Can you say kidney stones?
And, extra stress at work..
Nuff said about that.
Prayer can get a weary soul through anything, friend.
The Holy Trinity will let you know in no uncertain terms that they are with you always. Just ask them.
Because of all the stress I'd been through, I'd been praying all week for God to stay close and let me know He's near.
In the car, on Good Friday, hubby & I are talking about attending an Easter Sunrise Service by a nearby fledgling church, and I mention that wouldn't it be nice if someone just showed up with a guitar and sang one of our favorites: "In Christ Alone" as the sun was rising.
That night, on Good Friday, we read from a devotional book whose entries had no dates. Because of eleven-hour work days, we'd missed several nights of devotional time due to me crashing into bed exhausted. So, when my husband mentioned Isaiah as the book for Friday's devotion entry, I thought nothing of it, until I started reading. The specific verses for that day's entry described the scourging of Christ before His crucifixion. I asked my husband if he chose that entry on purpose, and he just grinned & shook his head, reassuring me that he'd just followed the sequence of pages up to that night. Me? I teared up and read the verses about my Savior again. A coincidence on Good Friday? No.
Let me note this: When the Holy Spirit shows up, two things usually happen: My husband smiles/giggles/laughs. I ...cry. We're quite a pair, obviously.
On Saturday, I worked in the backyard, turning/amending soil and getting 23 plants into the ground, wishing I'd purchased something to go into a large container which used to hold a lily bulb that the squirrels ate last year. But after two hours, I got what I call an instant garden into two beds, and was satisfied.
Easter Sunday morning, we dressed and drove to the Sunrise Service, listening to a wonderful preacher on the car stereo as we captured some joy even before getting to the little outside amphitheater at the park.
As the pastor made some opening remarks, I was taking in the surroundings of light coming over the treetops, the little creek below us, and the birds chirping a song of welcome. Suddenly, I focused on the little stage and realized a young man was playing a guitar and yes...the strains of "In Christ Alone" filled the air...I stared open-mouthed at my husband as his knowing grin almost split his face in two. I gulped hard, but couldn't sing along with the lump in my throat, so I praised the Risen Lord with my tears.
After the service, we grabbed some breakfast and returned home to rest before the eleven o'clock service at our own church. I saw the flowers I'd planted the day before and took my camera outside to snap them before the squirrels decided to have them for lunch. Walking around the yard, I enjoyed the lantana, coreopsis, and foxglove even though I had little to do with their appearance. Suddenly, I spied not one, but five long shoots moving upward in the pot where the lily had bloomed last year. I couldn't believe it; there had been a cave where the squirrels had gotten it last year. But it was a morning for celebrating resurrections, so who was I to argue?
We went to the eleven o'clock service where, at one point, our music director belted out the beautiful anthem "Arise, My Love" and, in an unusual display of worship for a baptist church, brought the congregation to their feet with many uplifted hands of adoration for Jesus, who loves us all so much that He would die for us.
Yes, my prayers were answered in no uncertain terms the entire Easter weekend. God is indeed close, and reminded me that I am never alone.
Oh, by the way...He will do the same for you. Just ask Him.
Love & Laughter,
two onions still life oil painting a day
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