A Resurrected Life 2 years later

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It’s been two years.  Two years since my life was forever changed.  Two years since I didn’t know if I was going to make it.  Two years since my plans drastically changed.  Two years since Taiwan.

My life has never been the same since July 2012, and the events surrounding then, still have an affect on my life each and every day.  The past two years have been full of tears and of triumph, full of streams in the desert, and full of gushing joyful waters.  I am not the same person I was two years ago, and I am forever thankful for that.  As I have been reflecting over my experiences and the Lord’s steady hand of faithfulness revealed to me, I am reminded of His nearness and that I have been called to walk in a new life.

In John 11, Jesus’ friend, Lazarus, dies.  Jesus could have kept Lazarus form dying, yet He didn’t.  Instead, He said, “This sickness will not end in death but it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” (v4) I can only imagine how saddened Jesus’ heart was when He received the news of his friend’s death because Jesus loved Lazarus, Mary, and Martha.  When Jesus went to Bethany, the city where Lazarus died, He was met by Martha.  Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life.  The one who believes in Me, even if he dies will live.  Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die- ever.”  Then Jesus asks her, “Do you believe this?”  This struck me, when I was reading it.  Lazarus was dead, Martha was heartbroken, and then Jesus asks her if she believes what He just told her.  She had a choice, whether to believe Jesus, (not knowing what He was about to do) or to not believe Jesus because Lazarus was already dead.  As I have been on this journey these past two years, I have had a choice daily, to believe Jesus or not to.  Some days it’s easier than others.  Beth Moore stated, “The most debilitating loss for a Christian is not the loss of a loved one but the loss of faith.” (122, Breaking Free) Loss of life does not mean loss of faith, and like Martha, that is something I have been having to work on daily, moment by moment believing God.

Martha, though, answers Jesus and says, “I believe You are the Messiah, the Son of God, who comes into the world.” Mary and Martha, as well as Jesus, seemed to be struck by grief.  Over the past two years, I have experienced grief, yet grief is an invitation to believe God even more.  Beth Moore also said, “Joy and effectiveness may seem to pause for a while as grief takes its course, but those who allow their broken hearts to be bound by Christ will experience them again.” I know that to be true.  I have had grief abound and joy just barely trickle, but I am learning daily to experience that joy again.  Christ has healed my grief stricken heart. (123)

Ultimately, Jesus goes to Lazarus’ tomb and shouts, “Lazarus, come out! The dead man came out bound hand and foot with linen strips and with his face wrapped in a cloth.  Jesus said to them, ‘Loose him and let him go.'”  Wow!  Jesus truly is the Resurrection and the LIFE!  Beth Moore goes on to say, “Perhaps the most profound miracle of all is living through something that we thought would kill us.  And not just living, but living abundantly and effectively- raised from living death to a new life.  A life indeed absent of something or someone dear but filled with the presence of the resurrection and the life.” I think that is beautiful.  Living through something that should kill you is a miracle in and of itself, but being able to live abundantly and effectively is the most incredible part of it.  I am still learning what that looks like, but because the Resurrection and the Life raised me from death into this new life, He is teaching me how to live  (123)

Two years ago, my heart was gushing out blood; I felt as if it could never be healed.  But friends, I am here to tell you that He DOES bind up the broken hearted. He placed His strong, gentle hands over my heart and stopped the bleeding. (123)

Even though, my heart was broken in a million pieces two years ago, my life is better today because of it.  The Resurrection and the Life is daily teaching me what walking and living as a new person who has abundant life, looks like.  Jesus truly is the Resurrection and the Life.  Jesus truly is the Resurrection and the Life.  Oh, He is.

 

He is near,

 

Elizabeth

 

Along the Way

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I have been reflecting over the past few months of my life, and have truly realized I have learned and discovered so many things.  I think that my list will continue to be added to.  I could write a whole book about everything the Father has shown me and taught me along the way of this journey.  By no means is this an exhaustive list or a complete one because each day, I am learning something new.  Some days are still a great struggle, but it’s on those days, especially, I am grateful for all that He has taught me because without those lessons, I would not be prepared to get through this day.

I have learned:

1.  The Father is truly my best friend. It may sound cheesy or cliche, but I really want to tell Him about everything.  He is the One I want to talk to and dwell in.

2.  I am satisfied in and by the Lord.  Never before have I truly been and I still, daily, am falling more deeply into Him.

3.  TAIWAN. Need I say much more?  It changed my life FOREVER.

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4.  Eating a chicken heart isn’t necessarily a good idea. :)

5.  I have a beautiful inheritance.  (Psalm 16)

6.  A specific people group has captured my heart. “Peace and calm comes from becoming tied to the people God wants you to reach and knowing the Father’s heart.”

7. The Church is GLOBAL.

8.  Prayer IS powerful.

9.  God’s perspective is eternal.

10.  Faith AND suffering are BOTH given by God. Philippians 1:29

11.  Yahweh IS faithful.

12.  Saved from a negative relationship.

13.  I was blessed with close, intimate friends, through my roommates and others.

14.  God is near.

15. He NEVER ever abandons me.

16.  Salmonella is painful and nasty!

17.  My grandparents love me.

18.  Nurse Judy in Taiwan. She was such a blessing.

19.  I like to shower.

20.  “This is Not the End.” -Gungor

21. I must hold tight to Truth.

22.  The Lord held me in the hospital.

23.  Jesus’ Name IS powerful.

24.  My life has a purpose.

25.  It’s one thing to know the truths, and it’s another thing to believe them. – I’m still learning to believe.

26.  He still gets the glory.

27.  Ice is not easily attainable in Taipei.

28.  I really really love people.

29.  Healing is solely in the Father’s hands.

30.  It’s good to be quiet and still before the Lord.

31.  God is my victory.

32.  I have no regrets about following Jesus.

33.  My parents are AWESOME :D

34.  I love too cook!  I love nutrition!  (See my other blog “Eating to Live”  www.healthyyummyeats.wordpress.com)

35.  He sees my tears.

36.  I should take a stock in baby wipes from Target.

37.  God cares about the little details.

38.  The Manilla, Philippines airport is a very crazy place.

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39.  The Lord truly is my strength.

40. Jet Lag + sick + hospital = bad combination

41.  Being in a wheel chair gets you through airports really quick!! FYI

42.  Psalm 18- I LOVE this psalm.  These were my hospital verses.

43.  I’m learning that the Lord’s ways ARE perfect.

44.  God is constant through all the trials and the change.

45.  My timetable is not the Lord’s.

46. Sometimes I worship God’s plans instead of God.

47.  I love the gospel.  The gospel is beautiful.

48.  I want to tell everyone about it!

49.  Learning contentment in all things.

50.  Joy comes and is still found. 

51. The Spirit truly intercedes on my behalf.

52.  PSALM 126 PSALM 126 PSALM 126 PSALM 126

53. Crying is good.

54.  Sowing seed with my tears.

55. Following Jesus is hard.

56.  He gives me Himself.

57.  Suffering drives me closer to Him.

58. Be real.  Be honest with God because He already knows.

59.  A broken heart hurts.

60.  It is good to sing to You, Lord.

61.  Waiting, even though I don’t understand, brings God glory.

62.  When all else is stripped away, it causes me to love Him more.

I’m just trying to follow Jesus along the way, and I am learning many things.  In fact, on days or weeks like I’ve been having lately, it’s these things that I have to remind myself of.  I have to remind myself to cling to truth and believe it because He’s already been teaching me.  I encourage you to follow Jesus along the way, and even when it’s hard, He gives you unfathomable and unspeakable hope and joy because He gives you Himself.  I can attest to that.  When all around me is faltering, all I have left is Him.  And that, brothers and sisters, is worth it all.  Although the journey has been rough, He is worth every single step of it.

Following Jesus along the way,

Elizabeth

Learning to Live

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So I haven’t written a blog in awhile.  There are so many different things I could write about, and I’m going to write about those amazing things that the Lord has done.  There have been SO many reminders from Him that He sees me and He hears me and He knows me.  I could write story after story about this, and I will, but right now, I’m going to focus on one from this week.

Basically, the past few days have been kind of like an emotional roller coaster, yet at the same time, they have been SO so good.  I’ve had to make some decisions this week that were really hard.  Two days ago, I sat down at my friend’s kitchen table with my Bible, a notebook, and an open heart. I really needed to hear something from the Lord.  I needed to make decisions.  I wasn’t looking for a big neon sign saying, “Go here and do this!” But I was just looking for, well, I guess, anything that He wanted to say to me.  Whenever I’ve asked Him for a word, He never fails me.  In fact, He goes above and beyond what I ever could have expected. I read Jeremiah 23:20, “The Lord’s anger will not turn back until He has completely fulfilled the purposes of His heart.  In time to come you will understand it clearly.”  Wow. Okay, so I don’t really want to take this completely out of context, but I did ask for a Word from the Lord, and like Jeremiah, I have asked Him, “Why?” quite frequently.  But, until the purposes of His heart are fulfilled, He’s not going to relent, and I don’t want Him to.

All that to say, I’m reading through the book of Jeremiah right now, and man, God’s people really had it coming for them.  He was angry and disaster was going to come, yet He still had great love and compassion for them.   While reading everything prior to Jeremiah 29, I just kept thinking, “Wow, this is so rough.” Then once I got to Jeremiah 29, it really made sense about how the Lord has plans to prosper and not to harm but for a hope and a future.  (See previous post: “Certain and Inevitable Plans”) The people of God had to go through a whole lot of really hard stuff, (شمشم shmshm). You know, right now, life has just been super crazy for me.  I have gotten glimpses of the Lord’s plan through this, but really, the main thing that I have received is Himself, and learning to be content and satisfied with God alone.  And in Jeremiah 29:4-17, it says, “This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel says to all the exiles I deported from Jerusalem to Babylon: ‘Build houses and live in them.  Plant wives and have sons and daughters.  Take wives for your sons and give your daughters to men in marriage so that they may bear sons and daughters.  Multiply there; do not decrease.  Seek the welfare of the city I have deported you to.  Pray to the Lord on its behalf, for when it has prosperity, you will prosper.'” Reading this, it really hit me because these people were going through extremely difficult times, but even though they were not where they wanted to be, they were supposed to be content with where they were at because He, God, deported them there.  I need to live where God has placed me.  Live where He has placed you.  Where I am now, is definitely not where I thought I would be, and honestly, like the exiles, not exactly where I want to be, but this is where I am, and I am learning to live where He has “deported” me to.  Later in chapter 29 it states, “‘I will be found by you’- this is the Lord’s declaration-‘and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and places where I banished you’-this is the Lord’s declaration.  ‘I will restore you to the place I deported you from.'” Oh, how I am filled with hope.  I am not necessarily thinking that the Father was telling me He will in time restore me to East Asia, but it does bring my aching soul comfort to know that restoration is coming.

Decisions have been difficult.  My heart is very heavy tonight as I write this, but one thing I do know is that I can rest in confidence that I know a God who is the God of restoration. He’s teaching me everyday what it really looks like to live- how to live back at school, how to live with being sick, how to live with being a student, how to live with fallen dreams, how to live being single, how to live in pain, yet still pour myself out to others, how to live each and everyday.  And that, friends, is how my restoration is beginning. I’m learning how to live, for , “He has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” (Genesis 41:52)

Live where he has placed you.

 

-Elizabeth

 

My Song in the Night

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“My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.”-Martin Luther

You know, one of the many good things that has made itself evident lately is the fact that since I cannot do much, I have much time to play music.  I have all this time on my hands to sing, write, play the piano and guitar.  I’ve been thinking a lot about music lately, and whether I’m feeling down or feeling happy, music is the place I want to go to.  It’s the place where I connect most intimately with the Father.  As soon as my fingers begin touching the tips of the ivories, it’s like I’m taken away to a place where it’s only me and Him.  No one else is around, even if I’m in a crowded room.  It’s a safe place and because of that, I just want to sit there and rest in the good and in the bad.

Right now, a lot of my music has seemed to be surrounded by the theme of darkness.  I feel like such a broken instrument, and sometimes I wonder how can God use me?  I’ve been reading the book, “A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God’s Sovereignty by Joni Eareckson Tada and in chapter five, she writes about how broken instruments can still be used by God.

“Whatever strings are broken in our lives- we can still play beautiful music with what we have left.  In fact, it will be music that no one else can play in the same way.” (103)  Reading that, helped me begin to realize that even though I am a broken mess, the music that comes from that, no one else can play it in the same way.  No matter what happens in life, you can be confident that the brokenness can be turned into a beauty that no one else has ever experienced.

Joni also writes, “Sometimes you have to take what’s left and coax out of life something new and different.  Life becomes a recomposition, a series of new chords.” (103)  I am finding this to be so true at this point in life.  Nothing has gone the way that I planned, and that’s hard, but it’s also okay.  “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.”  Proverbs 16:33 Every decision comes from the Him.  I can try to fight Him and be angry at Him for this change of events from what I had planned, but it doesn’t matter, because even though I plan my ways, the Lord directs my steps, and he holds me. “A man’s steps are established by the Lord, and He takes pleasure in his ways.  Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, because the Lord holds his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24  So for now, life has become a recomposition.  I’m still trying to figure out what it’s supposed to sound like, but my confidence rests in Him.

“It takes a special skill to bring music out of a broken instrument, and the one who does deserves recognition and glory.  God is that one.” (103)

“His melody- His incomparable heavenly, impossibly beautiful music- somehow comes into its own when it emanates from a broken, battered, but fully yielded human vessel.  It’s music that can only come from particular instruments, broken in particular ways, and yielded with particular humility.  I also believe it brings God glory in a way that is completely unique on earth or in the heavens.  And that’s a thought that keeps me going, too.  (103-104)  I just keep thinking, how can I bring God glory through this when I can’t do anything?  Well, I can surrender in humility and being fully yielded to Him.  Like Joni, “the thoughts of beautiful heavenly music emanating from a broken life that can bring God glory, keeps me going too.”

I’ve been writing music lately, but a lot of it has a dark tone made up of many minor chords, which I definitely think is okay.   It seems like darkness surrounds us sometimes, so why hide our feelings from God during that?  Why pretend that you’re happy when you’re not?  He knows our hearts.  “Lord, my every desire is known to You; my sighing is not hidden from You.” Psalm 38:9  And out of darkness, beautiful music can resound.    “Music played in the dark may have more spiritual power than music performed in the safe and pleasing light of a daylight concert or a well-lighted concert hall.” (104)  I think that this is true because out of dark times, comes real and raw honesty, and that is beautifully glorious.

“Sure, our lives resound with praise when He lights our path and we follow Him.  After all, a disciple should follow His master.  But when there’s no light for your path and you follow Him through dark times, the volume and the intensity of praise to God goes up many more decibels.” (104)  How can I bring glory to God?  By following Him through the darkness, even when I can’t see the light at the end.   “When there is no light by which to read the music, those who know their God by heart play on.  And the music changes the darkness itself, creating within it a habitation of praise.” (104)  Oh, how my prayer is that, “God, may my music in the dark be a place where praise resides!”  I feel like I am trying to read music in the darkness right now, but oh, I want to know my God by heart, and I will play on.  Within this dwelling of darkness, praise will fill the space.

John Piper said it well, “Love means doing all we can, at whatever cost to ourselves, to help people be enthralled with the glory of God.  When they are, they are satisfied and God is glorified.  Therefore loving people and glorifying God are one.”

I want to be doing all I can so people are enthralled with the glory of God.  Even in this darkness, I will play by heart, and my hope is that His glories and praise will resound.  So I play on.

This is my song in the night,

Elizabeth

Oh, Love That Will Not Let Me Go

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“From the ends of the earth I cry to You for help when my heart is overwhelmed.  Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for You are my safe refuge.” Psalm 61:2-3

Oh, how overwhelmed my heart is today.  Yet in the midst of it all, I can rest in safety for the Lord is my safe refuge.  How beautiful it is.  I have found that this week, He has been ministering to my heart in so many ways, through music, prayer, His word, and other people.  In particular, a line from one song, has been the song of my heart today, which says, “Oh, Rock of Ages, let me hide myself in Thee!”  Lately, all I have wanted to do is hide myself in the Father because He is my safe refuge.  He has proven that time and time again; His character hasn’t changed.  He is still faithful.

His faithfulness has been so evident in his ministering to my heart.  Another way He’s done that is through people.  I cannot thank God enough for the brothers and sisters near and far that He has so graciously put into my life right now to pray with me, laugh with me, cry with me, sing with me, and just walk along side this journey with me.  I have been bathed in prayer, and I can honestly say that those prayers have protected my heart on this day.  My heart was prepared for this day of being overwhelmed because of the prayers of the saints.  “I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” Philippians 1:3-4  I have been given such a beautiful picture of community and love by the body of Christ.  I cannot thank the Lord or praise Him enough.

Today, I was reading Psalm 139, and I was just reminded with the fact that God knows me.   He doesn’t just know a little about me; He knows every single detail.  “Lord, You have searched me and known me.  You know when I sit down and when I stand up; You understand my thoughts from far away.  You observe my travels and my rest.  You are aware of all my ways.” As I read that, it was like God was reminding me that He has seen all my wanderings and travels, and well, now, my rest. “Before a word is on my tongue, You know all about it, Lord.  You have encircled me; You have placed Your hand on me.” I know that I am not alone because He is all around me. “This extraordinary knowledge is beyond me.  It is lofty; I am unable to reach it.” Oh, God, I cannot escape You!! “Even the darkness is not dark to You.  The night shines like the day; darkness and light are alike to You.”  Oh, how darkness seems to cover us sometimes, but You, Father, see the light, for You are the Light.  My prayer is that He would hear my song in the night and that the praise would invade the darkness of this night and radiate the Light.  “For it was You who created my inward parts.  You knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I wilpraise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.  Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.”  He made me.  It is not surprise to Him what is going on.  It is no surprise to Him what happened. It does not surprise Him that I’m sick.  He knows my body.  Oh, how wonderful He is and I do know it, but may I believe it!  He saved me from death and put a new song in my mouth! My life is no longer my own, but His.  No matter what happens, His love will not let me go.

“Oh, love that will not let me go
I rest my weary soul in thee
I give you back the life I owe
And in your ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be

My life is not my own
It’s Yours

Oh, joy, that seeks me through the pain
I cannot close my heart to thee
I trace the rainbow through the rain
And feel the promise is not in vain
That morn shall tearless be

So anoint me with joy
And joyful I will be
So anoint me with joy
And joyful I will be”

Oh, His love will not let me go.  What a wonderful and powerful thing to be able to rest in on days when your heart is overwhelmed.  In the midst of it all, I am learning about His character of faithfulness and that His love really will not let me go.

Embracing the journey,

Elizabeth

Dying to Live

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“If God sends us on strong paths, we are provided strong shoes.” Corrie ten Boom

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies,it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.”  John 12:24-25

Reading those verses, an overwhelming theme of them is the subject of “death.”  Dying to bear fruit; dying to live.  Jesus was saying that the wheat can’t bear the fruit unless it dies first, but if it will die, it will bear so much fruit.  New life would come from the dead seeds being thrown into the earth.  I have really been struggling through these verses because I need to die in order to live.

Dying is a painful process. But death must come if one wants to bear much fruit.  I think that these verses really struck a chord in my heart because I have been brought to the point of death physically, but now I’m having to put to death the inner part of me.  I am putting to death the selfishness of my own plans, anger, pride, and so much more.  I am dying in order to live. It’s such a painful process, but it’s not supposed to be pain free.  “Everyday we experience something of the death of Jesus, so that we may also show the power of the life of Jesus in these bodies of ours.” 2 Corinthians 4:10

John Bunyan wrote:

“Conversion is not the smooth, easy-going process some men seem it think.  It is wounding work, of course, this breaking of the hearts, but without wounding there is no saving…Where there is grafting there is a cutting, the scion must be let in with a wound; to stick it onto the outside or tie it on with a string would be of no use.  Heart must be set to heart and back to back, or there will be no sap from root to branch, and this I say, must be done by a wound.”

In order to bear much fruit, death is a necessity.  There’s not another way around it.

However, thanks be to God, “That we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin.” Hebrews 4:15  He knows.  He sees. He understands.  “So let us come boldly to the very throne of God and stay there to receive His mercy and to find grace to help us in our times of need.” Hebrews 4:16. There’s no better place to be then in the very throne room of God.  Oh, how I just want to stay awhile there!

So for now, as these things are being put to death, I look forward with anticipation and hope that my season of fruit bearing is coming.  So as for today,”Let us strive to know the Lord.  His appearance is as sure as the dawn.  He will come to us like the rain, like the spring showers that water the land.” Hosea 6:3  I want to strive to know You, God.  I want to “Sow righteousness and reap faithful love; break up the unplowed ground.  It is time to seek the Lord until He comes and sends righteousness on you like rain.” Hosea 10:12  As the seeds of my life are falling to the ground and being put to death, I pray they are sown in righteousness in order to reap and bear faithful love.

“Somehow, all the wounding and dying and healing will bear a fruit beyond anything I could have ever produced apart from the pain.”

But as for me, I will always have hope, for when death dies, all things live.

-Elizabeth

“For Your Splendor” by Christy Nockels

I am so concerned with what I look like from the outside
And will I blossom in to what you hope I’ll be.
Yet you are so patient judged to help me see that blooms come from the deepest seed that you planted in me.
Some times it’s hard to grow when ever body is watching.
To have your heart pruned by the One who knows best
Although I am bare and cold I know my season’s coming
And I will spring up in….in this faithfulness.

So with my arms stretched out I am swaying to your heartbeat.

I am growing with the sound of your voice calling

You are bringing out the beauty that you had put in me

For your joy and for your glory falling.

With my roots deep in you
I will grow the branch that bares the fruit
And though I’m small I still will be standing in the storm.
Cause I am planted by the river
By your streams of living water
And I will grow up strong and beautiful all for your splendor Lord.

Chinese Lanterns and a Knife

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I am overwhelmed with how God takes care of me, even in just the small things.  He is so mighty and powerful, yet He is so sweet.  I love that.  One of things that I was bummed out on about not making it all the way through East Asia, was that I wasn’t going to get any Chinese lanterns.  I know it sounds silly, but I really wanted one to hang in my apartment.  Well, a couple weeks ago, I went to Dollar General to buy something, and on the sale table, there were 3 Chinese lanters for just over $1 a piece, so I bought them!  I smiled and thought, “Father, You see even the small details.”

God continues to provide.  I have wondered how I can work this semester because I can’t do very much at one time.  So, I began to pray.  Then, I received a message asking if I would be interested in leading a girl’s conversation club for internationals, and of course, I thought I would love to do that.  But then I kept reading, and found out I would get paid!  It’s only for the rest of the month, so not a ton of money, but either way, the Lord has answered my prayer.  He keeps reminding me that he hears me.  He knows me.  There is so many other more important things then me getting a small job, yet He still cares.

On Monday night, we had our first PHILOS of the semester.  PHILOS is a campus ministry to bring internationals and American students together.  After a lot of prayer, and worrying that no one would come, my heart was overflowing by the end of the night.  God went beyond my wildest dreams and expectations.  It’s funny how He always does that. :)  He goes before us.  As I stood, looking around the room Monday night, my heart was filled with joy and thanksgiving to God.  I realized later that that night was the first night I have felt any sort of outward joy since I’ve been sick.  I know that the joy is coming.  And the tears that I am sowing with will reap a harvest of joy.  PHILOS was yet another reminder that He knows me.  He knows my every desire.

One more story.  Today, my friend needed to borrow my jumper cables.  So, I drove over to his house.  Well, I had never opened the package my jumper cables were in, which I guess is a good thing, but the one problem was, we couldn’t get the package open without something to cut it.  My friend said to me, “Don’t you have a knife in your car?”  My response, “No, I don’t have a knife in my car.”  So he goes inside and gets a knife to cut it with.  After he opens the package, he says to me, “What if I wouldn’t have needed these jumper cables and your car broke down and you would have had no way to open this package without a knife.”  My response, “Well, I’m glad YOUR car is broken.”  He just laughs and says, “You need to keep a knife in your car and also for protection.”  I just smiled and said, “Okay, you’re right, I probably should do that.”   As he continued to work on his car, he soon realized that I wasn’t much help and he told me, “I’m glad you have a good car.”  My response, “Why?”  His reply, “Because hopefully your car will not break down.”  “You need to get a knife.”   So after we get his car started, we went to an auto parts store, and I just stayed in the car.  Next thing I know, he comes out with a knife.  He bought me a knife to keep in my car.  I laughed and smiled and said thank you so much.  My brothers are always taking care of me.  I am so amazed by how the Lord has surrounded me with people, especially like my friend, to take care of me and make sure I am safe.  And I’m so grateful to now have that knife. Thanks God.  الحمد لله

I could go on and on and on with blessings from the Lord lately, but those were just a few recent ones.

ِِEven in the small details, I am reminded that the Lord knows and sees each one of them, and He cares.  He cared about Philos, to even something as silly as a Chinese lantern, and of course, He provided me with my brothers and the knife.  All of which, I am filled with more gratitude than I can describe.

“Lord, my every desire is known to You; my sighing is not hidden from You.”  Psalm 88:9

Even a Chinese Lantern. :)