I sat here one morning, about a week ago now, with Romans 5:8 before me, where it says –
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
Romans 5:8 NLT
I think anytime you start your day with a reminder of His love for us it becomes a blessing. No, it’s not just a reminder but a blessing to take hold of tightly. It’s not that we need reminding of His love for us. I know I’ve delved into His love so much deeper in recent years. To not just go deeper in search of it but to go deeper in experience with His love
This morning I felt Him wanting to challenge me to let this reminder of His love be something that empowers me. That as much of a blessing His love is on me, He wants me….and us, to use His love as something that goes back out towards others we come in contact with. A challenge of empowerment because love is a powerful thing and something that is capable of breaking down all barriers.
We have much to be thankful for. SO much to be thankful for! Without His love where would we be? Without His love what example would we be programmed to set? His love is an example for us but I wonder what it would look like if we more actively empowered ourselves to use it so that we might bless those we show love to? Just maybe that was his point with His challenge all along!
Blessings aren’t just about something that God provides us with. We can bless God with our own efforts and equally important He definitely wants us blessing those around us too. Remember. It’s not the size of the action but the heart in the action. And as He first loved us, the least we can do is love those around us in the same way.
I wanted to write a few thoughts on Gratefulness and what it means to me.
As i sat in church this past Sunday morning in prayer. Gratitude was the word that came to heart. Just this instant feeling of gratitude that I could come to God, my heavenly Father and knowing that he not only hears my heart in that moment but that he knows my heart better than I do. He knows what that heart needs and he’s already providing it things that I will come to know when his time is right.
God is faithful and enduring in his quest for our hearts. Not once has he turned away. Even when we showed such little faith or acted with such little gratitude for him, he still didn’t look away from us. He still stands there beside us with that same look of love in his eyes for us.
I’m grateful that he is the God of love. That his love not just fills us but that it empowers us. It empowers us not only to be better people but also it is the very thing that draws us so close to his side in the first place. He keeps drawing us closer to him because his love for us is so powerful and so engaging. It’s hard to imagine ever turning away from him.
As I sat in the days ahead and just thought about it, I asked myself why it was that I was so grateful? What was it in particular that made me feel such gratitude?
It was a simple and very clear answer – In those moments it is there that you realise just HOW much God has done for us! You think back to all those little things that were provided to you when you needed them. All those times you cried out for an answer and it all worked out for the better.
He is constantly at work for the betterment of our lives. We just need to understand the way he works and things that our Father God is saying to us and then we will see the way he is moving in our lives.
When I think about that gratitude for all that he has done before and is doing now, it’s a place that feels like we’ve stripped all of life away, all of its distractions are not present. It’s just God and I and our thoughts. It’s a place where I am reminded of what it is that really matters and it all starts with love. It is the very reason for my gratitude.
It is where gratefulness and love meet. They do something only God can do. They grow in that place, inside us! Always take the time to remind yourself of your gratefulness for what the Father has done.
I wanted to write a little something on the presence of God. His presence is something that He has drawn my attention to even more so than usual in recent weeks. I am always aware of his presence, aware also of the fact that his presence works within us and around us. Sometimes we see it and feel it, sometimes we don’t. In those moments I have learned that He still is working and as time passes we do see that He was in fact working.
So in this past month I have kept reading and hearing the word Presence…..His presence. When words keep appearing I’ve learned to pay attention to them more than ever. What I began to uncover was In fact the way that His presence was working within me and around me in this season.
This was His chance to highlight to me the ways in which he was doing this.
This season has seen me fracture my left hip. As of this week that road to recovery has finished. Things really couldn’t have gone better. There were no obstacles or setbacks. In fact the recovery process was pretty quick.
Things in one sense are now back to normal. But the journey I have been on throughout means that I am actually in a different place than what I was before this began.
See, God has used this time to grow me. He has shown me much of his provision over my life. More than the simple “Geez! This could’ve been a whole lot worse and harder to endure. Thank you Lord!” – which it could easily have been.
Instead He used this time show me the ways in which his provision was over me. First, I was in fact lucky my injury was not worse. My hip also happened to fracture in an unusual place, high up, which meant surgery wasn’t necessary and I would be able to move around in the days preceeeding the injury and that it would hopefully heal naturally and it has.
But over time he would show me more. There was his peace that strangely sat with me In the hours after my injury. No fears, just peace in the dead of night. And as the the recovery began it was His love and healing that came in. No doubt prayer played a massive part as well for which I am grateful.
I was given a word one Sunday morning that a friend had been prompted by God to speak of His peaceful presence upon me and the words to be spoken were “healing joy” over me. 5 days later I was due a follow up x-ray on my hip. Sure enough the results showed it was healing as hoped.
There it was! In that moment I could see that the word given to me was confirmed. How could I not praise Him for that word and the timing of that word. Like He was calling out “I’ve got you”.
What’s fun to look back on now as this season has closed is simply the way that He has used His presence. He used it to show me His provision for me. He used it not just to heal me but to also show me the depths of His love for me But perhaps more telling is this. He used it to grow me and used it as a means to go deeper with him, so that I would see it all!
I remember a while back a friend had posted a photo from a friend’s phone. The image was of something undefined. What also was unusual was that they weren’t sure how that image came to be there. We were asked what we saw when we looked at the photo.
The word that came to mind for myself, and a few others too, was presence. Presence because what I could see was that there was something there. I had no idea what it was but there was the presence of something there. Parts of it were more defined, others were not so, they were almost like faded, or yet to come to full view. Particularly some parts around the edges were not clear.
But perhaps what it also represented was that this presence had parts which were full and parts which were still growing. These represent parts which have yet to be defined. But also those parts being around the edges might just represnt that something there is growing and expanding and that it will define itself with time.
And just maybe this would look a little like my journey in this season. That God would show me and teach me more about His presence and that this would in time grow me so that His presence is in fact more defined within me than it was the first time I saw that picture and of course, more defined than the day I fractured my hip.
Pretty cool, I say!
His presence is always working for us. It’s within us and around us. But sensing and acknowledging His presence allows the chance to go deeper with Him. It allows you to become more intimate and open with Him. It’s there that we grow with Him, for when we intentionally invite him in, that is where he can work with us for the good things he has planned for us.