I have days, even weeks, where I can sense God's presence. Not in a weird mystical way. But rather, He is on my mind more often than not. I don't know why He seems closer at certain times and distance at others. This week I am just thankful that He seems close.
A few mornings this week, my eyes have popped open before 5:00am. I love my morning times with God, but not before 5:00am...my goodness! When I wake up like this, my thoughts immediately go to God. I have rolled over and tried to go back to sleep, but no such luck. This morning, this happened at 4:45 and I just laid there praying for different things and different people. I didn't want to get up and move around because Gene is off on Friday, and I know he likes to sleep in on his off day. The more I laid there though, the more I wanted to read my Bible. I had to get up!
Working in youth ministry and college ministry, we are often asked, "How do I know that I am saved?" and this is one of the evidences of salvation that we list for them....You will have a DESIRE for God. This desire pulls you toward your Creator and Savior. There will be a desire to know Him better through Bible study and prayer. Today I am thankful for this confirmation in my own life.
This week, I am just so grateful for God's provision in our lives. We are at peace with where we are and what we are doing. Peace has been hard to come by over the last few years. In our previous church, for whatever reason, the numbers have been dwindling. People have been leaving the church which has affected the "need" for so many staff members and the financial resources to pay so many staff members. In numerous staff meetings, Gene heard, "I don't want to let anyone go, but if you hear of a good job opportunity, take it." This is scary when your husband provides the only income for the family. I have had months where I have worried that Gene would lose his job, wondering how fast we would blow through our savings, wondering if some medical emergency would occur without health insurance, etc. Thankfully those things didn't happen. You would think that after so many years of walking with God and seeing His constant provision that I wouldn't worry....but I still battle this sin.
We are loving being back home at Shoal Creek. When we first started praying about this "move" over a year ago, I couldn't wrap my brain around taking such a pay cut, but God removed what I was placing my confidence in. I went from asking God to allow Gene to find a job that was a financial "increase" (being honest), to begging God not to allow him to lose his job, to being so thankful for this new job opportunity, regardless of the salary. Today, I am still just GRATEFUL. I am no longer worried at all. I know that God will provide what we need. We feel so blessed that God made a way as we were losing hope, that we didn't go without a pay check, that there was no lapse in insurance...not even one day, and that we are so excited about the future and being actively connected to our community.
Gene has been blessed beyond measure by his new staff and the willingness of Shoal Creek members to accept him with open arms. He is loving his private office after 4 years of sharing a trailer with 4 other ministers. Studying God's Word is almost impossible in that kind of environment with everyone talking and answering their own phone.... and there was NO privacy at all for even a simple phone call to answer someone's question or counseling need. Simply put, Gene loves going to work again and that blesses this wife!
Our family is spending more time together too which is an added bonus.
God is so good! Maybe that is why I feel so close to Him today...because I have seen His intimate provision and care for us ....AGAIN. My prayer today is that I would feel just as close to Him when things are not so good and troubles arise. The Bible says that "in this world we will have trouble", so I know it is coming. I am praying that I will be found faithful when it comes.
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