Looking Back and Looking Forward…

So it’s almost my birthday again. How does that happen? Time really does go so fast.

And the Lord has been encouraging me of how faithful He has been through my life, and how encouraging that is for the future.

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Looking back over my life, I can see one strong, consistent, wonderful reality: a Best Friend Who has been with me and provided so very tenderly… so very faithfully… through thick and thin.

Even watching over me before I was born, alerting a seasoned midwife that I was in the wrong position in the womb and getting me safely out by emergency C-section.

And leading me to Himself. I was so blessed to go to Sunday School, where I learned that I was a sinner who faced eternal judgement and needed a Saviour- and that Jesus would save me when I came to Him and asked for His forgiveness, surrendering to follow Him as Lord. I did that, repeatedly, when I was tiny.

And I remember, one day, when He met me. He broke in with such love. I’d been at church that morning, listening to the children’s talk. Our faithful pastor was teaching us the words of a song about Jesus. That night, lying in bed, I started singing it to myself… and suddenly, I was aware of something so good; so pure: the presence of the Lord. I didn’t know what was happening. I was so young, and it had never happened before. But I know now. It was Him. That was probably when I fell in love with Jesus.

And He has been my Best Friend ever since.

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I’m trying to write a song about  it. It’s not done yet, and not all ready to share, but here are some sections:

I was just a little girl when I fell in love.

I encountered love so strong and true.

You wooed me when you came to me 

And called me to Yourself

And ever since that moment I’ve been Yours.

And through the joys and the tears of childhood,

I always knew where to go.

That the answer is always to trust in You

Cos Jesus is the Best Friend in the world.

Yes, Jesus is the Best Friend in the world.

 

And faithfully You’ve stayed with me

With love beyond my dreams.

You’re mine for now and You’re mine

Forever. I am Yours eternally.

 

And as I grew I came to find

A Rock beneath my feet.

This messy girl knew where her heart could hide.

Through every trouble, every trial, You were always there.

Lord, I found the answers in Your arms.

And through the mess and confusion of growing

There was a love that never let me go.

You loved me and counselled me. You never let me down.

Cos Jesus is the Best Friend in the world.

Yes, Jesus is the Best Friend in the world.

 

And faithfully You’ve stayed with me

With love beyond my dreams.

You’re mine for now and You’re mine

Forever. I am Yours eternally.

 

And as I walk forward through this life,

I know Your hand in mine.

You meet me. Lord, You comfort me. You care.

You open up Your loving hand. You meet my every need.

Through every tear and trial, Lord, You’re there.

And I know that the secret of living

Is to look up and live from Your arms.

Your love and provision amazes me

And Jesus is the Best Friend in the world

Yes, Jesus is the Best Friend in the world.

 

(And the hope of those who follow Him…)

 

And I am living for the day

When I will see Your face.

You’ll meet me and You’ll wipe my tears away.

You will be the Joy of joys. You are the Love we’ve craved.

Forever and forever, we’ll be Yours.

And the skies will split open with glory

As You reign- as You come for Your bride.

And we will be with You forever.

You will be the light of our eyes.

Jesus is the Love of our lives.

 

And faithfully You’ve stayed with me

With love beyond my dreams.

You’re mine for now and You’re mine forever.

I am Yours eternally.

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A few weeks ago, I was back in the old bedroom where I grew up, in the same spot where I encountered the Lord when I was tiny. I was feeling a bit afraid of the future. And the Lord encouraged me. He reminded me of that memory of when I encountered Him as a little girl. Haven’t I been faithful ever since you met Me? Haven’t I always been with you? Haven’t I always been all you need? Don’t you think I will be all you need for the future?

And it’s true. He has. Amazingly.

And that’s my confidence for the future.

32 years of the Lord’s faithfulness. And that’s my confidence that He will be just as faithful through the rest, so I can go forward in the same way, leaning on Him, hiding in Him, and knowing His faithfulness will never end and never, ever let me down. 🙂

‘For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.’ Psalm 139:13-16

(Come to Him. His arms are open to you, too. He’s the Rescue we need from the judgement we all face… the way to forgiveness… the way to peace… the way to eternal hope. And He really is the Best Friend in the world).

 

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Remembering to Say ‘Thank You’

I’m learning, more and more, that it’s good to just say ‘Thank You’: to celebrate the good things God has done.

We’ve started taking a few moments to do that every day in our little GFA UK team in the office where I work. It’s helping us to notice His blessings.

I know things can be hard. There is suffering in this world.

But God is also very kind.

I saw that last week. I knew I needed to get away for a break. I was getting pretty exhausted, but I didn’t know where a proper rest could come from. When plans fell through more than once, I prayed, with faltering faith, that He would provide.

I went back to verses He’s shown me often recently.

‘The Lord your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, 31 and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.’ 32 Yet, for all that, you did not believe the Lord your God, 33 who went in the way before you to search out a place for you to pitch your tents, to show you the way you should go, in the fire by night and in the cloud by day.’ Deuteronomy 1:30-33

I am His. Forgiven through Jesus, I am a child of God. Just as He provided for His Old Testament people every step of the way, He has promised to go ahead of me and provide for me.

And He did… amazingly.

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Through a friend’s suggestion and generosity, God opened the way and provided for me to have a week in a lovely Christian B&B in Llandudno ( http://www.betheden.co.uk/ ) … complete with new friends, abundant, hot sunshine, a gentle beach with bright blue sea, beautiful scenery… Bible teaching and encouragement every evening… Even a love heart in the sky from the Red Arrow display at a military parade, which I watched from the beach!

red arrowsIt couldn’t have been easier, really. There was even a coach a friend knew about that took me quickly and smoothly there! So many details just came together. And I had a week soaked in sunshine and God’s blessing. 🙂

For all my worrying, there was His abundant, tender provision.

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He is so, so kind.

Sometimes we forget that.

He throws in blessings we don’t expect.

Don’t lose hope. Sure, there is suffering in this world. But I’m learning, again and again, that He is kind, and He loves to provide and to bless. 🙂

(What we all need, most of all, is His forgiveness. We all face eternal judgement without it. He loves us so much. That’s why He gave His Son. When we come to Him, turn from wrong, surrender to follow Him as Lord and accept the free forgiveness Jesus bought for us on the cross, we find a loving Father Who, through all the trials, meets every need abundantly and offers abundant hope for all eternity for all who follow Him).

 

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.