Monday, January 19, 2009

God's Goodness in the Rearview Mirror

I was in my car, waiting at a traffic light the other day, when I noticed a sign in the rear window of a small car that was sitting in the lane beside me. At first glance, the sign was illegible because the words were backwards. The sticker had been applied on the inside of the window rather than the outside, as it was designed to be displayed. But as I focused in on the words more closely and read in reverse, I realized that the sign read, “God is Always Good.”

For a moment, I wondered why the petite, middle-aged woman driving the car would have applied the sticker improperly. Surely she recognized that other drivers would have a difficult time reading the awkwardly displayed sign. But as I gave the scenario more thought, I realized that the woman hadn’t applied that sign to her window for other drivers. She had displayed the sign there for herself. It was positioned slightly off center so that it could be seen (and easily read) every time she glanced into her rearview mirror.

I felt an immediately sense of kinship with this unknown woman. I too have experienced seasons in my life when I needed visual reminders of God’s goodness amidst circumstances that were exhausting or deeply painful. There have been times when I’ve written Scriptures that speak of God’s faithfulness on my hands, on my vanity mirror, or even taped to the dashboard of my car. Passages like, Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commands (Deuteronomy 7:9) have helped focus my thoughts on God’s goodness when my circumstances were not so good.

As the traffic light changed from red to green and we drove in different directions, I lifted up a prayer for this mysterious woman who chooses to keep God’s goodness ever present in her rearview mirror. I would imagine her focus on the goodness of our God will give her the strength she needs to make her way through whatever challenges lay ahead for her.

You may not want to paste a sign on the rear window of your car, but during seasons of disappointment or trial, I challenge you to write passages that speak of God’s goodness and faithfulness in prominent places in your home, your car, or your workplace. You'll find strength and courage for whatever the road of life may bring.
Below are a list of passages that I often use to remind myself of God’s goodness:

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. –Psalm 145:3

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. –Psalm 34:8

But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. –Psalm 86:15

But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. – 1 Corinthians 1:9

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want…Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. –Psalm 23:1,6

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." –Joshua 1:9

If you have some passages that you use to remind yourself of God's goodness, I encourage you to share them by posting a comment.

Copyright © Fruitful Word Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Year's in the Hill Country

Our family took a short trip to kick off the new year. We stayed in some quaint little rustic cabins, nestled in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. Our son, Brandon, brought along his girlfriend (they stayed in separate bedrooms, of course), so needless to say, we had a full cabin. My mother, sister, my thirteen year old niece and eleven year old nephew joined us, staying in a near-by cabin on the same property.

Without the distractions of television, cell phones, and the world-wide web, everyone was forced to occupy themselves with more primitive forms of entertainment. We played cards, read, and just talked as we sat on the deck under the starlit sky. It warmed my heart when frequent laughter and competitive shouts erupted from the cabins as the younger crew played card games until the wee hours each night. My husband, Mark, provided comedic relief with his unsuccessful, yet persistent efforts to convince the kids that a wild animal was invading the grounds. This is a photo of the kids. Fun was had by all!

The weather was extraordinarily warm – in the upper 40’s at night and low 70’s during the day – which made for a beautiful hike at a near-by state park. The first couple miles of the hike were intense, with a steep incline to the hilltops, but the view at the top was breathtaking…okay, we were out of breath from the hike, but it WAS beautiful. As we made our way down the other side of the hillside, we were surprised to see a LIVE armadillo beside the trail - only in Texas! It was a wonderfully refreshing way to begin the new year.

We all need times of rest and refreshment. After the apostles went out and preached and ministered among the people, they "gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught" (Mark 6:30). Jesus urged them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31). We’ve visited FoxFire Cabins several times throughout the years when our family needed time away to rest and reconnect with one another.

Please share a little about the quiet resting places God has provided for you or your family by posting a comment.