check out my growing bookstore! 

I also recently opened my own bookstore. I'm presently filling it up with my books - check out the ones I have available in eBook format. You can download them and read them on your phone! Dove's Fire Ministries Bookstore.