Each morning I start my day with a cup of coffee, my Bible, journal, a devotional book, and of course an assortment of colored pens. Did I ever mention I have a “type A” personality? I love to have my ducks in a row. Give me a spreadsheet, color-code the tabs and I am prepared to fearlessly face any situation.
The daily devotional book I use most days is Streams in the Desert. This mighty little book, written many years ago and revised a few times, is a wonderful start to any day. I have recommended it to a number of friends who were looking for something to get their day off right.
I can’t begin to tell you how often God has used this, used a Scripture from a given day, to reach me, to teach me, to prepare me and comfort me. I have written personal comments on many of the pages; notes of crying out to God for answers, observations of His answers and a memo here and there affirming God’s presence, His love and His care.
This little book and I have been through much together. I’m not sure when I started reading it but I began making notes in the margins in 2007. I can pull out a journal from that year and match it up to a margin note and remember just what was happening in my life that day. As you can imagine, there are some things I don’t really want to remember that often, but what a blessing it is to see how God has been there, working in the background of my life until I pulled Him up and into the center. I have found that God doesn’t force His way in, He will wait until invited; but once you let Him in life will never be the same!
There was a time in our married life when Dave and I did not really believe in much of anything. We knew who God was and had heard of Jesus, but it didn’t mean anything to us. For years we plodded through life like this. We experienced a moment of happiness here and there, but not endless joy. There was a glimmer of a good life sprinkled about, but no hope for tomorrow.
We didn’t know we were missing anything. Through a series of changes in our life, we moved to Ohio, met a few new people; were exposed to church through an invitation by the mother of one of our daughters. It took many years, but we finally grew in our faith – together. That is the key; that is what makes the loss bearable. We grew together. If I did not know that my husband of 40+ years knew Jesus like he did I could not have said goodbye with joy and hope.
The November 23rd reading in Streams in the Desert had these words for me: “the trials of life are sent to make us, not break us.” It was trials that brought Dave and me to Jesus. It was those same trials that grew us in faith, and kept us together.
Psalm 61:3-4 (NIV) For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
Grace and Grins,