Often life is hard, but God is always good

Posts tagged ‘Psalm’

Easter truth: Strong and Loving

bluebirds - Easter

One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done. Psalm 62:11, 12 NIV

“We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen” is one part of The Nicene Creed that flows from my lips when I attend a liturgical church service. I can claim an understanding of the strength of God with his special creative levels of “super power”, but David, writing in his 62nd psalm, pushes me past that truth to a deeper, and more important, foundation: “…that you, O Lord, are loving.”

“Loving: committed to his people’s salvation and blessedness,” writes my Bible commentator in the text note. This powerful God uses his great strength to come through for us, to help us, to strengthen us for what we must do, and to provide the salvation that we truly need.

What a wonderful combination of qualities! Often strong people are out for themselves: their personal achievements, their own wins, their acquisition of wealth and education. But our God is out for our good.

Do we believe that?

“For us and for our salvation, he came down from heaven….For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures;…” (The Nicene Creed)

For you, O God, are strong, and you, O Lord, are loving!

Happy Easter!

 

 

 

God Did It!

Photo Credit:  Angus MacRae

Photo Credit:
Angus MacRae

Your ways, God, are holy.

    What god is as great as our God?

You are the God who performs miracles;

    you display your power among the peoples. 

Psalm 77:13-14 (NIV)

At our church women’s conference, I eagerly reached into the basket to choose the necklace that carried the profound word that would strengthen me in this hard year.  Each one was unique, our pastor’s wife had informed us. When I turned the ivory square over in my palm, “Servant” was spelled out in calligraphy. My heart sank. “Servant” to me meant more housework and more of the needs of others to consider above my own.

I was so disappointed.

Later that year, I accompanied the youth mission team to Mexico as a Spanish interpreter and as the “mom” for the group. As I prepared my heart for the trip, the Scriptures that kept popping up were all about Jesus the servant and humble friend.

Especially poignant was my personal devotional reading on the Sunday we were to be commissioned before leaving:

“But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place,’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14: 10 NIV

I decided to wear my servant necklace daily as a reminder.

After the trip was over, on the airplane ride home, I obeyed a prompting of the Holy Spirit to find a private moment speak to our flight attendant, Kaley, and give her a special Scripture God had brought to mind which I had written on an airline napkin.

We stood together in the back of the plane. I gave her the napkin and explained why I had thought of her. She began crying and poured out her story in a few precious, uninterrupted moments. Then I returned to my seat satisfied with the outcome of the encounter.

As we prepared for our touchdown in Atlanta, Kaley came down the aisle and stopped at our row. Leaning over close, she said,

“I am convinced you are an angel. I saw your necklace and knew something was different about you. When I was telling you my story, my migraine went away completely. I was planning to go to the hospital when we arrived. My headache was so bad and my meds weren’t working. But it’s completely gone!”

What I love most is that it required so little effort on my part.

I had never witnessed a physical healing, or knowingly participated in one before. I had no clue that she had a debilitating headache. I didn’t touch her or even pray for her. I simply obeyed that inner nudge from the Holy Spirit to write down a Scripture on a napkin and find a private moment in which to give it to her.

God did it. He healed Kaley.

The gift was clearly for this young woman,, but it encouraged my faith,too. She came back to tell me what had occurred when she could have just praised God that she was healed.

God is powerful, but he uses us.

It’s such simple teamwork.

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