I know I’ve shared this verse with you several times before but it has so much truth packed into just a few words that it is worth repeating.
I’ll always be thankful that God answered the cry of my heart one day with this particular Bible passage. The New King James Version was my Bible of choice at the time, so that translation of this verse is dear to me:
You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You. —Isaiah 26:3
I love the use of the word stayed in this passage! I am so thankful that God brings this and other passages to mind when I need them the most but I also keep this verse visible on the home page of my cell phone and written on cards posted in various places around the house.
How about you, Beloved? What Scripture passages spring to your mind when you’re grappling with tough situations? Please share!
Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,
And makes me walk on my high places. —Habakkuk 3:17-19
I know many people pray for a word from the Lord for each new year. I have never thought to do that but this year God apparently has other plans for me. During the last couple of months of 2012, He kept placing the word enough in front of me in various ways. Sometimes it was in my Bible reading, other times in a devotional I was reading. And other times it was something in the news or online.
I’m not sure how I’m supposed to use that word this year or how God wants me to write about it. But I do know that it is to have significance for me this year, and I am to share what I learn with you. I don’t know if I’ll be writing about this subject every week or every month, but please know that I will be in prayer about how and how often to share what God gives me.
For now, let me start with a story that maybe you’ve already read. It has been taken out of context a lot but here it is with the proper acknowledgement to the original author. I’ll let the story do the telling.
“I wish you enough!”©
By Bob Perks
I never really thought that I’d spend as much time in airports as I do. I don’t know why. I always wanted to be famous and that would mean lots of travel. But I’m not famous, yet I do see more than my share of airports.
I love them and I hate them. I love them because of the people I get to watch. But they are also the same reason why I hate airports. It all comes down to “hello” and “goodbye.”I must have mentioned this a few times while writing my stories for you.
I have great difficulties with saying goodbye. Even as I write this I am experiencing that pounding sensation in my heart. If I am watching such a scene in a movie I am affected so much that I need to sit up and take a few deep breaths. So when faced with a challenge in my life I have been known to go to our local airport and watch people say goodbye. I figure nothing that is happening to me at the time could be as bad as having to say goodbye.
Watching people cling to each other, crying, and holding each other in that last embrace makes me appreciate what I have even more. Seeing them finally pull apart, extending their arms until the tips of their fingers are the last to let go, is an image that stays forefront in my mind throughout the day.
On one of my recent business trips, when I arrived at the counter to check in, the woman said, “How are you today?” I replied, “I am missing my wife already and I haven’t even said goodbye.”
She then looked at my ticket and began to ask, “How long will you…Oh, my God. You will only be gone three days!” We all laughed. My problem was I still had to say goodbye.
But I learn from goodbye moments, too.
Recently I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together. They had announced her departure and standing near the security gate, they hugged and he said, “I love you. I wish you enough.” She in turn said, “Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy.”
They kissed and she left. He walked over toward the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever?”
“Yes, I have,” I replied. Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to tell him face to face how much he meant to me.
So I knew what this man experiencing.
“Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever goodbye?” I asked.
“I am old and she lives much too far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is, the next trip back would be for my funeral,” he said.
“When you were saying goodbye I heard you say, “I wish you enough.” May I ask what that means?”
He began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” He paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more.”When we said ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them,” he continued and then turning toward me he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.
“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish enough “Hello’s” to get you through the final “Goodbye.”
He then began to sob and walked away.
My friends, I wish you enough! by Bob Perks
I hope you enjoyed a wonderful and blessed Christmas. Ours was quiet and peaceful, something I sorely needed this year because of so many reasons. I didn’t want to leave you all just hanging but I need to take some time to myself this week.
I am in the beginning of trying a new medication that is making me feel horrible right now but apparently that is typical for this—to feel worse before you feel better. I am holding on to the hope that this one will work for me but the painful reality is trying to tell me otherwise as I wait.
Here’s a little something for you as we finish out 2012. I know it is more of a spring theme but Isaiah 26:3 is one of my life verses and the sight of all these gorgeous tulips make me feel peaceful.
Beloved, I pray for all of us to have this “perfect peace,” the kind that can be found in Jesus Christ alone.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.
On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah.
I’ve been very busy lately and need to rest a lot, so this image and Psalm passage seemed appropriate for me right now—and I hope for you too, Beloved!
Resting in His arms…
The sounds of Christmas are starting earlier every year. Halloween isn’t even here yet when the stores start decorating for Christmas. And before Thanksgiving is on the horizon, Christmas music starts playing.
In fact as I sit here writing this I am listening to my own mix of Christmas music. My taste in this has changed somewhat over the years. Now I prefer instrumental music over songs with lyrics. It soothes and calms my heart and makes me feel more in touch with what I believe Christmas should really be.
Celebrating Christmas involves a host of activities. Buying—maybe making—and giving presents. Baking cookies and other holiday yummies. Christmas trees, ornaments and decorations. Singing and listening to carols. Connecting with others.
What is it about Christmas that makes us want to embrace it so completely?
There are countless magazine, ezine and other online articles showing us how to create the perfect Christmas for our families. Some magazines are even completely dedicated to the Christmas theme, filled with new or traditional recipes for cookies and other treats. They illustrate ways to decorate our homes to enhance that Christmas feeling and show us how to create to-do lists to keep track of everything that needs to be done by December 25th.
We rush around in an effort to find the best deals on gifts for friends and family. And why not? Since everything is more expensive now and our paychecks are probably not keeping up with rising prices, we need to save money wherever we can. Maybe we’ve decided to try for a more basic Christmas by making gifts and goodies. That still means we have to actually buy whatever it takes to make them. In a frenzied effort to provide our families with the perfect Christmas, we may miss the point of the whole thing.
And that is…?
Celebrating the birth of Jesus because it paved the way for us to live with Him forever in heaven.
Worshiping the One who made us and sent His Son to be born as a human being.
Thanking God for the humanness of Jesus Christ so that He experienced everything we’re going through and completely understands our joys and sorrows.
I have changed a lot over the years. When my children were young, I enjoyed all the hustle and bustle of decorating the tree and the house, baking all sorts of cookies and treats, shopping for those “perfect” gifts. I loved the excited smiles on my children’s faces as they saw the presents piled under the tree on Christmas morning and rushed to find those with their names on them.
Now I cherish more simple things this time of year: enjoying the long-standing tradition of exchanging Christmas socks with my daughter; listening to reflective Christmas music as I am right now; reading cards and notes from friends and family.
Other simple things? The look of twinkling lights. The aroma of a few cookies and quick breads baking. Hanging the stockings I crocheted on the mantel.
My Christmas trees used to drip with treasured family ornaments and colored lights. Now I put out this small but precious ceramic tree made especially for me years ago by my mother-in-law. There are also a few decorations scattered throughout the house and a wreath on the front door…
more than enough to satisfy my Christmas heart.
How about you, Beloved? Do you go all out for Christmas or have you scaled back in recent years?