Great is His Faithfulness

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‬‬I remember a time a few years ago when I was discouraged and heartbroken.

My hopes had been swept away by a flood of circumstances fueled by other people’s choices and actions. I chose integrity but no one else saw it that way. My character was questioned. My reputation was shredded and I could do nothing about it.

I could only walk forward into a future that I had not anticipated or imagined.

I clung to Jesus. I grabbed hold of the promise that He would never leave me or forsake me. I tried to trust that He could redeem the circumstances as I watched everything we had built crumble around us. I tried and failed- I couldn’t find trust or hope within my soul. Only heartbreak and fear.

Psalms 119:116 became the words I held onto:

Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.”

One morning I got up early and took a walk. We were living in Las Vegas and my neighborhood edged the desert by the Red Rock. With worship music loaded on my iPod, I set out to pray and breathe in the presence of God.

As I turned the corner out of my neighborhood and onto the desert road behind it the song “Great is Thy Faithfulness” began. The sun was just rising over Red Rock Canyon and it was so beautiful that I almost dropped to my knees.


I heard God’s whisper in my heart, “Hold on precious, your hopes are not lost. I am faithful to complete what I have started in you. I will sustain you through this and strengthen you in it. My faithfulness knows no end.”

It was a turning point for me. I carried that promise through a time that got harder long before it got better.

Hold on, my friend, your hopes are not lost. 

Jesus is faithful to complete what He started in you.

He will sustain you and strengthen you in it.

God’s faithfulness knows no end.

Awareness

The first hot days of summer are upon us and we spend most of our time either hiding indoors or in the water outdoors. It makes me think of when we lived in Las Vegas, NV and the brutal heat of summer started earlier in the year and lasted long into the fall. I remember the early morning walks I would take in the spring as I tried to “beat the heat” until I just gave up trying because it was a futile task. As soon as I stepped outside, even at 6 or 7 am in the morning, the air was already hot and thick. If I was desperate (and there were those days), I would rise before the sun did and talk a walk hoping for a predawn coolness and to maybe catch the sunrise over Red Rock Canyon.

Now we live in Northern California and the heat of the day starts slow, burns hottest in the early afternoon and tapers back down to a nice cool evening. I have never appreciated it as much as I do now. I am deliriously happy with the cool breezes of the morning because I know what it is like not to have them. I open my windows at night and am in awe of the fresh air flowing in because I remember a time when that was a ludicrous idea to open your windows at night. The summer heat of Las Vegas would wain in the dark of the night but only down to about 80 degrees or so. I grew up in California- this is not foreign weather to me, but I didn’t appreciate the delight of cool mornings and evenings until I lived in the desert.

When you have spent time in the desert, the lush valley is all the more beautiful. When you have been hollow and hungry, food tastes all the better. When you are desperately thirsty, there is nothing sweeter than pure water. When you don’t know what what your missing, you don’t appreciate what you have. But for those who have walked through the deserts, those who have been starved for loved and thirsty for healing, for those who have been miserably lost without God- they are the blessed ones who now have a heightened sense of awareness of all of the blessings of God’s redeeming presence.

“Some wandered in desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.” (Psalm 107:4-9 NIV)

Let us not be so focused on all we didn’t have in the past that it steals the precious awareness of what we have now. In fact, it is the trial of our past that give us an appreciation of the blessings we have. Instead of always thinking you are the one who lacked, on the contrary, you might be one now who experiences your blessings more fully than others. It is a blessing greater than you could have ever imagined.

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