Monthly Archives: June 2015

Recollecting

DSC_0275By Judy Villanueva

Psalm 77: 11-15

I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord;  
I will remember your wonders of old.  I will meditate on all your work, 
and muse on your mighty deeds.  Your way,  O God,  is holy.  What god is so great as our God?

You are the God who works wonders;  
you have displayed your might among the peoples.  With your strong arm you redeemed your people, 
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.

I walked in silence along a trail scattered with the colors of Fall.  With each gust of wind, yellow, orange and red little masterpieces floated to the ground reminding me of the season that was ending and the one soon to come.  I stooped to pick up a firey maple leaf  and marveled at its perfection. Its simple beauty seemed to offer me a sweet consolation, a blessing that touched my anxious heart.  In that moment, I wasn’t altogether sure what had stolen my peace but suspected it had to do with looking ahead and troubling over a season yet unborn.  Each step seemed to invite me to either look at God and remember His goodness, or look ahead at unrealities that promised to steal any hope for peace.

Fear likes to disrupt my life and is merciless in tangling up my thoughts with “what ifs”.  Before I know it, I can find myself fretting over this or that,  derailed from life and work in the here and now.

Over years of contending with fear, I have found that there is power in recollecting God’s faithfulness…of remembering His wonders of old!

So, rather than peering forward, I am learning to glance over my shoulder at where I’ve been, what I’ve been through and all the ways God has provided for me along the way.  I am taking more time to meditate (or, muse on) His faithful deeds.  It is a fierce offensive  against fear that emboldens faith and becomes a mighty prayer!

One of my dear friends loves to collect autumn leaves for her Thanksgiving table.  I enjoy being with her on her gathering excursions because of the wonder with which each leaf is scrutinized and celebrated!

Recollecting God’s love and provision in our lives is a way of “collecting again” His goodness and setting it out to look at and celebrate.

It reveals a perfection of care that only a good, wise, and kind God could accomplish.  Remembering His provision in the past helps us to feel secured by his grasp of us in the present…and trust His faithful hold of our tomorrows.

“Father God , thank You that looking back  reveals your love at work in ways that I could not know or suspect.   You faithfully work all things together for good. Your deeds are mighty and all Your ways, wonderful!  Fill me with faith for today and help me to trust in Your good plans for tomorrow.  Amen.”

What about you?

Are you troubled or lacking peace?

Do you need to “collect again” God’s goodness from the past?

Take a moment and then another, to remember His mighty deeds and wonders of old.  Allow His daily graces to bless you.  Leaves count:)

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Sparrows

DSC_0021By Judy Villanueva

Luke 12:6-7 

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

That God does not forget one sparrow is a great consolation to my soul, for I am not sure there is anything more troubling than to feel forgotten.  Sold for less than one cent, sparrows were considered practically worthless and yet, Jesus testifies that not one is forgotten in God’s sight.  Do you ever feel forgotten?  I do.  To feel invisible is something that will pull the rug right out from under me, every time.  It might happen when I don’t feel heard, considered, or remembered.  It might occur after a long period of waiting in prayer for provision or relief from a trial.  Whatever the catalyst, feeling forgotten wants to suggest that we do not matter and strikes a harsh blow to our faith and perception of God.

I think that Jesus must know that all of His children have a question embedded in the deepest part of their souls.  ”Do I matter?”

Is my life of value and am I on anyone’s radar?  In this passage, Jesus addresses our need to hear and know how God feels about us with an emphasis that is unmistakable!  His words are a revelation of  God’s divine nature designed to help us to know Him better.  Jesus tells us that God’s heart is such that He keeps track of little sparrows and He even counts the number of hairs on our heads.  Yes, we matter to God!  His care for us goes far beyond knowing our names and where we live.  God’s love is intimate, personal, and particular!

When I read this morning that God does not forget even a sparrow, I felt my hope wake up!  It’s easy to feel lost in the crowd down here on planet earth…one life amongst millions over the centuries.  When trouble comes and stays for a long visit, it’s tiring and a little tempting to wonder if prayers have been overlooked or forgotten. This little verse helps me hear Jesus, all the way from the twenty-first century, reminding me that God has not forgotten me or my prayers!

It’s a whisper and a clap of thunder that arrives with an armful of hope for my heart today.

It refuels my faith and reshapes my wounded perception of the God who remembers me, who has utter, complete and perfect knowledge of my life…always!

“Lord, I feel refreshed today that You remember me, my hair, and my story.  Thank You for knowing me intimately, personally and particularly.  Heal  my false and wounded images of You and help me to trust in Your good heart.  Amen.”

How about you?

Do you ever feel forgotten by God?

How might you feel today, in your life right now, if you were convinced of God’s utter, complete and perfect knowledge of you?

Have you heard God say to your soul that you matter?

God loves you and you are on His radar.

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