I have a God-proclaimed purpose

When I was little, I wanted to be a teacher or a writer. As young as I can remember, I loved the feel of a newly sharpened pencil between my fingers. Attendance books, bulletin boards, construction paper. The school supply aisle was the eighth wonder of the world. Chalkboards, lined paper, pens, and NEW BOOKS. Have you ever smelled a new book? Now that’s something to behold.

As I got older and discovered the power of story, I felt drawn to the world of fiction. Telling a good story is just as transporting as reading one. There are a few differences, though: it takes longer to write a story so I can enjoy it more; I know the characters more intimately than if I simply read about them; and I get to decide their purpose – the end of the story.

As my Creator and the Author of life, God proclaimed His purposes for me long ago. Did He plan for me to be a teacher or a writer? Or something else entirely? Fear tries to edge in, convince me that I couldn’t possibly become anything worthy. It tells me that I’ll fail in everything I attempt.

But could it be that what I do as a profession is beside the point? Isaiah 44:8 gives me some clue. “Do not tremble; do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago? You are my witnesses – is there any other God? No! There is no other Rock – not one!”

I have a God-proclaimed purpose.

His purpose for me – for all His creation – is to be His witness. There is no other God, no other Rock. How we choose to witness to the world might be irrelevant as long as it brings Him glory. Knowing this, I can move forward in my chosen profession – fiction writing – without fear.

How are YOU fulfilling your God-proclaimed purpose?

I will not be afraid because God is with me

My husband has surgery today. Fear threatens to crash down my door and hold me hostage for the next several hours.

It’s a fairly minor operation to repair damage in his knee, but he will have general anesthesia. That always makes me nervous. Significant recovery time can have its pros and cons. It includes lots of pain killers, drugs and otherwise, and six weeks of no weight on his leg. My husband is a very active man. This, too, makes me nervous. How will he handle being on crutches for six weeks? No work? Going up the stairs backwards and not playing with the littles?

Before I can even comprehend his recovery time and my role in it, I have to get through the 90 minute operation, beating back fear and reminding myself that I will not be afraid.

I will not be afraid because God is with me.

The Bible says it everywhere. (See Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua 1:9, and Psalm 23:4 to start.) Isaiah 41:10 has long been one of my favorite verses. The New King James version puts it this way: “Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Just as comforting is the knowledge that God is with my husband and, therefore, with the surgeon. I have no reason to fear the operation itself or the time after. God is with us! I say it again, out loud so I can absorb it with all my senses. And if I get a few curious glances in the waiting room this afternoon, I’ll encourage others to confess the truth, too! I will not be afraid because God is with me.

What is your favorite verse in Scripture?

God’s love for me is everlasting

I spent most of my Valentine’s days alone before I met my husband (and I didn’t marry the most romantic man), so it’s not my favorite holiday. I always longed to get a note or a flower or a special smile that let me know I was in someone’s thoughts. I didn’t really consider the One who made Valentine’s day. After all, we love because He first loved us.

So I turn to the ultimate love note and find promises that take my breath away. Like Jeremiah 31:3. “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”

Well, that just gives me warm tingles. Everlasting is a cool word, I think. It reminds me of fairy tales, strong music, and timelessness. When I pair it with God’s love for me, ‘cool’ just doesn’t describe it.

How do I consider everlasting? Timeless is a good way. Strong. Or I could use the No Matter What principle. Here’s how it goes:

The person I love most just said I’m ugly, incompetent, and a waste of their time. God loves me no matter what.

I say some very mean thing to someone who had a rotten day, effectively destroying their spirit. God loves me no matter what.

I kick a puppy across the street. God loves me no matter what.

I allow myself to be used, abused, turned inside out, stomped on, branded, and snuffed out. God loves me. No. Matter. What. Unconditional. Forever. Eternity. Without end. That’s the No Matter What principle, and that’s everlasting.

God’s love for me is everlasting.

In Isaiah 54:8, God says that with everlasting love, He has compassion on us. We can’t stop or change His love for us, and no one can take us away from Him once we’ve made the decision.

Everlasting, people. Confess the truth with me today and every time you feel alone or invisible. God’s love for me is everlasting. Write that on a frilly heart and stick it to your computer monitor!

What do you love or hate about Valentine’s Day?

I will eat what is good

Today’s confession is especially timely because I’m starting a new food plan tomorrow. It involves cutting out sugar and unnecessary carbs. No soda. No brownies. No cake or chocolate kisses. No chips, pasta, or potatoes. Difficult? I expect to be climbing walls by evening. Sugar and pasta are my friends!

But the Bible talks about more important food and drink. Isaiah 55:1-2 says, “Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink – even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk – it’s all free! Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food.”

God invites us to share in the finest food and drink even if we have no money. Only a generous and kind God would offer something so rich and beyond my expectations. Of course, He’s talking about so much more than earthly food and drink. He’s talking about salvation. Jesus is the living water and the bread of life. Sounds like a feast to me!

I will eat what is good.

As I work to clean up my earthly menu, I will focus on God’s offer to eat what is good – the finest food. I will feast from the table He prepares for me in the Word and in prayer. Will you join me?

(I also want to point out that if you’re interested in another devotional blog, check out http://5gsandacupofjoe.wordpress.com/ This is a fantastic site I discovered last week, and this Regular Joe’s words of insight have blessed me. I hope you pop over and find a blessing too.)

How are your spiritual and earthly eating habits? Could you use a fresh dose of God’s finest food?