The words of the song “Sunrise, Sunset” from “Fiddler on the Roof” have long resonated within my soul. Indeed one season follows another in the story of our lives, bringing challenges, disappointments, and heartaches, but not without splashes of hope and sprinklings of happiness. This collection of devotional readings, an excellent resource for holiday programs and publications, gives fresh meaning to the seasons and holidays of the year. So pour yourself a cup of tea, grab your Bible, and head for your comfy chair to savor a cup of inspiration, a spoonful of encouragement, and a generous outpouring of the milk of God’s love. SELAH!
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. – Psalm 100:5 (NIV)
God has given me many gifts. In this season of Thanksgiving, I’m going to dwell on three of them: the past, the present, and the future.
I’m thankful for my past, especially that I grew up in a home where I witnessed my mother talking to God all day long. “Don’t You let it rain,” she’d say when she hung the laundry on the line. I’m sure that’s why I still live with an awareness of God’s abiding presence moment by moment.
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast” (Psalm 139:7–10 NIV).
Which brings me to the second gift for which I’m thankful: the present. For the freezer and panty shelves stocked with the vegetables we harvested from our garden. For the firewood stacked outside on the patio. For health and energy. For Friday night date nights with my husband. For our beautiful, fun grandchildren, who are growing up way too fast. For my husband’s part-time job that helps to make ends meet in our senior years. For opportunities to work out of my home doing what I love best. For the sunsets and sunrises and birds and trees and butterflies and all God created for our enjoyment and use. God’s abundant provision blows me away.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God . . . And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches . . .” (Philippians 4:6, 19 NIV).
Glory . . . that brings me to the third thing for which I’m thankful: the future.
There’s quite a bit of interest these days in end times. I’m not too worried about it. I don’t put a whole lot of stock in man’s predictions about end times. My Bible tells me only God knows when this will be. So why get all stressed about it?
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).
“The one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead. So I run straight toward the goal in order to win the prize, which is God’s call through Christ Jesus to the life above” (Philippians 3:13–14 TEV).
Past, present, future—my times are in His hand (Psalm 31:15).
Thank you, Lord, for Your abiding presence, abundant provision and awesome plan. Amen.