This Sunday during service I was compelled to make a list. Now, I will admit that sometimes I’m thinking of making a grocery list while listening to announcements, but this was different. I wanted to make a list so that I’d remember. I want to remember the times when God’s presence has been amazingly obvious in my life. You know those times? Those times when you have to take a quick breath and just say “WOW.” Those times when things line up so perfectly that it’s like someone is playing dominoes and has just flicked the first one. Now you’re just watching them all fall in a beautiful line. That’s what God’s presences looks like to me – a perfect row of dominoes. Or, sometimes the last piece that completes a puzzle.
Sunday’s sermon was on Zechariah and Elizabeth. Ever heard of them? I think I’d read their story once or twice before, but I’d never really dwelled on them. Their story is at the beginning of Luke. That’s right, the beginning of Luke. Luke doesn’t start with the birth of Jesus. It starts before. It starts when God was setting up the dominoes.
Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous and faithful people. They did all they were supposed to do. They followed all the rules and participated in all the Jewish customs. However, they remained childless. Now, this was a BIG deal back then – being childless. They could have gotten frustrated. They could have acted out of that frustration and not followed the rules and not remained faithful to God. But they didn’t. They remained faithful to the promise given to Abraham over 2,000 years previously. 2,000 years people. They were holding on to a promise made not in their lifetime, but in their ancestors’ lifetime.
God kept that promise, and He used Zechariah and Elizabeth to set up the dominoes. They finally had a son. His name was John, John the Baptist, the man who prepared the way for the Messiah.
The story of Zechariah and Elizabeth got me to thinking. How far back to I have to go to see God keeping His promises? Have I actually seen the hand of God work in my life? The answer to that – an overwhelming YES! I have seen Him! So, why then do I ever question Him? Why do I ever doubt? Why do I ever wonder?
That’s why I’m making a list. So, when I starting asking myself, “What has God done for me lately?” I’ll have an answer. Right here on the blog. I’ll have ten of them in fact. Ten (of the many) reasons to trust Him, my heavenly Father to always, always be there. Ten reasons to trust and hope in Him.
1. My God pursued me for years. YEARS! He placed person after person in my life, slowly and steadily leading me to Him.
2. God sent me to teach in south Georgia. I thought I was going to serve Him. He really sent me to learn to lean entirely on Him and to learn to forgive. If I hadn’t learned to forgive my past, I couldn’t have fallen in love in my future.
3. God sent my Sweetie to me when I was so very busy with life (that would be an accelerated graduate school program) that I couldn’t over-analyze what was happening and was madly in love in the blink of an eye.
4. God placed people whom are now my dearest friends in my life through small groups. I never would have met them otherwise.
5. God found a buyer for our first home just as our second was about to be lost to us. HIS perfect timing.
6. God blessed us with our Princess in HIS perfect timing.
7. God orchestrated my Sweetie’s current job with such amazing perfection that we all just took a deep breath and said, “WOW!”
8. God brought me to my dream job at the perfect time and with the perfect people.
9. God has placed AMAZING teachers/leaders in the Princess’ life that have helped her to grow in so many ways.
10. God is currently manipulating our living situation in a way that has blessed us many times over already. We sit comfortably knowing that this is His plan. It may not be the average circumstance, but He has designed this circumstance.
Friends, that wasn’t a hard list to make. I could add more, so many more. God has done MUCH for me lately.
I challenge you to make your own list. Jot it on a piece of paper and put it in your Bible. Then, when we begin to question, when we begin to wonder, we can look at our lists and remember. God is there ALWAYS. There is hope in Him.
If you would like to hear/listen to the sermon, it can be found here. It is the first sermon of the Thrill of Hope series.
Linked to Top Ten Tuesday at OhAmanda.