Saturday, October 11, 2008

You're Welcome!

Several years ago, I finally made Jesus Christ the Lord of my life. Before that, I had known of Him, but I never really bothered to get to know HIM. That left an emptiness in my heart and in my life. Once I finally surrendered my will to Him, He occupied what was once emptiness in my life. My heart became a treasure chest of love. There are now precious gems of truth and nuggets of encouragement that shine from within me. Just as Paul's letter to the Colossians was to impress upon them that there was complete adequacy in Jesus Christ, as compared to the emptiness of mere human philosophy, God's word to me has impressed that same truth, "My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:2-3.

One precious gem that I've always remembered to put on display in my treasure chest is a special story of God's faithfulness and His love for me. One day our lesson in Sunday School class was to recognize God the following week in all the details in our life, even the small ones. My prayer, upon rising Monday morning, was for God to make himself known to me all throughout the day. I told him I would be watching and waiting and I invited him to bless my socks off with a keene awareness of His presence.

My top spiritual gift is faith, so this wasn't really a stretch for me to believe that God would show up. The funny thing was that, having a strong faith, I never really needed to ask to see things; I just knew He was always there and always working. I was in for a real treat that day. Almost immediately, I started to recognize God in the small details of my day.

On the way to work, I was worshipping God as I listened to K-Love radio. A song had just played that affirmed the truth that God will make a way. I believed that, and I'm so glad God reminded me of how He made a way for me. As I sat at a traffic light, the front plate on the car facing me across the intersection suddenly seemed to jump out at me. The plate simply said "Jesus". On a normal rushed and busy day, I may not have noticed the words of the song or the visual representation of how the way was paved for me for an eternity through Jesus. Sometimes things have to be spelled out for me. I mentally grasped that nugget of encouragement and verbally thanked God for showing himself to me.

Through both music and a great appreciation for God's creation, I find it easy to worship and praise God for everything under the sun. This particular day, God spoke to me in my language. You know in your heart when God is talking to you. I couldn't believe I had never really tried to listen and watch more closely before. I shared with my husband at dinner that night, all the beautiful and meaningful ways God had made his presence known to me that day. It was a sweet time of thankfulness. On the drive home, a steady rain had just let up and the sun came from behind the clouds just before sunset. Once again, just at that moment, a beautiful sunset and colorful rainbow was accompanied by a song of God's faithfulness through the storm. He was showing me His promise. I was watching and listening. I added another precious gem to my treasure chest. I was rich with blessings.

As I dropped my husband off at home, I ran to the store on an errand. My conversation with God was ongoing and I was thanking Him for being visible to me all day. I thanked him for always being with me, even when I couldn't see, hear or feel him. Yet, I also thanked Him for a special glimpse, something tangible to put in my treasure chest. Just as I was saying "amen", I looked up at the white puffy clouds in the late evening sky. All of a sudden, in the midst of the clouds, I saw a very clear and visible smiling face; the face that had become familiar to me as that of Jesus.

I began to think I was getting a little carried away, so I looked away, not once, but twice. Each time I looked back, I saw the beautiful face of Jesus yet again. I started to chide myself for being a bit too imaginative, but then I remembered how my entire day had gone as a result of God answering my prayer and showing himself to me through what, up until this point, had been the small things. But, THIS was no small thing, let me tell you! This was a humdinger of a revelation. All day, God had spelled things out for me, had spoken and sang to me, painted the sky for me, but NOW, He was smiling at me. This was the gem of all gems; this was literally my ROCK that still shines atop my treasure chest. All I could do was praise Him and say, "THANK YOU, LORD!" As I closed my eyes, still seeing His smile, I knew He was saying, "You're welcome!"

I shared this experience with my class the following Sunday. They were a bit in awe, but I know they believed me because they knew me. The following Sunday we had a great laugh about how everyone was going around looking at the clouds all week, trying to get a glimpse of Jesus. They didn't see him there, but I'm sure He made his presence known in other meaningful ways to them.

God doesn't have to be visible anymore for me to know He's there, but it sure was a BLESSING to see and feel my Saviour's love that day. I think, because I have a lot of faith and just believe that God is God and He will do what he says he will do, he gave me precious nuggets to store away that day in my treasure chest. I can just close my eyes and still see his smiling face.

Unfortunately, as we go about our lives, we sometimes forget that God is always with us. We sometimes are too busy to include Him in our daily activities. We forget that He wants to bless us and give us His strength to draw upon; He wants to be our Rock, our Strong Tower. But, He wants us to live that relationship with Him every day; not just when we remember or are reminded that we need Him. We will always need Him and He will always be there. For that, I continue to say, "Thank you, Lord!" I know He smiles and says, "You're welcome!"