|Beautiful graphic from Abby at Little Birdie Blessings|
1. Well, Abby's graphic at top shows what should also be at the top of my list today: the biggest blessing of all in my life, without which any others would be meaningless: my salvation and new life in Christ.
2. The privilege of prayer is another blessing I've been really conscious of this week. In an email from Samaritan Ministries, the health sharing ministry that Mr. T and I are part of, we learned that many pastors and Samaritan Ministries itself were planning to unite in a day of fasting and prayer on Good Friday. We were able to spend time in prayer throughout the day and it was such a privilege to be able to beseech God on behalf of our beloved country and the entire world. What a blessing to know that so many others were also praying. It will be exciting to watch God work!
3. The fact that we can know God is such a huge blessing. And God wants us to know Him. Really know Him, I mean, not just know about Him or even just know Him as Savior.
"Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:
"But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD." (Jeremiah 9:23-24)
Paul shared this goal in Philippians 3:10 -- "That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death."
Peter instructs us, "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and ever. Amen." (2 Peter 3:18)
The rich, rich blessings of getting to know God are innumerable. But one of the most wonderful things about knowing God is getting to know His character through His Word, the Bible. When you know His character, you are able to trust Him so much more!
Even in a time like this you can rest in the fact that He is in control; you can know that He is working all things after the counsel of His own will; you can be assured that this coronavirus pandemic did not take Him by surprise; you can know He is in the situation with us and promises never to leave us or forsake us. And there is much, much more that you can know.
If you have never spent time in the Bible getting to know God, then right now will be a great time. If you don't know where to start, then Mardi Collier's book What Do I Know About My God? would be one of my best recommendations for a study that will help you dig unto God's Word and begin getting to know Him. All you will need is your Bible; Mardi's book; and a notebook of some sort. As you take your Bible in hand and work at copying out the verses in the various categories, you will end up with an entire notebook of truth about our God. This will become a resource that you will turn to again and again in times of need. I've linked to the book in the Wilds bookstore, but you can also find it on Amazon or even Thriftbooks, if you don't mind a used copy.
4. Signs of spring, even though it snowed yesterday and is quite chilly today. On Monday we discovered these at my childhood home, where we are going daily to complete the task of cleaning it out.
And we are making great progress on the cleaning-out process. Our goal is to finish by the end of April, and that seems possible. Today I was looking at some photos from mid-February. Our Nevada daughter had asked us to take some photos of the interior of the house, as she has so many wonderful memories from time spent there. She said it didn't really matter that the rooms were full of labeled boxes and other assorted junk. I just got around to looking at the photos (Mr. T had taken them), and oh, my, have we come a long way since then! I think we will take some more when the rooms are empty, since what she most wanted to remember were the little nooks and crannies, stairs and hidden closets, etc.
5. Time to get out in nature walking, hiking, and even enjoying a picnic for two in the solitude of a park. My friend and I have gotten out walking 4 days this week. Friday was a wintry mix, and Thursday was raining -- but we managed to get out ahead of the rain and got only a bit wet on the return trip.
6. The wonderful resources available online to help us all be spiritually sustained and encouraged during this pandemic. This past Sunday we had several services to choose from -- from our own church, other local churches, and the livestream from our daughter's home church in Nevada. (No one is there except the pastors, but they are doing a wonderful job shepherding their flock through this.) I'm so thankful for the pastors and other church leaders who are making such an effort to keep messages and other resources before their people.
Some of my favorite bloggers are continuing to write helpful posts, and one of the best things I've seen through this time is this post and video: A biblical response to the coronavirus. It's by Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and I found it so encouraging and calming. I shared the link with both of my daughters and several friends. Mr. T and I watched it one evening this week and what a blessing it was. The reminders that Ken shared are really not new to us as believers. They are all things that we know from God's Word. But his devotional was so reassuring.
One of my prayers through this pandemic is that believers will use this time to grow closer to God. When people don't have much of a devotional life on their own, and sort of depend on what they get from church each week, it's easy to get discouraged when the church is not meeting together. It's also tempting to just not take the time to avail oneself of these wonderful online resources. So I do pray that God's people will use this time to strengthen our faith. After all, strengthening our faith is one of the purposes of trials, and we don't want to waste this opportunity.
Have a blessed Easter, all!