Love Shows Up by Mary Southerland
It was one of those days. You know what I mean. The minute I opened my eyes, I could feel the weight of the darkness. All I wanted to do was pull the covers over my head and pray that the world would go away and leave me alone.But it won’t. I know that. I have responsibilities – deadlines to meet, people who are counting on me, and things I need to get done. So I do what I always do on those days. I take a deep breath, cry out to God for the strength to get out of bed, and literally make myself get up. That is the first victory of the day. Yes! I then get dressed – another victory – and even though each step feels like I am walking through quicksand, I keep walking, thanking God for each small battle won.
I have a sweet friend, Sara, who has more days like this than I can imagine. I really don’t know how she lives her life. Well, I do. Her faith in God is unshakable.
Sara has enormous health mountains to climb … I am talking serious, life-hindering physical diseases. Sara is a wonderful wife, the mother of four beautiful children, and does it all with a smile on her face and a sense of humor second to none. Sara is also a relentless encourager. I love her. Her faith challenges me and calls me up higher.
Sara always seems to know when I am having a bad day. I will invariably get a text or a message on Facebook from her asking what I am doing and how I am doing. And I cannot lie to the girl. She will know.
So last week, when I was having a pretty bad day, Sara sent me a message. She was having a good day. I was so glad. That girl deserves every good day she can get! And then she asked how I was. When I told her it was one of those days and that I was working on my lesson for my weekly online Bible Study, she encouraged me and said she would be praying for me.
I got back to work, trudging through every word, desperately trying to put together sentences and truths that would somehow minister to the women who are enrolled in my study. I prayed like crazy for God’s help, but felt like my prayers were bouncing off of the ceiling.
I heard the “bing” on my computer telling me I had a message on Facebook. I had forgotten to turn it off like I normally do when I am working on a writing assignment. The message was from Sara.
“I left you a little treat on the chair by your front door. Happy writing!” the message said. Unbelievable! The woman is unbelievable!
I literally ran to the front door and flung it open. Sitting on the chair was a large chocolate candy bar wrapped in bright cellophane paper covered in smiley faces. And it was not just any old chocolate bar. It was a Ghirardelli Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt bar … my favorite! I hugged it to my heart like the treasure it was – love wrapped in cellophane and chocolate.
Love showed up. I knew the effort behind that gift. I knew how much it had cost Sara. Not the money … but the sheer energy.
I sat down and relished every delicious bite of that candy bar. I ate the whole thing and finished my whole lesson … because love showed up. God’s love showed up through Sara.
I know. I know God’s love does so many big things in our lives. God’s love transforms the ugliness of life into a beautiful trophy of grace. Love covers the scars of sin. Love heals wounds and eases pain. Jesus was and is the living illustration and certain fulfillment of His Father’s love. The love of God is unconditional and unfailing and will stubbornly pursue us no matter where we go, no matter what we do or don’t do. God’s love satisfies the deepest longings of our soul, enables us to love ourselves, and frees us to love others.
God’s love shows up in big ways … but sometimes it is when God’s love shows up in little ways that He really gets to me. I am reminded that God is real … that He is faithfully present, and that He really does care about every minute detail of my life.
This devotional became all the more real to me this morning as when I walked into my office there sat a gift for me on my desk. I was quite surprised to say the least. As I began to read the card I smiled and even chuckled because God's Timing was so perfect.
On August 18th the Lord brought to me an opportunity to serve our Lord by teaching the women the Word on a mission trip to Managua, Nicaragua in February, 2016. The Lord had been dealing with my heart for two years about serving in another country and though I did not know it at the time the Lord had also been planning this for the last five years! Another story for another day. But, as you can imagine the day I made the commitment Satan came at me with fear...all sorts of fear and doubt. Some of those fears would probably seem quite small and insignificant when compared to the large scale of things but I can assure you they have been quiet real and big to me! And the CRAZY thing was that I wasn't having "break down" issues with the big things... But it was those little things....those things that seemed so small...insignificant and even almost silly that seemed to be eating away at me!
So back to today...I opened my card and it read:
Cindy, I just want you to know that I am praying for your safety and peace of mind as you continue serving our God on our local and foreign mission fields. I saw this angel of protection in a store in Hiawassee and wanted you to have it as a symbol of God's protection. You have meant a lot to me over the years and I thank God for putting you in my life. Love Kathy.
I can tell you my friends that God's timing with this token of love meant more to me than I can even begin to tell you today. Mary Southerland said it best....God’s love shows up in big ways … but sometimes it is when God’s love shows up in LITTLE WAYS that He really gets to me. I am reminded that God is real … that He is faithfully present, and that He really does care about every minute detail of my life.
Love Showed Up...just when I needed it!
How about you? Is there somebody in your life that needs God’s love to show up through you today?
Hugs and blessings, Cindy