Hi friends! What an amazing and busy week it has been! I pray you have had a blessed week and felt the love of the Lord in your heart. You know He loves you, right?! He will do anything in His power to reach you and show you His unfailing and unconditional love!! Because…God IS love! 🙂
The main focus of this week was getting my youngest daughter ready for another year in middle school. They go back to school after Labor day and it is approaching fast! We went and got her a few new school supplies, and, shhh… I snuck a few in for myself! I resort back to my childhood each Fall and the fun of new pens, pencils, and a notebook or two, I can’t help myself!!
She didn’t want new clothes, “What she has is fine for now.” I love, love her independence and feelings of contentment in who she is. All the glory to God for creating her to be this way. 🙂
Now, the next step. We went to the school and got her new schedule, paid all the various fees, took her school picture, etc. We were there three hours, BUT I was so blessed by my time with her! God gave me a peek into my daughter’s time away from me. I got to see her reaction to her friends in the hall, see her smile and giggle in not so quiet conversations, and feel the peace and love that God is with her in every step as she prepares for another year. A new beginning and a fresh start with God at the helm…
Did you know that God is THE author of fresh starts and new beginnings? Not just in September after Labor Day or January 1st as we ring in the New Year…but every day!! Isn’t that awesome?!
In the fall of 1990, while my mother was sick with cancer, the church I was attending at the time had copies of a monthly devotional book called, “Our Daily Bread.” Several copies were placed neatly on a table along with the monthly bulletins and tithe envelopes. Because of my extreme anguish and pain at the time, I was hungry for anything from God to soften my pain and give peace to my anxious soul. I immediately grabbed one and devoured page after page. I still have the tattered, highlighted, and ear-marked copy. It is a testament to me of God’s faithfulness and love, and yes, new beginnings.
While I was preparing for this blog, I was blessed by “Our Daily Bread” once again. The March 2000 edition titled, appropriately, “God of New Beginnings.”
“The Christian life is also a series of new beginnings, of falling down and getting up again. When we stumble, we often think, “I’ve failed again. I might as well give up.” But God is the God of new beginnings. He not only forgives our sins, but He also uses our failures to make us wiser” (Yoder, Joanie).
In the twenty-eight years since I picked up my first copy of this devotional, my “stumbles and falling down” have resembled many things: deaths in both family and close friends, generational family crisis in the form addiction, near death motorcycle accident of my beloved Uncle, sickness and disease, sin, etc. I’m sure you have similar testimonies and I could share beyond what I did, BUT God…
Through all of those hard times, struggles, and deep pain; whether through sinful, selfish living or living in this sinful world, He remained the same. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He was with me, His Truth and Promises.
When my pain was as deep and dark as the night, and my anguishing cries of prayer and sorrow lasted until dawn, I knew Who was holding me and bringing me into the dawn of a new day, His light —-the Light of MY Savior Jesus Christ.
It is only because of my relationship with God that I am here, and on my way to becoming the person He created me to be.
Every God-given glorious day. Every new morning. Grace by grace.
John Newton, the composer of “Amazing Grace,” reveals the thoughts of my heart so eloquently:
“Though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I wish to be, nor yet what I hope to be, I can truly say I am not what I once was, …By the grace of God I am what I am”
Are you ready for a new beginning? To leave behind your old self, and shed the pain, burden, and sin that has afflicted you for far too long?
I would like to invite you to receive the gift of eternal life and redemption of Jesus Christ.
Begin anew today, September first, by repeating the following prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died for my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I now invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as Lord and Savior.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Whether you are new to believer in Christ (Yay! Praise God! Big Hugs!) or a seasoned believer (Hugs and love, also!), we are all called to look to God first, everyday and through every season. He never promised an easy life, but He always promised to be there, to be the Light in each day.
All the glory to God,
Image of Joshua 1:9 by Pinterest.com
Image of Lamentations 3:22-23 by dailyverses.net
John Newton Quotes. “Though I am not….” http://www.goodreads.com.
Yoder, Joanie. “God of New Beginnings.” Our Daily Bread. March 2000. Web edition.