Last month I had a chance to Skype into a service at my home church and listen to the testimonies of the team that had come down to work with my team and I here in Ecuador during the summer. It was so good for me to sit there and listen to them share what the trip was like and how God worked in and through them while they were here. I needed that.
During that service, I also had an opportunity to share. In all honesty, I really didn't want to. I had hoped that the team would fill up all the time and I wouldn't have to say anything. However, the night before the service, it had become quite obvious that I would have to say something and I felt like God placed something on my heart to share, so when the time came, I stepped up to the plate and did it.
Six weeks (or something like that) later, I have come to believe that God had me share what I did on that Sunday not just to encourage/challenge others, but also so that it would be something that would stick with me and I could preach it back to myself when I needed to hear it.
Today I went for a forever long walk. I needed to get out of the house, enjoy some fresh air and get the endorphin rush. As I was walking... and walking...I thought a lot about what I shared that day. Mostly I quoted back to myself the verse, "The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed" (Deut 31:8).
While this has been a year where I've been confronted again and again with the reality that God is always there for me... that He loves me unconditionally and that He will NEVER leave or forsake me...sometimes I still forget or struggle to believe it.
God has never once given me a reason to doubt Him. He has never not been there to catch me when I fall. Even in the moments where I don't understand why He responded the way He did, He has still always responded. He is faithful and strong and completely capable to handling my very best and my very worst.
I can put up walls for the world and show them only the sides of me that are acceptable. But I need to be real with God...I need to come clean about my messiness and meet him in the depths that I like to pretend don't exist for me. And then, even when I push Him away or ignore Him... I need to remember that He's always there, waiting for me to come back, with arms outstretched.
He's there like that for all of us....sometimes we just need to be reminded. Today I remember...