His presence is like a refreshing rainfall!

“Come, let us return to the Lord;
    for He has torn us, that He may heal us;
    He has struck us down, and He will bind us up.
After two days He will revive us;
    on the third day He will raise us up,
    that we may live before Him.
Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
    His going out is sure as the dawn;
He will come to us as the showers,
    as the spring rains that water the earth.
Hosea 6:1-3

In southern California.
What a wonder - what a joy!

Rain is my favorite part of natural creation. 
It is refreshing, soothing, cleansing, and revives living things.
In a time of drought in our area of the country, the smallest drizzle produces delight because we need the water.
Water is important. Vital.
Without it we cannot survive.

Just as we cannot survive - without a Savior.
I love this passage in Hosea because it offers a vivid picture of who our God is and what He offers His children.

We stray from the Lord. We turn our own way thinking we know best. We seek control. We desire the praises of men rather than the private and quiet "Well done" from the lips of our God.
Hosea says, "Let us RETURN to the Lord ..." implying the faces and feet of the people were positioned in the wrong place. Which is exactly where pride takes us every time - the wrong place.
But there is HOPE when we have strayed!
Our God is a God of forgiveness and grace.
We confess our sin, we repent of our sin, and He faithfully FORGIVES!
He heals us.
Binds our wounds.
Revives us.
Raises us up to stand before Him and walk in His ways.
What a wonderful promise for the believer!

Our God is faithful, and He does what He says He will do.
But we have a part to play too.
Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord, says Hosea.
This requires ACTION!
Press on - move forward - seek the Lord - know Him.
None of these things 'just happen.' We must be intentional and purposeful in our pursuit of God. 
He is the Rock of Ages that never moves, and never leaves us or forsakes us. 
Therefore, anytime we wonder why we "cannot find Him" it is because we are looking in the wrong place!

And when we do look for Him?
When we seek Him while He may still be found?
When we understand and know who our God is?
Hosea says:
His going out is sure as the dawn;
He will come to us as the showers,
    as the spring rains that water the earth.

God describes Himself as rain!
Refreshing - soothing - cleansing - reviving life that was once dormant.
His going out is SURE.
We can depend on Him. Trust Him. Rely on Him.
In all things.
Because when we do, His presence will feel like a refreshing rainfall in a dry and weary land.

Thank You, Lord, for the gift and beauty of rain!
Thank You for Your provision.
And thank You for filling Scripture with details and descriptions about everyday things.
Your Word IS all-sufficient, and profitable for everything in life.
How blessed we are to have Your Word, read Your word, and cherish Your Word in our hearts that we might glorify You in all things, no matter how small.


22 years and counting!

Today marks 22 years of marriage with this man!

We had no idea what the Lord had waiting for us when we said "I do," but He has faithfully carried us through every celebration and storm, making us stronger as individuals and as a couple.

Marriage is hard. It takes work. A lot of it.
Two selfish people choose to spend the rest of their lives giving up their own desires so they can meet the needs of the other person instead.
Sacrifice, surrender, selflessness.
Patience, humility, confession, repentance.
Service, compassion, encouragement, understanding.
Faithfulness and fidelity.
Outdoing one another in love.

Neither of us have loved the other perfectly.
We have hurt, annoyed, offended, and rejected each other.
Yet here we are ... 22 years later - still together, still in love.
And there is one reason.
We made a commitment.
We stood before the Lord promising to love, honor and cherish one another whether we 'feel like it' or not - until death.
And so we will.

I am thankful the Lord gave me a husband who chooses to love me every day, even when I am completely unlovable. 
I am thankful the Lord protected us during the 'desert years' when we wandered alone without support, encouragement or biblical counsel.
I am thankful for Scripture, sermons, Bible studies, and books that convict and challenge me in my role as a wife.
I am most thankful for a God who never stops working in the heart of His daughter, teaching her how to love, honor, respect, and submit to her husband in a way that pleases both her husband, and her Lord.

Dennis and I are not the same people we were when we said "I do." (Praise God for this truth!)
The Lord has softened us through trials,
humbled us through maturity,
made us wise through failed pride,
increased our patience through struggles,
 and strengthened our love through the simple, faithful everyday moments of life.
And we praise Him for all of it!

Thank You, Lord, for the blessing of marriage.
Thank You for the gift of my husband.
I was young and foolish the day I married, but Your wisdom was fully intact, and You knew what the future held for Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Eastman.
Thank You for Your faithfulness, Your provision, and Your grace these past two decades, Lord. There is no way we would have made it without You.

Happy Anniversary, Dennis!
I love you!