He IS a Good, Good Father!

I was recently asked to share a devotional for a women’s breakfast in Keizer, Oregon and wanted to share it here as well.  This caring group of ladies give of themselves when they assemble on a monthly basis.  Last month they brought Valentine’s cards and tokens of love for residents at a local women’s shelter.  This month they donated food to the Marion Polk Food Share program.  Their theme of meeting some basic needs went right in line with what I was impressed to share about… God’s provisions.

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good good father

 

Anyone who knows me for two shakes knows I’m a pretty open person – if given the opportunity I’d tell you my life story over lunch.   Not that I’m all that important – but God is and His story in my life is.  And I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for His love and grace and endless mercy.  To start off today I’d like to take a few minutes to share a bit about me so you can understand a bit more about my “life filter”, my perspective so to speak.  A lot of pretty rotten things have happened to me in my short 42.5 years… and by God’s grace I’ve managed to keep that “glass is half full” perspective.  But it hasn’t been easy.  I’m a hand full – I’ve kept God and His guardian angels busy.

I am a pastor’s kid and went through the cliché “pk rebellion” in my late twenties.  In the eight or nine years leading up to this prodigal child stage I had gone through a number of losses that left me with intense anxiety attacks.  I had given up on the dream of attaining a college degree, lost a cousin to a complication while using drugs, lost my grandmother to cancer, lost the majority of my lifelong friends and the worst part – I had lost my way.  To top it off my husband had deserted me.  Literally, he moved out of our apartment while I was at work – without a word or a note.  Later that day I found him at the bank taking cash advances on our credit cards, taking all the money out of the accounts, etc.  I was lost, broke and alone.

But God was just getting ready to show me how much He loved me.

Since then He has both reminded me about His provisions in my life as a kid and again in my life now, on a daily basis.  I have a couple first-hand stories to share with you today…

But first I want to read Psalm 34:8  (NIV) “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”

Follow me here…  have you ever eaten anything for the first time just because you were brave and wanted to be adventurous?  Like squid?  Or escargot?  Or brussel spouts?  Or … anything else?  It takes TRUST doesn’t it?  You are trusting that the person who prepared the food knows what they’re doing when it comes to the preparation of this food. Or maybe you’re trusting your friend who suggested you try this piece of food.  You are truly putting your trust to the test when you “taste to see” if something is good.

Let’s look at a few more versions of this verse.

  • The Living Bible: “Oh, put God to the test and see how kind he is! See for yourself the way his mercies shower down on all who trust in him.”
  • The Message: “Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see— how good God   Blessed are you who run to him.”
  • The Amplified Bible: “O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good; How blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who takes refuge in Him.”

 

A few more bits of info about me and what makes God’s work in my life a good share.  My family and I moved here 3 days before Christmas after years of saying we had a 5-year plan to get closer to the rest of the family in Oregon.  But 5 years ago we didn’t know that our home was going to sell (without it even being on the market) and that the move to Oregon WAS actually going to happen.  It was more of a joke… that thing about moving to Oregon.  So we were feeling a bit unprepared for it.  And then all of a sudden it happened.  No full-time jobs lined up (my growing home based business – yes).  It was just time to be with family (and the majority of the family lived in Oregon).  When God practically pushes you through a door… you don’t fight Him.  Am I right?!

When it boils down to it, I knew (in the deepest part of my soul) that God was going to take care of our needs, each one of them.  I don’t know HOW or WHEN … but I did know He would take care of us and there was truly no need to worry – I trusted Him and took refuge in Him.   I still trust that He’s going to do that.

 

How could I be so certain?  First of all, because He tells us He will.  Also – I fall back on the reality that He has shown me how He loves to take care of His people.  And it is beautiful!

Proof #1 – When I was 8 years old our family went through a lengthy stint where my parents were unemployed.  Our family literally lived from miracle to miracle during that time period.  One month we simply didn’t have the money to pay that month’s mortgage payment.  Dad was busy looking for work (even working shifts at a local gas station) but the money just wasn’t there to pay all the bills.  Dad and Mom prayed over the monthly mortgage need and then left it in God’s hands.  They had not breathed a word of the need to anybody.  But the next morning they found an envelope tucked under the wiper blade on the windshield of their car (parked outside).  Inside the envelope was just enough cash to pay the mortgage… in fact, to the penny.  It was enough.  They don’t know who put it there… well, we all know who put it there.  At the time it could only be explained as God.  As Psalm 34:8 reads… “…Blessed are those who take refuge in Him.”

Proof #2 – After my divorce at the age of 21 I didn’t know how I would survive.  During that tumultuous marriage I had quit college because we needed me to work full time so that we could pay the bills.  I was now a single woman, without a college degree, with mountains of bills and couldn’t afford to quit work in order to go back to school.  I had been deserted and couldn’t pay rent by myself.  I found myself moving back in to my parents’ home, financially and emotionally broke.  I was paying my previous college bills (for an education I would never complete) and a car payment and my half of a very large credit card debt.  My life had literally been turned upside down.  But I knew to the deepest part of my soul that God was going to meet my needs.  And certainly, He did.  “ … Blessed are those who take refuge in Him.”

 

I am happy to report that He has been a good, good Father to me.  He blessed me tremendously!  He hasn’t given me everything I wanted – but some of them, yes.  However, all of my NEEDS have been met.  You see… God is sovereign.  I was never meant to understand His ways.  I have, however, come to realize that His timing is perfect, His ways are perfect, His reasons are perfect, His love is perfect.  He even saw to it that I would fall in love again!

 

Story #3 – Fast forward to 1 year ago.  God’s perfect plan was unfolding before our eyes… and yet we still couldn’t explain them.  We had been praying for God’s hand to be evident in our situation.  But we had no idea the changes He was getting ready to bring in to our lives would look like this.

A realtor contacted me, asking if I would consider selling my home.  I owned a quaint little home in a historic district and no, it was not for sale.  She didn’t care.  She explained her clients had been saving for years and were finally ready to buy their first home and they loved ours.  I told her that I loved our home too and we just weren’t interested.

And then I slept on it.  Here’s the thing… I had known for years that our very unique home would be hard to sell.  There were so many things wrong with it – it was located in the alley (no street access) / there was no guest parking, there was no air conditioning and that made for a rather hot home during the summer / it was not a home suitable for children, there was no fenced in yard, there was no garage, it was small and special and although we loved it – would someone else?  We knew God would need to send the right buyer(s).

We prayed it over and talked about it and decided to come up with a price but explained that we had not been planning for this and so couldn’t afford to change the carpet or paint or do any cosmetic repairs and that it would have to be an “as is” deal because we weren’t really contemplating this happening.  They offered us $5k over our asking price and accepted our “as is” stipulation.  5 weeks later we moved out of our home and into an apartment – truly not knowing what God had in store for us next.

 

Fast forward to Nov 20, 2015.  It was my last day of work at the company I had worked at for over 18 years.  Two days later we left for a Thanksgiving road trip to visit the family.  While we were here we found a home to rent and “the rest is history”, as the saying goes.  We still didn’t have corporate jobs lined up.  We DID decide that the best thing to do was leave it all in God’s hands.  We prayed for His guidance and provision.  And we trust that He is taking care of us!

Lee said to me at one point during these conversations, “Your faith is beautiful.”  My confidence truly lies in God’s goodness to us… I don’t have any other way to explain it.

 

In early December we returned home and put our notice in at our apartment, packed up our stuff and got all moved 2-days before Christmas!  And so we find ourselves here within that “5 year plan” time frame that we joked about and didn’t realize was God’s actual plan.  I’m not able to explain yet WHY and without clearly knowing WHAT He has in store for us.  But you know what?  I recognize that it’s all a part of His plan … and I am taking my refuge in Him.  And I’m not worrying about it!  (OK – some days I do.  But then He reminds me not to.)

You see – He already knows what we need even before we breathe a word of it.  He is perfect in all of His ways!  He LOVES us and wants to love ON us.  His timing is perfect.   His ways are perfect.  His provisions are perfect.  His answers are perfect.  His peace is perfect. His love is perfect.

He is a good, good Father.  He loves us in a way we may not understand until we’re sitting at His feet in Heaven.  Click the link below to hear and read the words of Chris Tomlin’s song for yourself, and let it soak in.

Good, Good Father by Chris Tomlin

 

In closing, I want to encourage you to look for His miracles, listen for His whisper, and spend time worshiping Him.  We were created to worship Him and we have so much to thank Him for.  He’s a good, good Father, isn’t He?!

One thought on “He IS a Good, Good Father!

  1. Lori I love your story! You are such an inspiration to me! You met me at one of my lowest points in my life and I know it was GOD that brought me to you because he knew I needed you!!

    Like

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