“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“What I needed was hope. Optimism is seeing how circumstances will get better, but hope is seeing God’s love and care in the midst of bad circumstances. Hope is the refuge in uncertainty when optimism runs dry.” ~ Bonnie Gray
“Our hope comes in Jesus, even when He doesn’t do what we want Him to do. Even when He doesn’t fix what’s broken in our life… When Jesus is with us, He’s our anchor in the rough waters of a troubled life. If we want to survive the storm we need to cling to Him like the salvation He is.” ~ Laura Story
“God has graciously, lovingly and compassionately taken each piece of the jigsaw that was pulled out and scattered. He has then placed the pieces so perfectly back to where they came from. The difference about the pieces this time is that they are much stronger, and much more refined.” ~ Francesca Price
“…I’m an empty page I’m an open book Write your story on my heart Come on and make your mark Author of my hope Maker of the stars Let me be your work of art Won’t you write your story on my heart…”
Nature Is a Retreat of Hope
“There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story.” ~ Linda Hogan ~
Thank you to my brother John for these stunning photos. 🙂 Please respect copyright laws. 🙂
Signs of God’s goodness and love surround us in His creation, whispering ever so tenderly:
Yes, Child, I am here.
Open your eyes and see.
Open your ears and listen.
Open your heart and believe.
I hold up My Creation,
And I hold up you
Because I delight in you.
Several weeks ago, my daughter spotted a Baltimore Oriole in our birdbath. I missed it, but I did catch a picture of him on the rooftop. I found out they especially love grape jelly, so I got a little feeder. He didn’t come back…
Last week when I felt so sick, I looked out the window and at the sky and sighed, “God, if You really are with me, will You give me a sign? Will You please bring that Oriole back?”
I quickly snatched it back. “I’m sorry, God. I shouldn’t ask for a sign. I should just trust that You’re with me always.”
I am trying to trust God, no matter what. Not only at times when I feel the sunshine of His Presence, but also at times when He’s covered by the stormy clouds that rage in my body, mind, or heart.
I am trying to find my footing on His immovable character of goodness and love, not in my faltering feelings.
I am trying to own His promises, believing He has personally given them to me and is faithful to fulfill them in His own time and way.
So I felt guilty asking God for a sign. He had just gifted me with a whisper of His assurance last week, “You don’t need to understand. You just need to hold My hand. I am with you.” Just because I felt so alone that day did not mean He wasn’t there for me. He never presses something on our hearts if He doesn’t mean it.
His promises are purposeful and will surely come to pass.
Because He loves us.
“For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With His love, He will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
(Zephaniah 3:17 NLT)
God takes delight in us. He gladly gives us signs to show His love. He desires to calm our fears. His generosity towards us is a bottomless sea of goodness. He passionately desires to give us far more than we ask for or expect.
A joyful surprise arrived for me on Saturday. I was resting while my husband went to see if our son needed any more help with moving, and my heart nudged me to get up and look out the window.
A Baltimore Oriole! Giddy with excitement, I hurried to get some snapshots of this beautiful bird, so gloriously displaying the goodness and love of God. Thank You, God!
I don’t know if the Oriole will come back. I hope so. But even if he doesn’t, I will see every bird outside my window as a sign and seal of the goodness and love of a generous God.
The house finches that nested outside my window have taken flight. It’s hard to believe how quickly they grow to nearly the size of their parents.
And God has sent a variety of other birds to delight my heart:
Take a look out the window or a walk in nature. View photos of God’s marvelous creation. Signs of God’s love, His goodness, and His faithfulness are all around us.
No matter what you’re going through right now:
And His heart is bursting with love for you!
Joining Up With
Faith Barista’s Writing Prompt:
“Share your whitespace moment.”
– moments of beauty and rest
– feeding your soul
– your alone time with God