RED LETTER DAY
Has your day ever started off great, and then it quickly went south?
Up at 6 AM after trying to ignore my screaming feet, I couldn’t get comfortable, so I gave in and got up. I grabbed my devotional, prayer books and Bible and sat down in my chair with a huge stack of pillows for my feet and a blanket. It’s been chilly lately.
With a grateful heart for the sleep I did get, I dove into Psalm 67, the Psalm I was to read for the day. You know how you can read a passage in Scripture and see it for the first time? Even though you’ve read it a million times?
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us.
Psalm 67:1 NIV
This verse is echoed in Numbers 6:24-26 and is considered the priestly benediction or prayer. We just sang the BLESSING song on Mother’s Day, so it was fresh in my mind. I did not know that it was repeated here in the Psalms. Psalm 67 is not attributed to David, but it is a communal psalm for God’s blessing. I was soaking in the goodness of this verse when I came to end of the Psalm:
God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear Him. Verse 7
My prayer time was one of gratitude and thoughtfulness. Yes, God has blessed me and us. He has shone His face upon us. Even in the times of silence, He has not forgotten me. I do have current silent areas in my life, but I was not thinking about those right then.
I was thinking about God’s face shining on me. His face. The very face of God. On me. In all of its brilliance. His grace upon us in wave after wave. Even if the waves of turmoil are crashing, His grace is there in wave after wave.
Within a span of minutes, I needed this reminder of God’s blessing and grace. Three people, three conversations and I was left in tears. And it all occurred in about 30 minutes. How could it all happen so fast? One guess. I’ve got a target on my back – as does any Christian. And the arrows were flying and getting pretty close to a bull’s eye. Ouch.
RED LETTER DAY
As I was trying to get ahold of my emotions, God brought to mind RED LETTER. What does Jesus say to me this morning, that is marked in red in my Bible?
Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. John 15:4 NIV
If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you. John 15:7 NIV
I have got to remain. Funny thing about that word. Remain = abide = endure. I’ve written about that BEFORE. In my abiding, I am enduring in my walk with Jesus. I am going the distance. Oh, it tweren’t easy. And it has been pretty rough, but God is so gracious.
God also brought to mind Romans 8:38-39 - Nothing can separate us from God. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Nothing. Can. Separate. Me. From. The. Love. Of. God.
This put everything in perspective. Even though God has allowed more refining to come into my life, it is for His glory and my good. Even though it hurts to have the rough edges smoothed away by people, it means I still have rough edges. As my son said to me as I was sharing my frustration, “You have got to get tough skin.”
Frankly, this is not a strong suit of mine. My skin is fragile, always has been. Oh to have alligator skin. Or I’ll take a rhino’s.
In the midst of all of this, I got my computer out. It was time to write. Blank page. For a long time. Nothing. God, what is it that You want me to write?
I did the usual stalling, praying and checking my emails. You know, how when you have a deadline, everything else becomes important? Emails, really?
Glad I checked. A senior editor got back to me about submissions. I am to write for them. On a regular basis. Me. This crazy mess. In the midst of the waves, a red letter day.
Lord Jesus, thank You for reminding me that nothing separates me from You. And in my abiding You are there, right beside me. Carrying me at times and even wiping away my tears. You are good. Thank You that Your face shines upon us.