This was originally published in November 2010.
While I know that Thanksgiving is a great time to meditate on all God has done that we should be grateful for, I am seeking to find daily more and more ways to recognize and live in the light of His faithfulness to me.
There are a multitude of attributes that we can seek to praise and worship God for. One of the ones that seems core for me and foundational in my relationship with Him, is His faithfulness. It’s funny to me with years of singing, that when my son was born, the only song that I could remember in the middle of the night was “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”
Maybe it’s important to me because others around me have not been faithful to meet my emotional or even my physical needs. Yet God has repeatedly, through the years of my walking with Him, provided in amazing ways.
I am not always fond of His timing, like when it comes to checks arriving (or not) in the mail. It is humbling to admit that sometimes my emotions fluctuate with my bank balance. However, God doesn’t want my security to be in finances. As He continually leads and affirms my step into the world of writing, I am blown away by the words of affirmation He brings to me out of the blue. It is humbling to admit how easily discouraged I can be and how quickly the enemy can try to convince me that I have nothing worthwhile to bring to you, the reader. It’s only words and not very good ones at that, he will tell me. Then someone will post a comment on a blog or my fan page or in an email that tells me that what I am doing IS making a difference – to them. Or when loneliness overwhelms, and a friend calls or I get one of those priceless letters in the mail filled with affirmation. Or someone gives me a hug at church or thanks me for ministering to them when I didn’t even realize I had been doing.
This week something happened that surprised me. This fall I got a free tickets to three different events/conferences and somehow the money appeared for me to go. My wi/fi on my laptop was repaired I won a contest through facebook that blew me away with the extravagance of God – toward me. Totally unnecessary – but the very fact that it was so out of the ordinary, reminded me again of God’s faithfulness.
I remember years ago studying the book of Ephesians at church. I have written in my Bible, at the beginning of that book that the word charis means “extravagant grace love.” It appears repeatedly throughout this book of the Bible. Okay, but I thought we were talking about faithfulness here? Stick with me.
For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you , remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might (Eph 1:15-19)
The word “grace” doesn’t appear in these verses – but can you hear it? What can be more faithful than a God would give us knowledge of Himself? To be honest, this verse is truncated. There is more before and after and I would encourage you to read the entire chapter and ask yourself – how does this tell me God loves me and is faithful to me?
Faithfulness is an expression of God’s extravagant grace love. I am not always faithful. I can be self absorbed, angry, and at times doubt that God can and will come through for me. Then I consider how God has saved me from my sin and how Christ has walked with me through so much throughout the years, and continues to do so even now. When I see that God has sustained me and even been able to use me to serve Himself and minister to others, I’m blown away by His faithfulness to one such as I. Extravagant grace love is shown with every unexpected gift, every word of affirmation, every day I find that I am alive and able to get up and care for my family.
I want to offer you today a taste of God’s faithfulness. If you go back and read that verse, imagine me praying this over you (because I have done so!). Where the “you” is bolded, insert your name. I may not know your name – but God does. It’s a part of His faithfulness that He can transcend the computer technology and take this prayer from His word, and my heart – and birth extravagant grace love in your life.
Great is Your faithfulness, Oh God my Father!
There is no shadow of turning with You,
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,
Great is Your faithfulness, Lord unto me.