Often life is hard, but God is always good

Posts tagged ‘Hope’

How Do I Look Back Without Staring?

 

Photo credit: Hugo-photography

Photo credit: Hugo-photography

 

“When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, ‘Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.’” Joshua 4:1-3

New Year’s Resolutions – have you made any? Worthwhile, motivating, fresh.  We look ahead with resolve and, most importantly, hope for a better future.

Looking back – have you done that?

We don’t have as strong an American tradition of remembering the past year.  Thanksgiving Day offers us some of that – reflecting on our blessings, but I need more than a prayer before the turkey is carved.  I need to look back and focus on the miracles that God performed in my personal life.

What did He do for you in 2013?

The Israelites saw the Jordan River pushed back in raging flood stage.  They walked across a dry riverbed – all of them.   And the LORD instructed them to take a stone from the center of the location where the ark of the covenant had rested in order to have a memorial of His goodness, His rescue, His doing on their behalf.

Right now my memorial “stone” is a collection of words written in my journal.  Maybe later I will get more creative and design a concrete thing to represent what God did for me this  past year.

What about you? What did God do for you that you could not do for yourself?

This looking back motivates us to go forward into the future, trusting that He will do it again, and it causes us to encourage others to rely on Him to care for them, too.

These stones are “to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD.” Joshua 4: 6

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How Do I Hold Onto Hope?

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.” Letter to the Hebrews, Chapter 6, Verse 19, 20a. New International Version

“Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly”, sang Judy Garland in her role as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, a movie released over seventy years ago.  Bluebirds have been a symbol of happiness throughout the decades and are, to me, a symbol of hope.

As a young girl, my grandmother instilled in me the love of songbirds, teaching me to recognize them by their plumage and their song.  Eastern bluebirds were not among those that crowded our bird feeders in my early years, so that beautiful creature was more of a legend to me than a reality.

When I moved into a new house eight years ago, I faced a heartbreak that brought me very low.  One morning as I stood at the kitchen window refilling the coffee carafe, a male bluebird alighted on the tip-top of my backyard bird feeder.  He was brilliantly azure with a rosy breast, and he stayed on his perch and burbled cheerfully for a while.

Photo Credit: Keith Ewing

Photo Credit: Keith Ewing

I knew, beyond a doubt, that my Heavenly Father gave me that bluebird sighting to remind me that He was with me and that I should hope for better times.

To increase my opportunities to have my heart lifted, I bought a bluebird house from a Minnesota man who constructs them in his garage, and learned to raise meal worms to draw the birds in to feed.

I see and hear bluebirds everywhere I go now, and that bad time did pass.

This blog name “Bluebirds Always Fly” represents my heartfelt hope that God is real, loving, and personally concerned for each one of us.   Even when we cannot see them with our eyes, bluebirds are always flying over the rainbow.

What is the symbol or sign given to you personally by God to keep your hope alive?  I would love to hear about it!

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