Saturday, September 8, 2012
The provisions of the Lord make us useful
Being in Louisville for a little over a month now has given me several opportunities to see firsthand the abundant provisions of the Lord! Moving "on a whim" so to speak can have some unique challenges to it, challenges which, several years ago, would have sent me packing straight back home! Anyone who knows me well, can attest to my recurrent struggles with anxiety and even depression at times. Over the past couple of years, however, the Lord has truly done a great work in my heart and mind, protecting me from being swallowed up by such challenges. It has been no profound or particular effort on my part, but a great mercy of the LORD in my life as I called out to Him for deliverance. I remember many nights praying in my bed that He would help me to not be so prone to worry, fearfulness and even panic. Up until a couple of years ago, I would quickly become anxious about everything - if I would have enough money to pay a bill, wondering if a friend would stop being my friend when they saw weaknesses in me, panicked about whether or not my leaders and bosses thought I was doing a good job, and the list could go on and on! In recent years, the Lord has been faithful to grant me some measure of relief from these tendencies. I am sure some of that comes with age as we grow in our expectations - for others and ourselves. But the vast majority of it has been the Lord's undeserved grace and mercy being poured out on my life! And now, during this new season of my life, filled with changes and new things to "worry" about, I am able to see the fruits of what He has accomplished. Not at all because I don't still have a long way to go in my spiritual maturity, but because He has allowed me to experience a peace and comfort that has not been a normal past occurrence for me. As I adjust to life here, there have been multiple needs that have arisen - primarily because I didn't really know that I was going to go on a road trip and never go home! All that was with me when I arrived at seminary were the two suitcases of clothing I had in my car for the road trip, along with my iPad, a couple books and a coffee maker (which I providentially took with me and am now so thankful to have)! As I review my list of needed items - some which I hope to have sent here eventually and some which are new based on living in a different climate - I see God's faithfulness written all over it! Already my parents have shipped me several boxes, provided me with financial support that should not be necessary for a 35-year-old woman, and sent me numerous messages of encouragement assuring me that they are confident that this is the Lord's will for my life right now! A precious friend from home sacrificially bought a plane ticket and came to visit last week, bringing with her two more suitcases of clothing and other items from home. A beloved older couple from my home church surprised me with a sweet card that included a very helpful financial gift! My greatly missed college ministry back at Riverbend is helping my parents move all my belongings from my apartment into storage even as I write this. I could go on I am sure, when I think of cards and packages I have received! God has truly provided for each need as it has come up, and the ones He has not yet provided are things that He is quietly reminding me that I am surviving just fine without them and He will provide what else I need in His timing. More than all these physical needs being met, the Lord has graciously provided me with a calm spirit and encouraged heart daily! When moments of temptation arise to worry or be sentimentally focused on missing home, the Lord has quickly reminded me why I am here - so many people have been used to bless my life and my greatest desire is to be better equipped and given further opportunity to invest in the lives of others. And that is truly my hope in being here! For those of you who read this, have been praying for me or have sent words of encouragment - THANK YOU! You are loved and thought of with gratitude and affection often! I covet your prayers, for my spiritual stability, for the provision of further needs, for ministry opportunities to abound, and that I would do all that God has placed before me with excellence from a grateful heart!