Friday’s Worship Walk

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You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

2 Corinthians 9:11

 

This verse reminds me of what I call “the worship cycle”. It starts with God, who graciously showers His love on us. Experiencing His goodness is meant to lead us to respond both by thanking Him and showing others a glimpse of that Godly love. Giving to others in His name has the potential to start a ripple effect that multiplies the praises God receives. What an exciting cycle to be a part of!

Today’s Worship Walk – Wednesday

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But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

Luke 15:20

 

There’s a word that describes this kind of love – lavish. The father in Jesus’ story of the lost son doesn’t hold back his happiness about his son’s return. Excitement to see the young man compels him to rush down the road! The son must have been astonished – he’d been ready to beg for his father’s forgiveness and for a job. Instead, he is swept up in a warm embrace and welcomed home with a kiss. Jesus paints this picture of our Heavenly Father to teach us what His love for us is like. The more I experience of this lavish love, the more I want!

 

Hope For Better Things

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Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12

My husband and I were heading down the highway the other evening when a memory stuck me of driving down this same road certain nights in my 20’s.

In those days, a restlessness and discontent rattled around inside me. Some nights, I hopped in my Colt and drove, often going for long stretches at a time. I had no specific destination in mind except away from the day-to-day reality of my life. Just being in the car, alone, felt like breaking free and reassured me there might be more “out there” somewhere for me. But there was always a tinge of loneliness mixed in. I’d glance out at the lights I’d see in neighborhoods that I passed, and wonder what it was like to have a house and family, to be settled and needed at home.   

Reliving those moments, I began feeling sad for that 20-something who felt so full of angst. But then, a new and sweeter thought popped into my mind. I would not be surprised at all if it was the Holy Spirit intervening! Here was what I pictured:

Me, as I am now, standing in front of the me I was then. I put my hands on my younger self’s shoulders and say, “I know how unhappy you are now. But you won’t find your life speeding down a road by yourself. Things are going to get a lot better for you. You can’t see that yet, so you’ll have to trust me. For right now, though, hold on to hope. That has carried through so much already – let it keep you going now.”

It’s true that no matter how discouraged or angry or depressed I got in that time of my life, I never totally gave up hope. The smallest flicker of it always appeared when I needed to be pulled out of a funk. Was it the power of my own positive thinking? Hardly!

If I really could go back and talk to my younger self, I’d tell her that God is waiting for her. He loves her, and has always had a plan for her to be in a family – His church. And He has always wanted her to feel safe and settled – under His wings. Only one thing will calm the restlessness she feels, and it won’t be a longer road trip, but coming home.

I shared my musings with my husband, who smiled – he knows the journey I’ve been on. And I realized how wonderfully God has met my longings in ways I would never have imagined.