"To the faithful you show Yourself faithful..."
Once a month we try to go out to eat somewhere, as the budget allows. Last Saturday afternoon my husband and I took our two youngest children out for an early dinner. As we left the restaurant, we passed by Wight's Nursery. Out front was a sign that said, "Come In and See Our Fall Colors". So, since it was a windy, stormy autumn afternoon, we thought it seemed an appropriate thing to do. Much to our surprise, as we entered the front doors, all of the "autumn colors" had been relegated to a corner and Christmas was going up!
For those of you who do not live in the Seattle area, Wight's Nursery is a garden nursery that sells plants of all kinds, indoor and outdoor, and anything and everything you could possibly think of needing for your garden or patio. And every year for Christmas they put up dozens and dozens of Christmas trees decorated in all styles. It's truly a Winter Wonderland! All the lights and decorations are for sale, even right off the trees. It has become a wonderful Christmas tradition for us each year to go and pick out an ornament, one per family member, for our tree. However, we were very surprised to see Christmas set up so early this year! But as we wandered around, we began to get in the spirit of things.
Another tradition that my youngest son, Mackenzie, and I have started is to pick a "Christmas word". Last year it was HOPE; the year before that it was BELIEVE. We try to find an ornament or decoration of some kind with that word on it. As we wandered about Wight's, we started looking for our "word". There were lots of JOY and PEACE. But we were looking for something different...something that fit our lives the past year.
As we rounded a corner, I saw a snowman made out of Styrofoam balls holding a little sign that said, FAITH. That one caught my attention, because this has definitely been a year to live and walk by faith. But honestly, it was kinda ugly! So, we kept looking. But, I began to ponder....
Mark and I have had to stand in faith and believe God for some huge things this year. Each week, I pray with women who are facing giants! Financial issues, health issues, family crisis, grieving the loss of loved ones, waiting for those prodigal children to return. These and so many more situations we face are ones that could destroy us.....if we do not stand on faith. Isaiah 7:9 says,
"If you do not stand firm in your faith,
you will not stand at all."
This is one of my favorite verses of scripture. God is telling us that faith is our sure foundation. When the uncertainties, the fears, the anxieties...the health issues, the bills, the failed relationship...when all those things that can shake us do just that - we have to stand on our faith! Or we will fall.
But faith....faith comes through for us.....
Back in August, I put my 18 year old son on an airplane to Cleveland, Tennessee, headed off for his first year of college. When he left on that Wednesday, we needed $8000 for the rest of his tuition....$4000 per semester! I had NO IDEA where that money was coming from. But, we took a step of faith and sent him on his way. Two days later, on Friday, he registered for classes and headed off to the business office to find out how much we needed to pay. His bill came to $400 per semester!! That's 1/10 of the total we needed. I don't know where the extra funding came from but I DO know....All things are possible, if we believe (Matthew 19:26).
Last Saturday, as I continued to wander around Wight's, I came upon a beautifully decorated tree. As I admired it and studied the ornaments on the tree, right in front of me was a simple ornament of white wood and written in red it said, "Faith". It was perfect! I had already decided that my tree would be decorated in red this year...and here was the perfect ornament. I picked it up and searched the store for Mackenzie...we had found our first ornament for 2010.
No matter your circumstances, no matter your battle...you can rest in the faithfulness of your God. He will never leave you, forsake you, abandon you or ignore you. Jesus said, "According to your faith will it be done to you" (Matthew 9:29). So stand in your faith, and I will agree and stand with you. And we will see God do great and mighty things.....
And, let me be the first to wish you.....