Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercyhe has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:3-7
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 13:15
My sister in law asked me what was my favorite gift was this year. I didn’t have to think long. It was Evie. My 12/12/15 birthday baby. Having gone through 9 months of a challenging pregnancy, her long awaited arrival was sweet. With only a couple weeks into maneauvering a family of 5, the meaning of Evie’s name (even amidst my kidney stone hospital run 4 days after her birth, lack of sleep, nursing woes, the too many billyrubin pricks, and Christmas craze/sickness which befell upon everyone) strangely rings true for me now. “Life”.
Her life has brought me life. Just as our God promises abundant life to those who believe and follow Him, His gift of the life of Evie to me has overwhelmed me with unspeakable peace, joy and hope at the end of this year. In remembering our four and a half years of infertility, I am grateful to God. For my three when I had come to accept I wouldn’t have one. For girls when I planned on boys. For making it clear that Evie’s life was in His timing, His control and His perfect plan-not mine. And ultimately, that our. God. Is. Faithful. And. Can. Be. trusted. Fully. Evie=life. God=the life giver. Evie=a blessed, good gift to me. God=THE giver of ALL good gifts.
Over the past couple weeks, I believe the Lord has been bringing someone to my mind. Over. And over again. (These consistent, persistent thoughts, seeming out of my typical thought patterns is typically a sign to me that God is nudging me to act in some way for Him.) I do not know this person well. In fact have only met them one time, but know of their story. Their story is one of chronic pain. Inability to live life much outside the walls of home. Everyday reliance on family to care for and meet financial, and physical needs. And in our one, brief moment of meeting, the word HOPE flooded my entire being. And this word continued to appear in the days and weeks which followed our interaction-a Facebook invite popped up “A night of Hope”; our sermon series at church was on “Hope”; and scriptures, as well as songs, involving a certain word (I think you know) permeated my days.
I knew I was to contact this person, pray for this person, do something for this person but didn’t know exactly how to proceed. That’s when I believe God made my next step clear. Our church gave everyone a $30 gift card to pass on to a person of our choice. To bless them this season. This person came immediately to my mind. This financial blessing was definitely not the way I thought the Lord would have me proceed. I told my husband I believed God placed someone on my heart to give this to. And He graciously agreed to the choice.
We emailed but have not been able to connect with this person yet. But I trust His timing will be perfect. And it is this morning in which I have been able to lift my head briefly from the new Mom fog and get a quick swig of coffee (from our new machine which actually uses whole beans-I feel so spoiled, but I’m ok with it) and some in the Word/fix my eyes on Jesus time (while the miracle moment happened- the babe was sleeping, the girls were happily occupied and the house looked decent enough for me to feel grace/freedom from my Father for some much needed time with Him). And this person was brought to my cloudy, rummy mind again. And the three songs which came on K love nearly brought me tears as my heart went out to this individual. And I actually did cry as the Lord brought to mind what my next theme verse I would be writing on was, “Love is always hopeful”. There was that “hope” word again.
Then my moment of God time was interrupted by Evie’s newborn cry. (The gas breaks up those sleep patterns much more often than i would like.) I decided to put try her for the first time in the “Baby Bourne” carrier. It had worked before for the other girlies, hoping for the best with this one as well. As my husband helped me get her all locked in snug to my chest, I continued to find His Spirit speaking in my everyday new baby routine. Evie fought with all her might with her little hands, feet and bobbing head to break free, but then finally relaxed. Was calmed. And found peace and rest in just being held.
May we, on this day before the New Year, also stop fighting. To be in control of it all. To know and understand it all. To do and be it all. And be held by our heavenly Father’s loving arms-finding true peace in our current circumstances because He is THE Prince of Peace. Finding true rest from our anxieties and worries when we give our burdens to Him because He cares deeply about them and about us. And finding true HOPE for our now and tomorrow’s New Year because we know He is the only true HOPE we base our lives upon, knowing His plans for us are good and hopeful (Jer 29:11).
As this is a “too be continued” story since we have not yet given our $30 gift card to the individual I believe God put on my heart/mind, I wait in hopeful expectation as to how God will show up, be glorified. And may you be encouraged by our God of Hope as you wait in expectation as to His good gifts and plans He has for you in 2016 as you allow Him to hold you in His loving arms of HOPE today.
What trial in your life are you going down the “giving up”/”quitting” path? Will you ask God for His strength to persevere in the hard and restore to you His hope today?
Would you be willing to ask God what area you need to submit to Him in this New Year?
Would you take the opportunity in the beginning of the New year to lay down fears to the Father and ask Him for courage to step out in faith (not sight) in response to the Spirit’s “nudge” ( “new mission” of obedience) He is calling you to?
© 2012 Standing on Peace