Series: Always Relevant: God Is…
Psalm 42:11 MSG
Life can be vanilla…difficult, hard, and sometimes even relentlessly uninspiring.
Psalm 42:11 tells us, "Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues?Fix my eyes on God— soon I’ll be praising again.He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God.”
I think we all have days that are vanilla.
There are also times when we have life changing events that make life very vanilla. I’ve had a
a few curveball events that changed everything in my life forever.
The months and days that followed were very difficult to deal with…they were very vanilla.
I was 34 years old when I had my first life-changing event. It happened overnight. One day I thought everything was great and the next day my dad found out he had cancer that had moved to the liver. The year was 1987 and at that time there wasn’t a lot that could be done to even slow down the progression of the cancer. He was gone in two months.
In the days and months that followed I grieved terribly. I know now that was because I relied on my dad a lot. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing (because we were close) but it was a ‘thing’.
What I learned is that ever so slowly God helped me. God grieved with me. God carried me when the grief was too much for me to bear.
Looking back 35 years later I can now see that I grew up. I came to rely more on God who WAS always there teaching and guiding me.
My second life changing event came when I was 51 years old.
While I was surprised when it happened, I knew that no matter what came God would see me through it.
Just like before, God did carry me again.
Even though this life changing event was more all inclusive, God opened new doors for me when I divorced after being married for 30+ years.
Everything in my life changed.
I had five major losses happen in a few months time.
Once again, looking back I marvel at how God provided for me in unexpected ways.
I lost my marriage. I did not look for a new partner. I took classes at my new church that focused on being single after the loss of a marriage. I did not date for many many years, and that was intentional. I knew I needed to heal.
I lost my new two story home and God helped me to purchases an older condo.
I lost the ministry I’d known for 30 years. God sent me to a new church and opened new doors where I lead a team of healing pray-ers.
I lost the bulk of my income and at the time I didn’t make enough to survive on. The month everything fell apart I was hired into a new position and I made enough that I could care for myself.
I lost almost all my friends.
I learned that when horrid things happen you really do learn who about the character of your friends. Because of my job change, I made new friends. Because of my new church, I met many many people who were wonderful and helpful.
One friend I had known for many many years stuck by me. She believed in me. She defended me. Our friendship deepened because of my suffering. She became my prayer partner for life. Ten months ago she went to be with Jesus. I love her and a day does not go by that I don’t think of her and thank God that He brought her into my life.
I WILL see her again.
I know that.
I know that when I see her again we will pick up exactly where we left off.
She knew about my dad, because I told her about him. I pray that she’s been able to sit with him in heaven.
I’ve said it before (and will say it again) that I believe heaven is one humongous all night and all day wonderful party that is filled with unending joy and love. Heaven is for everyone who loves God.
Jesus told His followers that many who assume they will be given a seat of honor at the table will be surprised. In Luke 13:29-30 Jesus explains, “people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and they will sit down [and feast at the table] in the kingdom of God. : And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”
John 14:2-4 Jesus said, “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and I will take you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. And [to the place] where I am going, you know the way.”
Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
There’s nothing vanilla in Heaven. Heaven is love. Heaven is peace. Heaven is joy. Heaven is God/Jesus and everything wonderful!
So my friends, love God/Jesus. Love. Just love. God will take care of the details.
Spiritual Practice: Love God
Give God, Father, Son, Spirit your love. Trust God with all the details.
In God, Deborah