Monday, January 7, 2013

Devotion: Receiving God's Love and Discipline

"He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is safe." Proverbs 28:26

It had been an hour, and no one had said anything to me. I stood at the front of my car with my daughter in the shopping cart waiting. I had locked my keys in my car, and I was waiting on someone to come open my door for me. And while I waited, I fully expected someone, anyone to be a good Samaritan  Yes, help was on the way, but I thought for sure these other mamas, older people, and even employees at this certain grocery store {known for its customer service} would at least inquire why I was standing, with my daughter, in the parking lot in front of my car...for an hour. Just as my blood was starting to boil about how inconsiderate other people were, help arrived, with a smile on his face. As he worked on getting my door open, he talked about how fortunate I was. It was a sunny day, it wasn't too cold outside, and he was actually available when my husband called. You see, he was a family friend who works for fire department. He was off duty and was about to head into the gym when my husband called to ask for help. Since this nice man normally doesn't take his phone into the gym, if my husband had called 5 minutes later, we would have had to call a lock smith and pay a bill we just couldn't afford. While he was telling me all this, my heart was starting to hear what GOD was saying through this man: I was being blessed.

That night my family and I had our family worship time. Our verse for this week is Romans 11:22, "Consider, therefore, the kindness and sternness of God." As we went around the circle pointing out ways God has been kind to us and ways God has disciplined us, I immediately thought of my parking lot epiphany. God had been kind to me. It was supposed to rain and be cold that day. It just so happened that while I was out it was quite pleasant. Instead of locking my wallet inside of the car as well, I had my money on me. That meant I didn't have to be embarrassed as I put all my stuff back on the shelves. The list began to grow. As the weekend carried on, I was determined to see other ways God was being kind and ways God was disciplining me. Here are just a few examples:

I got only 30 minutes of sleep the previous night....my daughter was incredibly well behaved and even understanding when I just needed to rest instead of play.

My friend Mindy was missing out on Breakfast Club....I was able to eat with two other ladies whom I don't get to see that much anymore.

The well-planned get together at my house did not follow the schedule...everyone had a great time, and it was fun hanging out with a bunch of friends and all their babies.

We misunderstood the schedule at church and had nothing planned for Sunday School...we spent an hour catching up with the youth.

I was going to miss a sermon I wanted to hear at church...I got to hold a sweet, sweet baby of a friend who had moved away and was back for a visit.

My husband nor I had arranged for someone to sit with my boys during church {I was in the nursery and my husband plays in the praise band}...two ladies took it upon themselves to sit on either side of my children...not necessarily to monitor them but just to be visible adults.

Only one family showed up for Home Group at our house...we spent over 2 hours in serious and not-so-serious conversation with that one family that it was such a blessing.

And this is the short list. I could go on and on about how God was showing me that He cares, that he is loving on me, and that He was disciplining me to be a better person.

I told my boys as they got out of the car this morning to go to school their homework was to look for ways God was being kind and stern and that we would discuss it when they got home. I have challenged myself to do the same today and I challenge YOU to do this as well. You might be amazed. The verse at the top reminds us to trust in God's wisdom. Following HIS path, and not our own, is what keeps us safe and will open our eyes to all the many ways God has His hand in every moment of our lives.

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