5.24.2017

I love when He does this!

One of my favorite things about Scripture is that it is LIVING and ACTIVE.
Whether you read a verse for the first time or the 91st time - it always hits the target of your heart. God promises this, doesn't He? 
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:12, 13
Of course, there are times we wish Scripture was inactive so we did not have to feel the sting of conviction that truth inflicts, but there are few things in life as sweet as opening the Bible and reading exactly what we need in that moment. Encouragement, comfort, strength, a reminder to rejoice ... all of them given by a God who meets us where we are and delights in giving good things to His children. Including His own words!

This very thing happened last night.

We have committed to a monthly Mom's Night for our Orphan Care families since the first one was such an encouragement and such a success. Last night was our second evening together, so I wanted to prepare something from Scripture to share with the ladies. I did not have a direction or a plan but knew I wanted to find a passage that would offer refreshment.
As I read through the Psalms of the day, the Lord hit 'pause' in two places - Psalm 23 and Psalm 113. I could not see the correlation between the two passages, but He would not let me move elsewhere, so I read them again, bookmarked them, and said, "Okay, Lord! Do with these what You will!"

For three hours I sat with my sisters as we discussed ... the interest and enthusiasm for orphan care that is beginning to take hold of our church body, the joys and sorrows of foster care, the strain and stress on marriage that comes with having the government set up camp in your living room, the frustrations of the system, the heartache of having to lose a child you thought you could adopt, the reality of needing boundaries and wisdom to know when to say 'yes' or 'no' to a placement, the highs and lows of our personal marriages, the intense spiritual battle that surrounds orphan care, the need for and the lack of compassion and empathy, and the many needs of our own ten families who are currently caring for orphans or waiting for the children God has for them.
And as we talked, the purpose of the two passages became crystal clear.

First, when we are living in the middle of difficult circumstances and intense trials, we must remember to whom we belong - a powerful, loving, gracious, amazing, and sovereign God who is in control. We may not always be able to recognize His hands at work, but He IS always working.
Psalm 113 is a wonderful reminder of this truth!

Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord! 
Blessed be the name of the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore! 
From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised! 
The Lord is high above all nations, 
and His glory above the heavens! 
Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high, 
who looks far down on the heavens and the earth? 
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, 
to make them sit with princes, with the princes of His people. 
He gives the barren woman a home,
making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!

As comforting as it is to know that we belong to a God who holds the oceans in the palm of His hand and uses the earth as a footstool, sometimes we need to be reminded that He is a personal God. A God who cares about our needs, our emotions, our fears, and our sorrows. 
Psalm 23 is perfect!
This Psalm has been a part of my memory since I was a child, but never have I read it from the perspective of intimacy. I always viewed it through the eyes of God's provision and goodness, but my goodness - it is so PERSONAL!

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Thank You, Lord, that You are a God of power and might who knows all things and tells the sun when to shine and the winds where to blow. And thank You for being a God who combines His sovereignty with love and pours His grace upon His children every day with mercies that are new and forgiveness that is real. Blessed be the name of the Lord! The Lord who restores our souls. 

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