Throughout Advent, we posted blogs each week based on the Lectionary Readings for the previous Sunday. It was truly an awesome experience to travel through Advent with the universal church by praying, meditating, and responding to those texts. We loved it so much, we thought we’d do it again throughout Lent.
Today, we are delighted to have a special guest post. Stephanie’s Dad, Wendell Fields, graciously agreed to author this post for us! We are so excited to have him write for us. We are also extremely grateful for the sacrifices that he and Deborah Fields have made to support this ministry!
Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; there is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, they would be too numerous to count.
Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired; my ears You have opened; burnt offering and sin offering You have not required. Then I said, “Behold, I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do your will, O my God; Your law is within my heart.”
I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation; behold I will not restrain my lips, O LORD, You know. I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.
— Psalm 40:5-10 (NASB)
What are the wonders that God has done for you? We sometimes walk through our life’s journey thinking that our lives are monotonous and mundane, but God has shown great interest in us. If you feel that there is no “wonder” in your life, consider these words from Jesus: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). That is the bedrock of what God has done for each of us – whosoever believes on Jesus Christ – God’s Son – Savior. But that isn’t all. God has “thoughts for us.” What are those thoughts like?
For some reason, I used to think that God was angry with me – that there was something about me that he didn’t like. I had a faulty understanding of who God was, and of His interest in me. I didn’t realize the awesomeness of the value of the Gift of God – eternal life through faith in his only begotten Son. But sometime, over the course of my journey, I began to realize that God wasn’t mad at me. He loved me. Just as he loves you! He had done wonders to get me to believe that! He has done wonders to get you to believe also. Some of the wonders are in the family God put us in. Some of them are in the people whom He put in our paths to speak words of life to us at an important time in our lives. Some of us have experienced wonders of God’s deliverance us from a life of disobedience to life in His kingdom. The process that we’ve gone through should remind us how good He is and how great His love is toward us, even if things haven’t always looked “good” to us.
His thoughts for us are for good and not for evil. There are times in our lives when we ask, “Why do I have to go through this?” “What good is there in this?” When I ask those questions about the small troubles that I have experienced, I’m reminded of the story of Joseph, who was SOLD by his brothers to a group of strangers going down the road. And why? Because they were jealous of his father Jacob’s love for Joseph. Because of his dreams. Because of the coat of many colors that his father made for him. Most of us reading (and writing) do not have a grid for being bought and sold, yet it is still one of the plagues of the lostness of mankind in our world. If we can find nothing else to do for those who are trapped, snared in the evil of human trafficking, then let us pray for them today. Let us pray that they will see the wonders that God has done for them. That they would be set free from the bondage of those who have used them and from the bondage of sin. That they would know that God is not angry with them, but that He loves them, even as He loves us. That He has fond thoughts of them.
What are those thoughts like? It doesn’t matter if we feel that we have sinned little, or if we carry the awareness of sin like a ball and chain, God’s thoughts toward us, according to the prophet Jeremiah, are “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). Wow! That excites me as I copy and paste the text into this blog! There is eternal life (a future!) in God’s thoughts for us! There is A PLAN! In my experience, I only see a piece of the plan at a time, but it is exciting and comforting to know that GOD HAS A PLAN FOR ME! Good thing – I’m not good at planning. But God is The Master Planner! And His plans are GOOD! After following Christ for a while, we come to the understanding that God is Good, All the Time! Even when we don’t think He is good, or that He loves us, or that He has a plan for our lives.