How precious is thy lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge under the shadow of thy wings.
They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; And thou wilt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.
For with thee is the fountain of life:In thy light shall we see light.
Oh continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee, And thy righteousness to the upright in heart.
Let not the foot of pride come against me, And let not the hand of the wicked drive me away.
I have been so excited to write this post. I just feel like I could burst wide open because I’m so excited about the things God is doing to constantly remind us that He loves us. There is just so much hope in knowing that our God is loving and He is kind. He wants us to drink of the river of his pleasures and be abundantly satisfied.
I always thought that meant a life of pleasure, as we would see it. You know…wealth, health, happiness, contentment, etc. No. That’s not what it means. Verse 7 says that these are people who are taking refuge under His wing, so they are in some kind of need, right? I mean, do you take refuge when you are in a peaceful situation? No. We take refuge when we are hurting, scared, or in need.
So, when we take refuge under His wing, then we will be abundantly satisfied and drink from the river of pleasures. What? How can that be? How can a person in need, or in tribulation, or in a fiery trial, have abundant pleasures? I’m here to tell you that it is possible…IF…if you can “see the light”. If you let God open your eyes to see the miracles He is doing all around you in your time of need. If you look. Just look around and SEE all the things He is doing on your behalf as you just tuck yourself away under the shadow of His wing.
There are so many stories I could tell you about the past few months that would leave you speechless at what God has done, but there are 3 from the past few days that you just have to hear.
This past Friday morning, Clay had just gotten out of the shower and he was sitting on the floor trying to decide if he would actually get dressed. He’s a little slow right now because he’s so tired all the time. And, he’s very nostalgic, so he thinks about people a lot. He looks up at me and says, “I know this is random, but I want to tell you while it is on my mind. I really want to see Kim Dean, Kesleigh Dean and Angie Johnson.” These are three friends that Clay grew up with in church for many years. They were literally in nursery together as babies. They go way back.
Kim lives in Baton Rouge. Kesleigh lives in Waco, TX. Angie lives in Dallas, TX.
So, you can imagine, I’m standing there thinking, “How in the world am I going to make that happen???” I planned to write them on Facebook and try to coordinate something, but we got busy and I didn’t do anything.
The next morning, I had to leave the house a lot earlier than usual to go pick up our daughter at an event. I am not a morning person, so I didn’t want to go. I had even tried to guilt my 17 year old into going for me. And, he would have if I would have really asked him. I was sitting in my room, reading my Bible at about 8:45, and I just felt like I needed to get up and go myself. I got dressed and got in the car. I backed out of the driveway and noticed a girl running on my street.
Now, how many times do you see runners in your neighborhood?
How many times do you just ignore runners in your neighborhood?
Well, for some reason, I thought to myself, “I wonder who that is?” So, when I passed her, I turned around to look at her face.
Are you sitting down???
It was Kesleigh Dean….from Waco, TX!
I have not met Kesleigh in person before. I have only seen her pictures on Facebook. Several years ago, Kesleigh’s son, Clayton, battled cancer. Clay and I followed her blog and prayed for them constantly. He won his battle and is a vibrant, precious boy. So, Kesleigh has reached out to me several times to encourage me and she has been praying for our family.
Anyway, here we are. On Chaparral Place. At 9:15 am. Kesleigh is jogging, so she’s hot and sweaty and her hair is pulled back (although she still looked really beautiful) and I’ve never seen her in person. But, I knew immediately that it was her. So I slammed on my brakes in the middle of the street. She comes running around to my window and I’m already crying. (She’s probably thinking I’m a complete nut.)
I’m starring at her like she’s a ghost and I say, “Kesleigh??!!” Yep. It’s Kesleigh Dean. All the way from Waco, TX. And she is running on my street, at the exact time that I’m leaving, when I didn’t even want to be there, and I just happen to look at her face. What?? I’m speechless.
Of course, she had time to come see Clay, because God picked her up from Waco and put her on Chaparral Place, all because Clay had a desire in his heart to see her. Isn’t that so sweet? God is so sweet. The Dean’s came that night and we all visited, laughed, prayed and loved on Clay. Angie didn’t make it, but I know God will make a way for Clay to see her, too, because that’s just how things have been working around here.
JESUS HEALS A BLIND MAN
That same afternoon, our dear friends, Robin and Caleb Scherer, came to bring us lunch. Caleb is a really close friend to Clay and he has been very attentive to Clay’s spiritual needs. In a recent visit, we were talking about how Clay’s vision is impaired and he has trouble reading. Reading the Bible has been especially hard because it is so small.
So, Caleb buys Clay a large print Bible. It’s huge and heavy, but the words are big and he can see them better. When Robin and Caleb left the house, Clay, Grace and I were sitting in the kitchen talking. Grace says, “Dad, get your Bible and read me something. Let’s see if you can read it good.”
Clay picks up the Bible. There are 1900 pages. He puts it on his lap and randomly opens the Bible. He points to a random verse on the random page and starts to read it. Are you ready? Here is is….
Of all the verses in the Bible that he could have opened to, he turns to a verse that says his name twice and is the story of Jesus healing a blind man. (His finger is covering it, but it says, “He spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle…”)
Clay looked up at Grace with tears already in his eyes, then he looked at me in amazement, then he just looked back at the Bible and kept reading. We were all very quiet for a minute. God is so sweet. He is just so sweet.
Because Caleb was faithful to listen to the Holy Spirit and get Clay the gift, God spoke to Clay in that moment. Be sure to listen to the voice of God in your everyday life. Don’t miss an opportunity to do something He is telling you. You will never know how He can use the smallest gesture to make a huge impact. We will never forget that moment.
JAMES EARL JONES
When Caleb gave Clay the Bible, we were also discussing the idea of listening to the Bible on CD or podcast. A few days before, I had searched for a free podcast and played it for Clay. It was a woman’s voice and he didn’t like it. Right away, he said, “The only way I could listen to the Bible like that would be if James Earl Jones or someone like that did the narration.” I was thinking to myself that it is very unlikely that James Earl Jones ever narrated the Bible for a recording.
Well, Caleb had already looked at that and told us that there was, in fact, a James Earl Jones narrated Bible available. So, I logged that away in my “Save This For Later” file and thought that maybe eventually I would try to get that for him.
Fast forward to today. I’m at senior orientation with Sam, and I see one of our good friends, Kenny Kepper. Kenny has been so good to us. He’s prayed and visited several times. I’m telling him the two stories above, just trying to encourage him and give God glory for all the things He is doing in our life. (Now, I did NOT tell him about the James Earl Jones conversation. I wasn’t even thinking about that. I just told him the testimony about the Bible and the verse in John.)
I finish the story and Kenny says, “Don’t leave. I have something I want to give you for Clay.” I can’t even type it. You just have to look at the picture.
Y’all. I can’t make this stuff up. It’s real. I promise. Kenny is a pastor, so he can’t lie. 😉 When you see him, ask him if this is true. I just closed my eyes and turned away when he handed it to me. I couldn’t say anything for a minute. He was thinking I was crazy. Then I told him what Clay had said, and we all just smiled and thanked God for His goodness. For His lovingkindness.
Let that word really sink in to your mind. LOVINGKINDNESS. His love for us is so strong and He shows it through kindness toward us. These might seem like small things to someone, but to me and my family, these are huge miracles that God has done. He works so hard to show us that He has not left us. While we are in tragedy, He is here in our midst. He didn’t leave. We don’t have to be afraid. He isn’t punishing us. He is using our lives to show the world His love and kindness and greatness. He is faithful and good.
And, just think about the blessing that The Dean Family, Caleb and Kenny got out of this. God used them to deliver a miracle to us. How cool is that. They get to take part in the blessing that God is pouring out. They get to experience our “river of pleasures.”
Oh! I have to tell you one more. Yesterday, we went to lunch after church. We were just talking at the table and the waitress came over to give us a $50 gift card to pay for our lunch. She said, “I’m not at liberty to say who sent this to you, but another guest wanted to buy your lunch.”
We both just looked at each other in amazement and asked her to please thank them. Then, Caleb said, “Well, that’s a great opportunity for us to bless the food and just thank God for all that He’s doing.” So, that’s what we did. We just held hands right there and prayed and thanked God.
Whoever you are, thank you. I hope so much that you are reading the blog so that I can say thank you, but if you are not, God saw what you did and He will reward you in such a greater way than I ever could. He will bless you for your kindness and for allowing your life to be used to bless our family. Thank you.
Y’all, I have 100 of these stories. Maybe I’ll write a book so you can hear each one and be able to see how God has moved so many mountains already. Maybe James Earl Jones can narrate it for the CD version! Ha!
I wanted to tell you these few stories today because I’m praying that your hearts are encouraged and that you close this blog post with a huge smile on your face. God is good. He is loving. He is faithful. His Word is true. He has not left you. No matter where you are right now, or how difficult your circumstance, God has not left.
He can see in the dark!
He sees you. He loves you. He is with you.
And, He is showing you His lovingkindness. If you can’t see it, ask Him to open your eyes.
Hide yourself under the shadow of His wing, and He will give you abundant pleasures. I know. It doesn’t make sense. But, it is true. You can walk through the darkest valley of your life with peace in your heart, and joy on your face. You can.
Love Him today. Read His Word and let Him speak to you. Hide yourself under His wing. Rejoice in the things He has done and will do. Look for the “little” things He is doing. And, listen to Him when He impresses you to do something for others.
Praise God! Praise God! Praise God! He is so good.
Psalm 57: 7-11
“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed:
I will sing and give praise.
Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp:
I myself will awake early.
I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people:
I will sing unto thee among the nations.
For thy mercy is great unto the heavens,
and thy truth unto the clouds.
Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens:
let thy glory be above all the earth.”