Often life is hard, but God is always good

Archive for the ‘Grandparents’ Category

Chicken Before the Egg: Thoughts on Faith

bluebirdschicken

Photo credit: Julie Weatherbee

“For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100:5

My grandmother had faith in Jesus Christ. She walked it out by her acts of kindness, her faithful church attendance, her daily devotional reading of the Bible, and her teaching – mostly through the songs she sang us at bedtime (“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so”.)

My mother followed in her footsteps, after wandering a while in the fog of Eastern religions during her hippie phase. Mom has faith in Jesus Christ and his love for her.

I do, too.

Today I am reflecting, with gratitude, on how my faith is in God’s faithfulness. The chicken comes first, then the egg, so to speak. His faithful love that is enduring leads to my faith and trust in that love.

Recently, I was served at a restaurant by a young waitress with a tattoo of a Bible verse reference on her forearm: I John 4:19. This is the classic chicken before the egg truth: “We love because he first loved us.”

I pray my children and grandchildren will experience faith – the precious commodity of knowing personally the unending goodness and love of God that “continues through all generations”.

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11: 6

 

Abounding in Love and Faithfulness

Photo Credit: Lisa Widerberg

Photo Credit: Lisa Widerberg

And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” Exodus 34:6 NIV

I first heard that the Lord “abounded in love and faithfulness” from my grandmother, Dorothy Clay Watson, aka “Grandmummy”.

She has gone to glory, but her own faithful declaration of the constant affection of the Lord for me built a solid foundation for my soul.

Every time I stayed overnight at her house, my Grandmummy walked with me up the creaky stairs to the spare bedroom. She paused at the landing to retrieve a silver candlestick with a candle stub that she would light. This magical ritual culminated in our kneeling by the bed to sing songs as a nighttime benediction by candlelight.

Precious.

Recently, I crooned one of these holy songs to my own infant granddaughter as I rocked her by the crib before putting her to bed:

Jesus loves me — this I know

For the Bible tells me so

Little ones to Him belong

They are weak but He is strong

Refrain: Yes, Jesus loves me! 
Yes, Jesus loves me!

Yes, Jesus loves me! 
The Bible tells me so

(Original poem by Anna Barlett Warner, Hymn by William Batchelder Bradbury)

The faithfulness of God is yours and mine from our birth to our present moment.

My eyes with the clarity of heavenly sight look back and see He has kept his pledge to love me always. He has protected, re-directed, and placed strategic people in my life.

Can you see the evidence of His faithfulness to you?

May we “pay it forward” by proclaiming to others the wonder of our dependable, steadfast God who loves us forever.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases his mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, new every morning. Great is your faithfulness, Oh Lord. ©1974, 1975 Celebration / Written by Edith McNeill

Cynicism or trust?

Photo Credit: girl/afraid flickr.com

Photo Credit: girl/afraid flickr.com

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 NIV

God is good. I could just stop typing after that statement. Or maybe I could put that statement in boldface type. Anyway, this is the reality that I am absorbing – God is good.

My new grand baby is smiling now, three months old and her eyes crinkle up with laughter and light.  She trusts me. She responds from the framework because nothing has hurt her… yet.  God, protect her from all harm.

But we adults have experienced bad stuff.

Life is complicated, confusing and hurtful. People mess up and hurt us. We make mistakes that impact others. Bad things happen to well-meaning people. All this pain is unavoidable – especially if we allow ourselves to love, but this messy reality never erases the truth that God… is… good. He is always good. What a difference it makes when we protectively cradle this truth in the core of our beings.

This is “back to basics” faith. Like the writer to the Hebrews reminds us we come to God believing that he is – that he exists. The next step of faith is that we believe that God rewards those who seek him. He “rewards” – he responds lovingly and directly for our benefit.

God is light; he is not darkness. He is loving, not hateful. He is a good parent, not an uncaring one. He is truthful, not a liar. He is steady, enduring, not capricious and changeable. He is always… there for us.

“This is the message that we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” I John 1: 5

“Which of you fathers, if your son ask for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:11-13

Let’s we walk around hopeful – trusting that God knows, sees, understands, and has it under control – somehow.

I will allow cynicism, despair, fear…

to drop away.

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