Friday, January 29, 2010

I Saw Her Dancing

It has been quite a while since I blogged last. Sorry! Between general busyness and some computer issues,I haven't been in the loop as much! But, I couldn't think of a better way to start my blogging again then with a post about my father's return from his tour in Iraq!

He returned yesterday. Friends and family came with us to the airport and amidst cheers and clapping, my family was reunited for the final time! I laughed and cried and laughed and cried again! I still have to remind myself that we are done!

As I thought about this last year and put up facebook status' about my father's return, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Gratitude to our loved ones for prayers and support that I will never be able to thank them enough for and gratitude to God that He brought us through. There were times when I didn't really think that we would get through this, when I doubted if my dad would return safe from this tour. If he hadn't, I know that God would have had reasons, but I am so thankful that He returned my father to us! It is a great gift that I did not deserve, but that God gave anyway!

So, we have begun to be a family again and tonight, I was again reminded of God's latest mercy. My sister was playing the Beatles' 'Here Comes the Sun' on the guitar while we both sang and I turned to see my mom dancing with my brother in the kitchen. She was all smiles as they twirled and I just watched...she hasn't danced like that since my father left in January of 2009. It was just another reminder of what God has done for us!

So often, time gets jumbled together but with my dad having been gone, I can look back really clearly on this past year and remember where I was when he left and where I am now. I had feared and hurt deeper than I ever have before but I have found strength greater than my own! I had gained greater confidence in the salvation that I was given and I am learning to fall more in love with the God who loves me enough to use even bad things for my good! God, not the Navy, sent my dad out into the Iraqi desert and God brought him back! He was with me as I clenched in fear for my father's safety and He and He alone helped me release that fear and trust Him. I am by NO means perfect and I still have a long way to go but today is a good day. My mother is dancing again, my father's laughter is back in the house, and God was faithful, as He said He would be!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Security in the Door

John 10.

This was my passage for devotions today, and my pastor also happened to have just preached on this same chapter. In these verses, Christ compares Himself to the Good Shepherd, whose voice is known to His sheep, and as the Door, the only way into His sheepfold.

In Jesus' time, shepherds would sometimes keep their sheep in pens that could be as primitive as rocks piled into a low wall with the shepherd himself lying at the entrance as the door, to ensure that no curious lamb wandered out or that any predators gained entrance. This is what Jesus compares Himself to.

As I thought about that concept, I realize how reassuring that statement should be to us, His flock. We are the sheep in His flock, He lies us down in His pasture, and He Himself guards the door. Why are we so worried about life? What are we afraid? I thought about it. The Creator of the universe Himself is guarding our lives; what in the world can possibly do us harm?

Now, by no means, do I mean that as Christians, we should never have pain or trouble. I know that isn't true, BUT...there is no sorrow that comes to us, which God has not seen every detail of. He knows exactly what griefs and joys come our way and every one, He uses for good. Every ONE! We can walk through life without worry or fear because the Good Shepherd is watching us. What better guide could we ask?

"I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." Jn 10:9-10