Season of Realignment

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will be established.   – Proverbs 19:21 (RSV)

 

I called my ’97 Explorer my clunker because it literally clunked when I turned the wheel or drove over a rough section of road.

I made an appointment to get it aligned, but the guy told me something was wrong with a tie rod end or something like that, so I cancelled the alignment. After DH fixed the tie rod end (or something like that), I still didn’t get it aligned right away. Just too much on my schedule. But it wasn’t too bad. I got used to driving it. You see, there’s a trick to steering a misaligned vehicle.

When a vehicle is aligned, you can hold the steering wheel straight and the vehicle will go straight. But when it isn’t aligned, you have to hold the steering wheel in a slight turn to keep the vehicle going straight. If you hold it straight, you’ll end up where you don’t want to go, like in the ditch or on the other side of the road. Alignment keeps the steering straight.

Now, these Pennsylvania potholes are hard on vehicles, especially alignment. Hit one too hard, and bingo! Your vehicle’s out of alignment. The only way to correct it is to take it to a mechanic, who has the expertise and the tools to realign it properly again.

This whole year has been a season of realignment for me. Health challenges have been like potholes, knocking me out of alignment, slowing me down and even stopping me. I haven’t hiked, not even on the paths around home. My daily walk, either outside or inside following my “Walk at Home” DVD, has slipped onto the “Things of the Past” list. I can’t remember when I last went to water aerobics.

And those are only physical activities. 2018 was a year of transition, and, if you’ve been following this blog, you know all about that.

But years of transition – a.k.a. seasons of realignment – are part of life.

Back in 2011, I endured another season of realignment. Due to health issues, I had to resign from teaching, give up my radio program, and trim other activities from my schedule. Life wasn’t what I expected – or wanted – it to be. I was in a waiting room, where I learned to balance my life with work, rest, and leisure activities.

I was amazed at how busy I was at things that were good, but no longer God’s purpose for me – and abashed at how little time I took for fun. I understood this only when those busy things were taken away.

In time my energy returned, and with it clearer vision.

So it is with this season of realignment. You see, the master Mechanic is realigning my life with His purposes. To force me to stop, look at where I’m headed, and get my steering straight again.

I thought I would teach forever. I thought I’d do my radio program forever. I thought other things would last a lot longer than they did. I wasn’t ready to let them go. But God had other plans.

Are you in a season of realignment? Trust the master Mechanic. He knows what He’s doing.

Lord, keep me roadworthy and aligned with Your purposes. Amen.

Read and meditate on Genesis 12:1–9

(c) 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

 

Puppies and Promises

 

A girl and her dog

If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. ­–Psalm 139:9–10 NKJV

My 37-year-old daughter Jaime loves dogs. Her heart especially goes out to shelter dogs—the ones who have had a rough start to life. That’s where she got Tess, her 14-year-old German Shepherd-Golden Lab mix, when Tess was two.

Due to her age, Tess has many health issues, and Jaime does her best to keep her as comfortable and healthy as possible under the circumstances. When the time comes for Tess to cross Rainbow Bridge, the void in the family’s hearts and home will send Jaime back to the shelter to adopt another puppy.

“Puppies,” Jaime said, “are my way of knowing that, no matter how bad things get, everything is going to be okay.”

A good quote to remember as we face a new year.

While we don’t know the specifics, we do know the New Year will bring both grief and joy, disappointment and hope, trials and triumphs.

Puppies, in Jaime’s eyes, are the promise of joy, hope, and triumph.

We, too, have promises we can count on to see us through the grief, disappointment, and trials the New Year holds—the promises in God’s Word. And since the Author is faithful, we know His Word can be trusted (2 Timothy 2:13).

We have the promise of His LOVE—unconditional, undeserved, unlimited. A love we can count on no matter how awful we’ve behaved or think we are, a love that reaches to the skies (Psalm 36:5). His arms are always open to receive us. All we have to do is come home to Him (Luke 15:11–32).

We have the promise of His GRACE—a grace that will see us through the tough times, unanswered prayers, and heavy burdens. We are never alone as we trudge through the deep, dark, endless valleys that are sure to come. “My grace is sufficient,” God tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” So when we are weak, He is strong. The weaker we become, the stronger He becomes.

We have the promise of His MERCY—forgiveness for the asking, and even when we don’t ask. A new start every day. Renewed hope. “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:  The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:21–23 RSV).

And those aren’t all. We have the promises of His protection (Psalm 3:3), His presence (Exodus 33:14, Hebrews 13:5), and His provision (Philippians 4:19).

That He hears and answers our prayers, whether or not we see the answers we want, no matter how long we have to wait (Psalm 50:15).

Puppies and promises. No matter how bad things may get, I know that things will be okay because my God holds me, my family, and my future—every day, every moment—in the palm of His hand. Indeed—we are engraved there! (Isaiah 49:15-16)

Thank You, Father, that whatever the New Year brings, I can face all things through the One who gives me strength—Your Son, Jesus. Amen.

Read and meditate on Psalm 139

© 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.