Springing Forward Without Regrets

Well, here in Tennessee we set our clocks forward one hour. It’s called, “Springing forward.” It is easy for me to be hopeful this time of year because after the cold, dreary winter months when it appears most of the plants and trees have died, they suddenly  burst forth with new life.  The weather is warming up, the flowers are budding and blooming, and once again, I get to wake up to the birds singing. It’s a time of new beginnings.

I’m reminded of what the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:13, 14.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

There is some danger in looking back.  The Apostle Paul had a background of persecuting the early church before he was converted and really came to know the Lord Jesus Christ. I imagine it was quite painful for him to think about the damage and pain he caused, not only to the followers of Jesus, but to the Lord Himself.

I don’t know about you, but I have regrets when I look back over my life.  Can we conscientiously live without having regrets? I really don’t think so. But we must be careful to not camp out there.  We are human so we will mess up.  (“Mess up” sounds so much better than “sin,” don’t you think?) But hopefully, we learn from those mess ups and as a result, become better people having had the experience.

Interestingly enough, today marks the second anniversary of my husband (David Hughes) and best friend’s home going to heaven…..the same day we “spring forward.” Two years ago I thanked the Lord that I didn’t have to go through those first difficult months of grieving during the dead of winter.  I honestly think it would have been more than I could bear.  God has shown me grace and mercy in so many ways.

Last year on this day, my daughter told me our first grandbaby was on the way. That lightened the grief of that first anniversary.

Destin with his Gigi. January 2017

For most of today, God allowed me to see big, beautiful snowflakes float from the sky.  Watching the snow fall is one of my favorite things to do.  (We don’t get to see that often in Tennessee, especially in March!) It may be prideful, but I felt like the snow today was a special gift to me from God. I believe my God is that personal and cares that much for me. He showered His mercy on me in helping me to not just “get through” what could have been a very sad day, but be joyful and thankful in it.  That is God’s amazing grace.

David and Gaye- January 2014

I wonder if we can fully appreciate our loved ones while we still have them with us. It is so easy to take  them for granted. I wish I could have 15 minutes to once again tell David how much I appreciate and love him. I tried to do that often while he was with me, but I long to express it even more now.  But I think he somehow knows that. And I believe he would feel the same way if our situation was reversed.  David gave me such a gift when he told me a few weeks before he died, “Gaye, when my time comes, let me go and don’t look back. You’ve been a better wife to me than I could have ever asked for.”

So there is a fine line in reflecting on our past.  If we can look back and are motivated to not make those same “mistakes” again, but rather, live more wisely, then that is good.  But we if look back too long and become depressed about things we can’t change, it is nonproductive and steals our joy and effectiveness of today.

I have not “arrived.”  I am not what I want to be, but I’m not what I used to be.  We can joyously spring forward because, although we will mess up again, we have a loving Savior walking with us, teaching us, and guiding us, and forgiving us if we ask Him. First John 1:9 is one of my favorite promises in God’s Word.

Recently, a preacher admonished the congregation with, “Live in such a way that you won’t dread looking back.”  That’s a good goal.

Keep looking up,

Gaye Hughes

Foot Washing and Serving Others

779a4245177aa68266dde9a8ddac57e0servingThis particular worship service in November was such blessing to me. After singing some songs and hearing a good sermon on Psalm 7, we observed communion and foot washing. Because Jesus became Lord of my life at age 8, I’ve participated in communion most of my life, but it wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I witnessed and  participated in the physical worship of foot washing.

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For those of you who have never had the joy of participating in a foot washing service, I’d like to explain how we do it in our church.  The ladies sit on one side of the church and wash another lady’s feet in a basin of warm water and then dries their feet with a towel. We then switch places.  The men do the same on the other side of the church.

 

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The first time I participated in a foot washing service, I was surprised by the fact that I had no qualms about washing other’s feet, but it was very humbling to sit while someone washed my feet!  Like the Apostle Peter, everything in me wanted to scream, No! That’s ok.  You really don’t need to do that.  (That was my pride speaking.)  It was much easier for me to serve than to be served and it took lots less humility!

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The point of this service is to remind us why we are here on this earth….to serve others!  Jesus was the perfect example of this.  He lived a sinless life on this earth, loving and serving others constantly.  After He washed His disciples’ feet, He said, If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. (John 13:17) Whether you believe He meant for foot washing to be practiced literally or He was just setting another example, I think we would all agree Jesus was very clear about the necessity of us loving and serving others….not solely for the purpose of our happiness, although this is a byproduct.

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As my dear friend bowed to wash my feet, it was easy to imagine it was Jesus. This question came to mind.  Why? Why would He, the king of the universe, even care about me much less come to earth to live and die for me? Why would He bow to serve ME?  Love.  That’s why He came. And He would have done it even if you or I were the only one here.  I believe that. It is still hard to wrap my mind around that fact though. If He was willing to humble Himself and serve me, then I should do no less for my fellowman.

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There is always such a sweet spirit in our church after we have bowed and washed feet.  There are many tears of joy, lots of hugs, and many smiles.

 

 

When we serve others, we find that somehow our own needs get met in the process. I can personally attest to this fact. During some of the darkest days of my life, I felt like I was literally walking through the valley of the shadow of death.  One of the things that got me through was believing God had left me on this earth to make a positive difference in someone’s life. I clung to the promise in Proverbs 11:25. (The verse mentioned in the picture.) I selfishly sought to serve others just to survive. Although my motive wasn’t the best, it worked.

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Michael Card wrote and sings a beautiful song titled, The Basin and the Towel.  Please take a moment to listen. May you be blessed as you serve others today!

Bowing the knee,

Gaye Hughes

 

 

Moving from Blessings to Joy and Contentment

 

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Ouch!

I think I’m decent at recognizing some of God’s blessings in my life, but lately I’ve realized I often stop short of consciously taking the time to thank God for them. Do you understand what I’m saying? This is SO simple, but I’ve somehow overlooked this!  I think there is a BIG disconnect here…an important part of the puzzle I’ve been missing and didn’t even realize it.

joy-quotes-pictures-3-f2ad07eeWhen I fail to take the next step of not only being thankful, but addressing that gratefulness to the producer, which is God,  (James 1:17 says, Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and coming down from the Father of lights….) I’m forfeiting the contentment and joy God is trying to give me.  And I’m the only one to blame.

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It’s hard to pour positive things into other people’s lives when there is discontent in my own life. I will go so far as to say it is impossible. I’m a parent and teacher and have been for more than half my life.  I’ve noticed my children and students are much more attentive when I’m happy, positive and enthusiastic.  You just can’t wing it with children!  They see the real deal.

So what happens on the days when I’m just “not feeling it?” They can see right through that! More importantly, God can see right through that. And now that I think of it, probably most everybody can see right through that!  So who am I fooling? No one!

a-contented-heart-is-a-calm-sea-in-the-midst-of-all-storms-quote-1But who wants to just go through the motions of life anyway? Don’t we all long to REALLY live?  I used to ask God to give me a good day, but I haven’t felt right about that prayer at all lately. The very best days are those days, even if they are tough, I really feel God right there helping me! There’s nothing like knowing you are right where God wants you and He is blessing you even when the seas are far from calm.   I’ve come to be satisfied with nothing less. Once you’ve had a taste of that, it’s hard to settle for anything less. And I never want to.

 

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Psalm 34:8 says, O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no lack to them that fear him.

 

David said in Psalm 42:1,2, As the deer longs for the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God…

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A longing for God is a good thing, but when I’m always wanting more of other things, it is more properly defined as discontentment.  Too many times I think, “Oh, this is neat, but….” The joy of God’s blessings get easily overlooked because I’m wanting something more and not thanking Him for what I have.  The more I express my thankfulness, the more contented I become.

I need  to always remember only God can satisfy my thirsty  soul…nothing or no one else.  He has made me.  He knows what I need and what is best for me. I need to trust Him to give me His best and not what I think is best.   If He is always Plan A, I’ll never need a Plan B. Let’s not short change ourselves when God does bless us by failing to take the time to thank Him. Godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6:6).

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Keep looking up!

Gaye Hughes

 

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West Virginia

 

Unopened Gifts

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Before I check into a hotel, I want to know about the amenities. Is a continental breakfast included? Is there an exercise room (although I probably wouldn’t use it)? Is there a swimming pool? And if so, is it heated and indoors or a cold outdoor pool?

Do you ever wonder if you’ve explored all the amenities included in your “Salvation package?” Is there more Grace available than you are using? How about the “Peace package?” The “Comfort package” is also sizeable. Have you torn into that one? Then there’s the “Joy bag?” Please don’t think I’m directing these questions only to you. I’m writing about this because I’ve been asking myself these same questions lately.

god-gives-gifts-to-the-church-1080x552I was talking with a friend this morning and he said,

There is so much wisdom and blessings that God wants me to have, so many gifts still unwrapped that came with being saved that remain unopened that He wants me to be blessed with. So ironic that they have already been paid for. But the longer I live, the more I realize how much I need Him and still know I do not depend on Him as I should. And I wonder do I have the keys to a lot of doors that remain unlocked because of lack of faith?

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When I look at the many sacrifices Jesus has made to give me an abundant life, I wonder if I’m taking full advantage of all He has for me. If Jesus left the splendor of heaven to come to this cruel world (which He most certainly did), didn’t even have a pillow for His head, was willing to go through torture for me, and then the Father was willing to turn His holy back on His only Son while He was dying for me, I think it is safe to say there was a whole lot of love going on and a glorious purpose behind it all.

gods-gifts-put-mans-best-dreams-to-shame-4If all that was accomplished for sinful mankind, I’m sure the Lord wants us to fully enjoy the benefits of such a sacrifice. Have you ever given someone a gift and they didn’t use it? How did it make you feel? Like the gift was wasted? Undervalued? Like the gift was not suited for its recipient?  When I consider what to give someone, I try to think about what they would enjoy, but mostly what they really need to make life easier or better for them. There is no doubt our Creator did the same for us.

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Paul’s desire for the Christ-followers in Ephesus, is the same for my friends, family, and myself…
Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory. For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Ephesians 3:3:13-21 NAS and KJ)

200594-gifts-from-god-inspirational-quotes-pinterestMay not even one package be left unopened by any of us! May we continue to not only desire, but take the necessary time and effort to open every single gift God would wish to lavish on us. Funny thing, the mail lady, just this minute, delivered a very nice package to my door. There is no evidence of who sent it. Wow….
A very Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Gaye Hughes

Living on…”the rest”

maxresdefault-you-have-enoughThis morning my pastor talked about the poor widow in 2 Kings 4:1-7.  After her husband died, the creditors were coming to take her two sons as slaves because she couldn’t pay her debt. Because this woman feared the Lord, she called on His prophet, Elisha for help.

Elisha asked this widow what she had.  She only had a pot of oil.

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Elisha instructed her to borrow all the empty vessels she could from her neighbors, gather her sons and shut the door, and pour the oil into the vessels.  She kept pouring until all the vessels were full, then the oil stopped. This widow went outside and reported to Elisha she had done as he said.

He then told her to go sell the oil, pay her debt, and, “…live thou and thy children of the rest.” Our pastor pointed out that when we believe on Jesus, the biggest problem we will ever have is solved. Our salvation is sealed and we are given eternal life.

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However, as believers, we will have tribulation and adversity just like anybody else.  Sometimes we will have more because the devil fights us to destroy our testimonies, our influence for good in the lives of others, and the spread of the gospel.

But one of the best promises the Lord has given us is that He will never leave us and that He will supply our every need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Hebrews 13:5, Philippians 4:19)

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God doesn’t just save our souls and then leave us to figure the rest of life out on our own.  He continues to supply our every need as we seek, ask, trust, and depend on Him. His coffers are full and He faithfully supplies “the rest” until our days here are no more.

My husband went to heaven 21 months ago today.  Although I have so much more than the poor widow in 2 Kings,  a lot of my security left with my husband.  But I can testify that God has been so very faithful to supply my every  need.

He has sent many “Elisha’s” and neighbors my way when I’ve had trouble and needed help. I have gotten money in the mail anonymously, help with house and car repairs, wood cut and stacked for the winter and countless other random acts of kindness that lifted me up when I was in need or discouraged.  I am living on “the rest” and believe me, there is plenty there!

My prayer is that I long for His presence in my life more than anything or anyone else and that I will trust Him for the unknown future. I want a deeper understanding of who He is and the depth of His love. I hope this is your prayer too. Have a blessed day!

Keep looking up,

Gaye Hughes

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Gigi and the “Little Chipmunk” 09-2016

When God is Silent

psalm62v7I was talking  to a very polite lady from my insurance company yesterday. We both knew it was going to take quite awhile to answer all my questions. She was having to do a lot of typing and searching for information.  It was then I heard this sweet comment, “There may be times of silence, but I am here.” It may as well been God himself speaking. My heart had been anxious, but suddenly comfort flooded my soul!

The thoughtfulness of this stranger touched me deeply.  She knew absolutely nothing about me, had never seen me, yet she cared enough to reassure me she was there to help me in spite of the many miles separating us.

Isn’t God’s unconditional love just like that? Yet, He does know me…all my yucky and chose to send His son, Jesus to die in my place even while I was yet a rebellious, unrepentant sinner!

Have there been times in your life when you wondered where God was? Did you doubt He was even aware of your situation? Have you cried out for answers and it seemed your prayers were bouncing off the clouds? Have you wondered just how many prayers it was going to take to get a response from God?  Have you been so desperate that you would gladly accept a, “No” rather  than not hear from Him at all? I have.

I think of poor Joseph that was betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery only to then be lied about by Potiphar’s wife. Then he endured the long, lonely nights in the prison when he had been wrongly accused.  (Genesis 37-39) Surely he often wondered, What in the world are you doing, God?  Where are You? But one day EVERYTHING changed and Joseph went from being a prisoner to second in command of Egypt!

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Oh, and think of the thousands of Israelites who lived their whole lives crying out to God for deliverance from the hard bondage in Egypt! Can you image  trying to explain to your children the importance of continuing to pray for God to do a mighty work when they knew their parents,grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. had prayed for generations for exactly the same thing only to have their situation worsen? That took faith! BUT, there came a day God broke the silence and parted the Red Sea, killed their enemies, gave them water from a rock, and bread and meat from the sky.

And then there are the situations we don’t have the luxury of time to wait and pray. Have you been in that situation?   A decision has to be made quickly, as in Queen Esther’s case.  She and her people were about to be annihilated.   When the easiest thing to do would have been to panic , she asked everyone she knew to fast and pray with her for three days and nights. God came through and turned things around for her in a most amazing way!

Although David was a man after God’s own heart, he evidently experienced God’s silence.  Psalm 28:1 begins, Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.  But something soon happened because of what he says in verses 6 and 7,

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Blessed by the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

I think this verse contains  the key to turning our weakness into strength, our helplessness into hopefulness, our sadness into joy, and our torment into praise.

MY HEART TRUSTED IN HIM…. When we turn our focus off of our problems and onto the only One who can solve them, we are helped. Sounds easy enough, right?  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41)

One thing is for sure, although God’s silence can feel like an ominous cloud and be misunderstood, we can be sure  He is there, quietly working.  This quote is in my house,

I believe….

  • in the Sun even when it is not shining
  • in Love even when I cannot feel it
  • in God even when He is silent

He will NEVER, EVER, leave us alone. When everything in you is screaming differently, you can bank on God’s promises. He is there even when we don’t understand and can’t feel Him. He has promised to never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).  As that lady reminded me yesterday, There may be times of silence, but I am here!

Keep looking up,

Gaye Hughes

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It’s never too early to teach your grandbaby!

Time’s a Tickin’!!!

ae04055c25c4cb08f6cf25e9b157fff2I have two weeks fall break in front of me. So I’ve been thinking about how I need to use this extra time. I’ve been praying that God would give me discernment about how to use this time wisely and at the end of it, He would be pleased and I wouldn’t have regrets.

As I thought about projects I’ve wanted to get done for some time now, I realized my list is much longer than will fit into a mere two weeks. It didn’t take long before I began feeling overwhelmed.

While pondering all this, I asked my son, Nathan, What would I need to change to keep a clean, organized house? He quickly responded. Seemingly without even thinking he said,

First of all, you would have to quit doing as much for other people. Then, you would have to kick Abigail and me out of the house.

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Nathan, Abigail, and me enjoying some frozen yogurt! May 2016

After I finished laughing and really began reflecting on that answer, I realized there was some  truth in it.  Although Nathan and Abigail definitely carry their weight around here, there wouldn’t be as much laundry or grocery shopping if they weren’t here.  BUT, I’ll take it any day considering the alternative! I love my family and friends.

Suddenly, I was just fine with some mess scattered around, dust on the furniture, and a pile of dirty laundry.  In light of eternity, none of that matters….at all!

I’m not implying that a clean house is a bad thing.  I am sincerely happy for those who have a system that keeps everything neat and orderly.  I’m sure it can be done while effectively ministering to others. I just haven’t figured it out yet. I know I need to make some changes.  Please share your tips with me!

We all make decisions everyday about how we spend our time and we all have the same amount of time.  The hard truth is, we find time to do what we want to do. It’s wise to be conscious of the brevity of time.  We don’t have an unlimited amount.

In Psalm 39:4, David said,

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LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as a handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity (like a vapor). Selah

I like what The Message says in Ephesians 5:11-16.

Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see.  Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.  Wake up from your sleep.  Climb out of your coffins. Christ will show you the  light!  So watch your step.  Use your head.  Make the most of every chance you get.  These are desperate times!  Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly.  Make sure you understand what the Master wants.

I hope your day is blessed as you walk with the Master redeeming the time.

Keep looking up,

Gaye Hughes

 

 

 

Speaking God’s Love Language

51vpsy3zuml__sy344_bo1204203200_Gary Chapman published a book, The Five Love Languages several years ago that revolutionized my life. It helped me understand the people in my life and why they acted as they did.
Although most people enjoy most every expression of love, usually one speaks louder than the others. The five love languages Gary Chapman writes about are…

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Physical Touch
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Quality Time
  • Acts of Service

It is natural to love others the way we feel loved, but if others have a different love language than our own, they won’t feel loved by us.  My life was so impacted by this as a young wife and mother.  I was surprised to find that my husband and each of my children all had different love languages.

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Suddenly I understood why when I complimented one child, I would often hear from the other, “Didn’t I do a good job?” Her love language was words of affirmation.  It now made sense why one of my daughters was always rubbing my arm, hugging, and wanting to snuggle.  Her love language was physical touch.  The third child felt particularly special when she received a pretty package.  Her love language was gifts.

I immediately began seeing positive results as I began speaking the love language my husband and children related to best.  It was a challenge for me to put aside my love language (acts of service) and begin speaking the love languages of my family, but the rewards were well worth it.

As I was reading God’s Word the other day, it occurred to me that God also has a love language. Jesus relayed that to us in John 14:15.

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If we are wondering the depth of our love for our Savior, we can use our Gauge of Obedience to measure that love. Talk comes easy. If you heard, I love you often, but never saw that played out in actions, you would begin to doubt its truth.

obedience1It’s easy for us to say we love God, but do we obey the truth He has already revealed to us?  Are we regularly in His Word learning new things He wants for us?  We can’t obey if we don’t know what He requires.

As circumstances and seasons of life change, so can our love language.  This sure keeps life interesting at best.  If you can’t figure out someone’s love language, why not just ask them?  I think they would be pleased that you care that much.

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Human relationships will always present challenges, but God has made it clear what His love language is and the good thing is….He never changes! Hebrews 13:8 says, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.

Let’s love lavishly today.  Our family and friends need it.  The lost and dying world we live in also needs to see what God’s love looks like. Let’s be doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving ourselves. (James 1:22)

Keep looking up,

Gaye Hughes

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Meet my new little grandson, Destin Vara! Born 9-24-16! (I have a blog is the making about this little fella!)

 

 

 

The Worst and Best Day!

bestdayeverlogoHow can the same event be the very worst day for one and the very best day for another?  I don’t like to be negative so I will elaborate on the BEST part instead of the worst.  Please bear with me. This story ends well!

The day my best friend/husband left for Heaven was the worst day of my life,  but remembering some facts from God’s Word that day helped me tremendously.

  • He was immediately in Heaven with Jesus. (We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8)
  • He was no longer in pain. (And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4)
  • I would see him again. (King David said this about his baby that died. I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. 2 Samuel 12:23)

It has been 18 months since David left for Heaven. For the first several months as each “month anniversary” rolled around, I would get really sad reliving the events of that horrible day.

But at some point, instead of dwelling on MY feelings, I began thinking about what that day was like for David, as a Christ follower.

That’s when my whole perspective changed! The best I can understand from reading the Bible, I think these are some things that happened on that first day in Heaven for David.

  • I think David heard Jesus say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25:21)
  • That was the day he was able to see his Savior, the lover of his soul,  face to face!
  • That’s the day all his problems ended…..forever!
  • That’s the day he felt pain for the last time!
  • That’s the last day he felt tired!
  • That’s the last day he needed a clock!
  • That’s the day he was able to look into Jesus’ eyes, fall at His feet, and thank Him for dying for him!
  • That’s the day he got to hug Jesus!
  • That’s the day he saw his father and friends that he had been missing for so long!
  • That’s the day he REALLY worshiped God uninhibited by his sinful nature or the distractions of this world!
  • That’s the day he entered a place that will never know darkness because Jesus Christ is the light!
  • That’s the day he walked on streets of gold and toured his mansion!
  • That’s the day his faith became sight!
  • That’s the day he sang with the angels and other saints! (As a song leader at church he often talked about how wonderful it would be to sing in heaven.)
  • That’s the day he got all his questions answered! (He was an engineer always wondering about something and searching for answers.)
  • That’s the day he become fully satisfied! (I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness. Psalm 17:15)
  • That’s the day he quit reading the Word (Bible) because he was with The Word (Jesus)! (In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1)
  • That day was precious to God. (Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints. Psalm 116:15)
  • That’s the day he entered his eternal home…the place he was made to dwell forever with God!

If you have had a loved one leave this world and he/she was a new creature in Christ because they had repented of their sins, trusted in Jesus for their salvation, and publically confessed Jesus as Lord of their life, you can be encouraged by this!

Our loved ones leaving this life can be the worst day for us who are left behind, but the very best for them as they are entering Heaven.  It’s not that our loved ones wanted to leave us, but God called them home.  As we think of what they are now enjoying, it eases our pain of missing them. And we can look forward to a wonderfully, exciting, endless day with them if we have trusted Christ as our Savior!

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)

Keep looking up!

Gaye Hughes

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Does God Play Hide and Seek?

The playground is relatively small for sixteen children, but the little ones don’t realize it. It is their little haven of outdoor adventure at Muse Montessori. One of their favorite games is hide and seek. Although there are basically only two bushes to hide behind, they never tire of this game.

Do you ever feel like God is playing hide and seek with you? Do you want to know His will for your life but feel like He’s keeping you guessing?

As I read the first chapter of Jeremiah this morning, it excited me to see God’s personal plan for him. God comes to Jeremiah and tells him,

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Jeremiah responds with, Ah, Lord God! hehold, I cannot speak: for I am but a child.  God tells him not to say that and promises him that He will go with him and tell him what to say. Don’t be afraid of their faces because I am with you and will deliver you.

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Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. (Jere. 1:9)

The Lord continues to confirm what He wants Jeremiah to do. He asked, What do you see? Jeremiah said, An almond branch. The Lord said, Good eye! (I’m paraphrasing) for I will do what I’ve said.  Again, the LORD asked,  What do you see? And Jeremiah answered, A boiling pot. God tells Jeremiah that judgement is coming because His  people have forsaken Him to worship other gods. God lets Jeremiah know that he will have opposition, but assures him that He is with him and will deliver him. (Jere. 1:19)

Maybe God hasn’t called you or me to such a daunting task, but I believe just as he knew and created Jeremiah and had a specific work for Him to do, He has a unique plan for each of us and has equipped us to be vessels of honor for His glory.

The question is, Do I even care about His plan or am I more interested in my own?  How intent am I on knowing that planAnd if I know that plan, how serious am I about executing it?

I can assure you God is not playing hide and seek with us. He didn’t make junk when He made any of us.  We weren’t on an assembly line and He haphazardly threw in personalities and physical features at random. He had a plan before He started….a VERY good plan!

Life is short.  We don’t have time to mess around.  I believe He wants us be serious about searching out His ways. He could write His plan in the sky, come talk directly to us each day, or send us a letter.  But the avenue of communication He chose is prayer. That requires some work on our end.

Hebrews 11:6 is one of my favorite promises from God.

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The Lord promises to reward those who diligently seek Him. He is a good father. He is for us.  He is with us.  He is in us. He has a plan. He wants us to know it and obey it. The only way to have joy, peace, and fulfillment in this life is to trust and obey Him.

Have a blessed day as you walk with Him,

Gaye

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“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah 29:13