Walking along the gravel path, following the way of the water in the creek, I was carrying on a little conversation in my heart with my Father. The air was crisp, the sun was shining, and the only sound I could hear was that of the water moving. I whispered to God in my soul, “I love it here.” And I felt Him whisper back, “I knew you would.”
It stopped me in my tracks and filled my eyes with tears. His Spirit speaking to me and the reminder of His abundant, intimate love for me was overwhelming. I don’t exactly know how to explain “hearing” the voice of the Lord … it is not audible. He didn’t say this out loud, thundering from the heavens in some miraculous way. There are times I feel like God is trying to tell me something, and I have to question Him, “Was that You, God?” But then there are times, like this one, that it catches me off guard, and I just know. The Holy Spirit, “the Helper,” is such an amazing gift for us. And on that day – in that ordinary, un-special moment – He came to remind me just how He feels about me.
“I knew you would,” I felt Him say as a smiling, good Father who just gave the perfect gift to His daughter. I’m in a new place, and there have been lots of challenges and questions along the way to getting here. He knows every single thing about this journey. He knows every single thing about me. He knows the desires of my heart. He knows I desire to be close to Him and follow His way. He knows I worry. He knows my past, present, and future and what is best for me. He is the great composer and conductor of this complicated orchestra score where He makes everything come together in beauty.
He reminds me often how much He loves me. Why I continue to be surprised at His goodness, I don’t know … I guess because I absolutely know that I don’t deserve it. I also know how much trouble there is in the world. So why would He give me something good? Because He is good, and His steadfast love endures forever. Oh my soul, please stop forgetting that.
There have been some years in the past when as I’m reflecting on the end of the year and looking toward the new year, I’ve chosen a word to focus on for the coming year. The last couple years God seems to have picked that word for me – a word that would keep coming up and popping out in Scripture, or in a song, or in my heart; a word He knew I would need to be reminded of continuously. In 2020 that word was “Immanuel,” which means God with us. He knew I needed to know and hear over and over – and to share with others – that He’s here. He’s with us. I am not alone. We are not alone. (Read the post about that here)
For 2021 that repeated, needed word has been “Steadfast.”
- resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering
- not subject to change
- fixed, firm and staying strong
I’ve shared here about some of the big changes in our family that happened in 2021, including a big move for us. (Read about that here) There have been many other things through the year that have shown a changing world around us … some good changes, some heartbreaking ones, some personal, some global. It has been a year of a lot of uncertainty and also a reminder of how fast time is flying. It seems hard to get a good grasp on anything … whether we’re trying to grasp understanding for certain circumstances, or to grasp hold of time and things changing quicker than we might want, or to grasp hold of a clear plan and path for the future. It is all quite fleeting and shaky. And that can be very unsettling.
BUT … HE is steadfast.
He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
His love is steadfast. It does not waver. (Lamentations 3:22)
He is a good Father who gives good gifts. (Matthew 7:11)
There is nothing that can separate me from His love. (Romans 8:38-39)
His strength never fails. (Psalm 73:26)
When I’m looking around at the good gifts He’s given: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” -Psalm 136:1
When I’m looking around at all the troubles of the world: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
God’s lesson for me doesn’t stop there. He continuously teaches me about His character, so that I can reflect His character. He reminds me how much He graciously loves me so that I will love graciously. He shows me that He is steadfast, so I will trust and serve Him with a steadfast faith. Of course I’m a work in progress, messing up and missing the lesson more than I care to admit. I try to keep listening though. I certainly don’t want to miss any whispers to my soul. I wonder what He’s going to teach me in 2022?
Oh, and by the way, you may not be in a – “I love it here” time. Maybe it is a – “God, I hate this!” time. I’ve had plenty of those too. That’s when He whispers back, “I know. But just you wait.”