This morning I was at McDonald's meeting someone to pick up a special birthday cake I had made for Gideon's birthday party. As I sat there by myself waiting, I had a chance to reflect on this past weekend, past week, and then the past couple months.
I couldn't help but smile as I thought about all the overwhelming blessings God has given us throughout this time! My heart is so full of joy and love and peace. I realized that one of the greatest blessings is that He has opened my eyes to see Him working in me and around me, and He has let me be a part of that work!
But as I pondered this it occurred to me that while I would love to be in this place where I can literally feel His blessings raining down on me for the rest of my life, that is unlikely. What is likely is that I am going to face times when I can't see Him as clearly. When I don't feel His arms wrapped around me.
Immediately, I began to pray:
God, thank you for allowing me this time of special blessing! Thank you for opening my eyes to see your handiwork so clearly and allowing me to be a part of it. Joy is overflowing from my heart as I sit here thinking about all you have done in the last couple months. I know there will come a day when I can't see you working in me and around me so clearly. I know I am going to face hardship and struggles that will test my faith. When that time comes, Lord please help me to remember this time right now! Please let me look back on your faithfulness and stand in truth. Please give me the desire to see your blessings all around me, even when it seems that I have to search harder. As I look back at my journey, I remember very dark times when I allowed my emotions to cloud the truth. I don't ever want to go back there! No matter what, I want to praise Your name! Please allow me to praise you through anything and everything as you lead me through a world that is not my home.
Though it sounds pessimistic, my joy was not gone or fading. Rather, I was coming to terms with the reality that I needed to prepare for what was in store. It is often said that after every spiritual high there is a devastating low - oddly, my highs seem to come just after the darkest times in my life, but no matter. The point is, the road will get hard. I know this, I have experienced this many times. But I don't want those experiences to be the same. I want the next time to be different. Rather than turning my focus inward, I want my focus to remain upward, still giving God the glory, still praising Him for His many blessings, still joyful knowing that I have not gone beyond His outstretched arm!