Thursday, September 25, 2014

40 Years....

Yesterday I received a priceless gift although I did not realize it at the time.  I was given a small packet of notes from a prayer group in Canada.  These were notes taken during a time of prayer in which the people involved prayed for specific nations and needs.  My husband and I serve in missions and they included us in their prayers.  The notes were Scriptures they felt God impress upon them for us and our ministry, especially the current trip my husband is on at this very moment.  One particular page was addressed to me.  On it was written  the first four verses of Psalm 40.  Unbeknownst to the sender, this is one of my favorite passages of Scripture, highlighted and underlined many times in the various Bibles I have owned over the course of my life.  I tucked the precious note into the pages of my Bible to meditate on today.

Last night I couldn’t sleep. I lay in bed praying and reminiscing of all the ways God the Father has spoken to me in the past.  Reliving the circumstances and seasons of His goodness, His guidance and leading in my life. These days I have been praying and asking God for a renewed and refreshing of my relationship with Him.  The cry of my heart has been...”more of YOU and less of me”.  I want His PRESENCE more than I want His plan for my life.  Each day I am sitting, silent, for an extended period of time, soaking in what I can of whatever He can share with me of His presence.  This is not easy for me, as I don’t like to sit still.  But for “some reason” this desire is stronger in me now than in the recent past.  I don’t want a day to go by without some measure of sensing His presence.  My current circumstances allow me this luxury right now of having the time to be silent.  

Today, after getting my morning cup of coffee, lighting a scented candle and settling myself in a quiet place, I opened my Bible and out fell the page with Psalm 40.  I cannot explain it, but with a flash of understanding, some part of my life fell into place.

Today is September 25th, 2014.  Forty years ago today, I knelt before God and gave all my disappointments, my failures, my despair, my whole life such as it was at 18 years of age, to HIM.  I bent my knee and said “I cannot do my life like this any more.  I need You.”  I had been suicidal for some time.  Disappointments in my life had led me to despair and chronic stomach problems.  I had tried to end my life three times, only to fail in the attempt.  (That’s a story in itself)  I knew deep within my being that unless God took over, I would not be around on this earth for long.  

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust and confidence in Him.”
Psalm 40:1-4

He heard me
He rescued me
He lifted me
He gave me a firm place to put my unsteady feet
He gave me new words and a song to sing
He gave me reason to live
My life counts for something
My life will count for eternity

September 25, 1974
September 25, 2014
40 years
My spiritual birthday

40 years of not wandering in a desert
but 40 years (and lots of stories!) of His goodness,
His love, His faithfulness, His direction and leading, 
His mercy.  
40 years of relationship with the Lover of my soul
40 years of knowing a God who loves me more than I can say
and 40 years of the most incredible adventures and friendships I could have 
ever dreamed of knowing
40 years of BLESSING

Oh yes, there have been seasons of disappointment, times of failure, incredible hardships and pain.  I haven’t lived immune to the world and what life can throw at us.  But through it all, HE has always been there for me and come through when I needed Him.  He has given me the companionship my heart ached for.  

In the words of my favorite Bible man, David,
“The Lord is (has been) my Shepherd, I have everything I need.”
Psalm 23:1

I would not be here today if He had not intervened 40 years ago.

I have to say it over and over again...I love Him with all my heart, mind, soul and strength.  Do I want another 40 years with Him?  Hmm..that will make me nearly 98 years old...If the next 40 years means “more of Him and less of me”, then YES!  I do!  I bend my knee and my heart over to Him, as I did 40 years ago....I do!

The KING has put his signature on my life...His signet ring has claimed me for Himself.  I belong to Him.  And I never want it any different.

Happy Birthday to me
The Greatest Gift is His presence
It is all I want


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