Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Remembering Blessings

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. -- Job 8:21 (NIV)

On my desk at work is one of those verse-a-day calendars that you can reuse from year to year. I bought it when I started working because I wanted to have something to help re-center my thoughts and meditate on throughout the day, especially working in a secular environment. Up until a few years ago, working in Christian businesses was all I knew, and this transition into secular employment has been both exciting and challenging.

The past two and a half years haven't been the easiest transition for me. Struggling to fit in and find my place in a new town and congregation has been very challenging, and not without tears of frustration many times. Moving to a community that, for the most part, has a very small-town, closed community mindset often leaves me feeling like I'm on the outside looking in. Of the friends I've been blessed with here, most of them are transplants themselves, which provides a great community of shared experiences and companionship. I cherish each and every friendship, and the richness they bring to my own life.

We aren't promised days, months, or years without struggles and heartbreak. Yet God promises to work all things for good (Romans 8:28) for those who trust in Him. What comfort this provides during seasons where everything seems upside down and "normal" is no longer peaceful.

In spite of all these stresses and frustrations (sometimes on a daily basis), we are blessed. This verse from Job reminds me that in the midst of all the stress, frustration, worry, heartbreak, and yes, even hopelessness, the Lord still fills our mouths with laughter, still blesses us daily and provides reasons to shout for joy. They may not be blessings we see immediately; we may not even realize them for years to come. But still our Lord daily and richly cares for us, providing everything we need to support this body and life.

Sing praise to God, the highest good,
The author of creation,
The God of love who understood
Our need for His salvation.
With healing balm our souls He fills
And ev'ry faithless murmur stills: 
To God all praise and glory!
(LSB 819:1)

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