"The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy,
I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly."
Ann Voskamp, who wrote One Thousand Gifts, challenges her readers to find the joy, the grace, and the gifts in the mundane and every day moments of life. I have pondered this week if the enemy, the thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy doesn't often use the mundane to do his dirty work. In this verse Jesus warns us of what Satan is up to, telling us that what ever comes into our lives that steals, kills or destroys us, is from the enemy. It is certainly not from our Lord. He is our Savior who has come to give us life and give it to us in abundance. Good news! So, I try not to give the devil too much attention, but look to the second part of this verse that reminds us of where we need to keep our eyes ~on Jesus!!
We also need to remember that we have the power within to send Satan packing. Both Smith Wigglesworth and Martin Luther share similar stories where Satan literally shows up in the middle of the night......When then each saw him they are both to have said, "Oh, it only you Satan" , and gone back to sleep. He has no power, unless we give it to him. I cannot say I would have responded like either one of them, but I do attempt to tell him to take a hike when I sense him in our lives.
About a week ago Joel and I started praying about our future. We see Joel's Interim position coming to an end as soon as May, and this past year has taken us down a new path. As I wrote before, our focus has changed since Joel's overnight healing. So, we have been asking God to show us HIS plan for "retirement" ~~what we are both loosely calling it. We really desire to keep serving Him, wearing out and not rusting out. We have been using words like yes Lord, surrender, more Lord, and thy will in our prayers. It goes along with a quote I heard recently:
" If you want to know God's will, say I WILL!"
We have discussed many options and opportunities and one out-of-the-blue surprise. Of course, nothing surprises God! We have spent quiet time meditating on what God's purpose is for us now, knowing that God's plan is always best. We truly want to be obedient to him in this season of our life too~ our autumn years.
Looking back on the week and the challenging situations that we have encountered, we are assured that we are on the right track. How? Satan is not happy! He keeps throwing things our way to distract us, to take our eyes off of Jesus. A disturbing conversation with a loved one............a phone call that unleashes old fears...........an infection that challenges a healing body.......... an encounter that triggers the residue of PTS within me~ all distractions from our focus. Remember, he is the thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but also remember that Jesus has come to give us abundant life! We are making the effort to pay Satan no mind as we exercise our eyes of faith. I love the old hymn....
"Keep your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of this world will grow strangely dim
In the light of His beauty and grace"
With eyes of faith and determination we are keeping our focus on Father God and prayerfully awaiting His direction. We are giving thanks for the mundane, and the small moments of grace that Ann Voskamp writes about in One Thousand Gifts, and we are praising God for the big moments too, because His grace is woven through them all. We are practicing the waiting dance with gratitude as we listen and anticipate His guidance and direction, expecting His plan to unfold in His perfect timing.
Today I am grateful for old hymns with powerful words
I am grateful for the privilege of work
I am grateful for new adventures and old familiar places
I am ao grateful for God's promises, all 6000 plus
Looking back on the week in pictures~
Pictures of our granddaughter in her pretty dress at the daddy-daughter dance
Pictures of grandchildren decorating cookies on a no school blizzard day
Pictures of a winter day filled with snow and birds nestling close for warmth
Pictures of our dog Levi awake and alert again