"You [Lord] hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me." Psalm 139:5
Moriah actually hated the water and would scream anytime we tried to bring here close to it.....so she settled for other activists like trying to eat ice cream before it melts, which turns out to be very fast at sea level on the equator.
My paraphrase: The Lord goes behind me in 2018 and years prior; the Lord goes before me into all that 2019 and beyond holds; the Lord will go with me....ONE STEP AT A TIME....as we journey through each part together!
I (Phyllis) have a wonderful gift that my husband gave me in our first year of marriage....a journaling Bible. Not only are the pages full of rich, spiritual truths from our Good God, but they are full of memories of how those truths came alive in certain life circumstances and situations. Now that we are in 2019, I was taking some time to reflect on some of the good and bad experiences of the last year and looking ahead to what this new year might hold. Of course, there's no way of knowing for sure what tomorrow holds or if we will even be given it, but I DO know who holds tomorrow He will go with me every step of the way! I'm so thankful for that....beyond words....
Life has held its ups and downs. Recently, my family and I were able to take a road trip PNG style....which is more like an off road trip.....but we made some glorious memories. We told stories in the car and learned new things about each other. We discovered together the joy of God's creation and were able to take time to celebrate it. We enjoyed time together and time away from the daily demands of life at home. I was grateful for those things.
I was also grateful for moments of frustration trying to put two children down for naps. Not in the moment, mind you, but looking back, I could see God's hand at work. One particularly challenging day, our kiddos fought sleep for over an hour and a half before they finally gave in and rested. Brian and I were at our wits end and SO relieved when there was finally quiet from the other side of the room. Not wanting to repeat the same scenario at bed time, we decided to try something different. We listened to the book of John in the Bible on our audio Bible app while we rubbed the kiddo's backs. I was Amazed. I heard things in a new light and it made Scripture come alive all over again. What a blessing! I am grateful that there is NO place too far away for God's grace to reach us. I really needed Him in that moment, but I didn't know how MUCH or even HOW I needed Him.....I thought my kids needed His Word when it was really me who needed the filling. How humbling, but oh, how grateful I am for that moment!
The verse that stood out to me in the Word was John 6:40 where Jesus says, "For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life..." (Emphasis added). Sometimes, as a missionary, people think I am a closed and narrow minded person. They think I am exclusive and arrogant to think I hold the truth. But? That's not why I'm out here. I am convinced, without a doubt, that Everyone needs Jesus Christ. The Eternal, Life Saving truth that is in Christ comes by hearing and that is why Everyone needs to hear this truth! While it is true many may not want to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior, that doesn't negate the responsibility we have been given to love, live, and share Christ. So as we step into this new year and the many unknowns that are before us we step confidently not in ourselves, but in the God who is guiding our path.
The kids ready to brave the Ocean
Gunner had a blast playing in the water, looking for shells, and finding star fish