Hi Friends. I hope you've had a wonderful week, and are enjoying some sweet times this Labor Day weekend. I was able to clean uninterrupted for the first Saturday in a long time. There were no baseball practices that I had to drive to, no soccer games to attend. Just me and my bottle of Fabuloso! I wish I could say that I got the whole house clean, but I didn't. I did make a good-sized dent in my to-do list for the day. We're expecting my parents to roll in sometime this afternoon to stay a couple of days. (so I might get a couple more hours of housework/decluttering in). My dad has a follow-up appointment with his knee surgeon on Tuesday... we're hoping he is pleased with the progress. In the meantime, we'll just take advantage of the time we have to spend with them. As much of an inconvenience it has been for my parents to have to do the back and forth trip for doctor appointments, I consider it a gift from the Lord. It has allowed our family precious time with my parents, which should not be taken for granted. I am all too aware of how fleeting life is.
On another note, to say that I have been touched by the IF Equip Nehemiah study I'm participating in would be an understatement. I have been challenged and stretched in so many ways. This particular verse stood out to me this week. Nehemiah shares about the sins of the Israelites and how they had turned their backs on God time and again and had become stiff-necked... to the point of preferring slavery to obedience and blessing. And then it reads, "But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love." In the 8th through 10th chapters, we see the Israelites confessing their sins and praising God for His mercy, love and faithfulness. They are working side by side rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, all the while facing attacks from their enemies. It might have been easier to give up and go back to slavery, but instead, they worked with all their might... brick by brick to rebuild what had been torn down. There seems to be a bit of a revival and re-dedication of their lives going on... Boy, could we use that in our own lives... Am I right?
What if each person... in every family... among all the nations in the world... what if we put our name in that verse? What if we spoke those words of healing right into our very own hearts and asked the Lord to grow us into the kinds of people that reflect these attributes of His? Can you imagine how much of the world's hurts could be healed if we all did this? What would it look like if we were all forgiving? How about compassionate? Slow to anger? Most of all, what if we were all abounding in love? What a wonderful world this would be!
Now, I know what you might be thinking... "This is simply not possible." Well, another one of my favorite verses tells us how it is possible... Mark 10:27
"Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.""
Friends, I am praying this verse in Nehemiah for all of us this week. Is there some other way I can pray for you?