Good evening. I have been a little quiet because it’s been an odd week here in our small town Illinois. Somehow that turned into affecting my day to day. I’ve been shaken up and Satan has been running wild with that. Satan loves to drag us down when we are having a rough week. I wasn’t completely drained but I could feel the spiritual warfare in my mind as I tackled these mental and emotional burdens. The result of a chaotic and unusual week meant I missed some quality time in the Word. I’m glad I really took time today to soak in the peace of God. What a difference it makes. To be honest, it’s not even myself that needs the prayer requests, perhaps some guidance on how to serve these families. However, a few of the requests for prayer are for friends and family who are deeply grieving and searching their hearts for a way to forgive and grieve and remember their loved ones. There are several families shattered this week through some tragic events in the community. They need prayer, they need comfort, they need to know God has not forsaken them. They need to know the light of life will eventually come back, but it’s okay to be rocked deeply by grief; we have a God that has His arms open wide for us to run to and grieve with. This week there were families shaken to the core with tragedy and violence. Things you only see on television. Things that make you get on your knees and ask God WHY this world is so cruel and evil? Of course, God reminds me… His ways are not our ways.
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
It’s incredibly profound to me that God brought me to this verse of such a hard to grasp (at times) reminder. Just before this verse is an answer to a prayer for this week…
6 Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.
I thank God that He reminds me He can be called upon, the wicked may repent and He will abundantly pardon.
This week (and last), had events that make you realize how futile some aspects of life are and how important it is to always love, be kind, and hug your family. I won’t share the details. The families affected have been thrown into the spotlight, and out of respect for some privacy on this blog, I’ll claim an anonymous prayer requests for these hurting families in the small town rural Wisconsin and Illinois areas. They need their hearts healed, they perhaps even need to know a God that can fill them with peace in these times if turmoil. I pray that they can be filled with love and peace as they see they are loved and supported through these tragedies. I pray that they are surrounded by the love of God through family, friends and strangers. That, my friends, is how God moves.
Once again, God is so gracious to us, even in these dark days we may have in life. It’s been gorgeous weather the last few days in Illinois (60+ and Sunny). Wow, we have we all needed some fresh air, and the wonderful reminder that winter isn’t forever. Short days don’t always linger into long and cold nights. The grass will eventually be green, birds will sing again and the sun will linger past supper time. Leaves will bud and grow and renewal will be all around us. Spring is around the corner, and this weekend’s unusually warm weather was a great reminder. Seasons don’t always last long, and that can be a blessing or a curse depending on your season. Just as we find in Ecclesiastes, a reminder…
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
8 A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.
I finally prioritized some Deeper Bible and journaling time today and it has refreshed my soul. I pray if you’re feeling empty, beat up or just not Filled as you should be, that you too will be refreshed with some time at the feet of Jesus.
Friday and today I have gotten my readings in for the weekend. Numbers 1-6; Acts 24-26; Psalm 22.
Today my verse is refreshing and comforting. I actually never realized this was called the Aaronic Blessing found in Numbers until today, but I’ve said it many times before.
Numbers 6:24-26 NKJV
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”’
Here we have God speaking to Moses (still), “this is the way you shall bless the children of Israel” (v. 23, partial).
What a beautiful way to recount a blessing from the Lord. Here are some notes from my Spirit Filled Life Bible (NKJV).
Bless: Increase in prosperity because Yaweh will keep the worshiper from harm.
Make His face shine upon you V. 25 implies taking pleasure in the worshiper, the result that the Lord will be gracious or favorable to the worshiper.
Lift up His countenance upon you V. 26 similar to making His face shine v.25 results in peace, the provision of all things necessary for the well being of the recipient.
The “Aaronic Blessing” is still used today by modern churches. Taking a moment to truly soak in these scriptures is incredibly powerful. Applying this as a prayer would be an excellent way to request a blessing from God.
May this be our prayer.
Bless us and keep us;
Oh Heavenly Father,
Shine your face on us.
Take pleasure in us as we worship You, our Lord.
Be gracious and favorable to us;
Shine your face on us.
Fill us with peace, bridge the gaps of faith and overflow our hearts with joy.
In Jesus’ name,
I thank you for your prayers and I pray that God meets you where you’re at today.
13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.