Friday, December 2, 2011

Refresh My Memory

Yesterday, as I was walking through my house full of dogs, I remembered something from my childhood. I was raised as a Catholic and went to a Catholic Elementary School. Every fall they would have a harvest festival and bazaar. One year, my class was assigned a “patron saint”. Basically this “saint” looked out for us and was someone we resembled in character. My “saint” that year was St. Francis of Assisi. He was known as the patron saint of animals. I don’t remember much else about him except that part.
As the Lord brought that to my remembrance, I thought of His grace towards me. I thought of how far I had come, and it reminded me of the path I had taken to get where I am in my relationship with Him. I didn’t start out as a Christian; in fact, I despised the rituals of going to mass every Sunday and confession every Saturday. None of it made sense to me, nor did I believe that there was a God, let alone a Son that died for me. But God was there, the whole time. Even though I did not believe, nor did I want to believe, He was there, working and planning my life for me.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” You see- had I not gone through specific things in my life, had I not experienced specific hurts, joys, trials and troubles, I might not be here today. Even though I did not know God, nor want anything to do with Him- He was still there, working and waiting for the day that He knew I would say, “Yes, Lord, I believe.”
Who would have thought from all those years ago that today I would be caring for and loving on dogs of all shapes and sizes as a profession?  God knew. Nothing happens in our lives by chance or coincidence. God has it all planned out, mapped out, and straightened out. We only have to walk. You see, you may be wondering today why all these trials are happening?  Why am I going through this? God knows. He sees the end from the beginning. He has already allowed the situation to come upon you, and He has already mapped out the route ahead. All He needs you to do is follow Him and walk.
My son, as most of you know already, has decided to go his own way and do his own thing. It’s not that he doesn’t “believe” in God, he just doesn’t “believe God”. For awhile now I have struggled with this fact. But the Lord, in His great wisdom, has shown me that He is in control. Even though my son is not walking the walk right now, God is still there, just like he was there with me as a young child, mapping out and planning out my life. I say all of this to tell you the one thing the Lord is speaking today- everything we do, every aspect of our life we experience, God is using that to make us into the women He wants us to be. Not who we want to be, but who God wants us to be.
It may not make any sense right now, but God is still working. He has not left you, nor forsaken you. If you are praying for someone to know the Lord, know that He is there- working in their lives to bring them to the knowledge of Him. Nothing happens to us that does not first pass through His hands first. Jesus said that “He makes the sun to rise on the evil and the good”. (Paraphrased because I could not remember where it was in my bible!) Even though they may not know God- He knows them!
A prayer of mine is for the Lord to mold me, make me into the woman He desires me to be. Yesterday, He told me- I Am. He can take something from your past and use it to teach you and to bring you closer to Him. He is our Potter and we are His clay. He can take something from today- some trial or trouble you find yourself in and 10 years down the road, He uses it to teach you something, or to minister to someone else. There is a purpose and a reason for everything we go through. We just have to have faith in Him, trust that He knows best, and walk in His grace. He has already mapped the way through this jungle of life. He is our guide through all the dangers, darkness, hurts and pain that are ahead. He knows they are coming, and He has already made a plan. Let Him be your guide, and follow closely behind.  He knows the jungle better than anyone else because He created that jungle! So follow your guide on the greatest adventure- your life in Him.