I will sing the LORD'S praise, for HE has been good to me.
Psalm 13: 6
His love amazes me! The way He speaks to me in numerous and unexpected ways stops me in my tracks, brings tears to my eyes.
Early in December, I discovered a daily Advent message from Biola University which could be delivered daily to my email inbox. It has scripture to meditate on each day, a musical selection to listen to, a beautiful piece or multiple pieces of art to gaze upon, a short message from one of many writers/theologians. I got behind and haven't read all of them. But today, I opened my gift from Biola and I read. The message touched me and then I saw the name Bach. What? Bach? - Only my favorite composer, Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed something about Jesus? What? And then I hit play. My eyes filled with tears. I could not believe that my "happy music" is titled Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring and I NEVER knew it! Let me share a brief backstory.
My daughter and her soldier fiance decided to marry in May, 2005 in Las Vegas, NV while he was home on leave from Iraq. They had flown to California to spend the two weeks with his mom, dad, and siblings. Two nights later, we got a phone call asking if we could be in Vegas by the upcoming Friday. It was Monday night. "Sure, we will be there, we wouldn't miss it!" We pulled our two youngest out of school a few days earlier than the system's official end and we flew our first flights and we witnessed with joy their union in the clerk's office in Las Vegas.
Fast forward one year. Son-in-law finished his enlistment commitment, he and daughter are living in Tennessee a few hours from us. They had decided to renew their vows in June, 2006. Extended family, church families, friends are invited. I mentioned to darling daughter that I would love to be escorted to my seat with Mr Bach's music playing. I explained to her it is my "happy music," love at first listen. It is such a joyful piece of music. I gave her the track number and never paid attention to the title. I know; I'm more than a bit ridiculous! Listen here to this beautiful piece.
Now that I know the title, my happy music is all the happier, truly joy-full!
Last week, I stood a few feet behind a dear friend and her family as they prepared for her mother's burial. The minister, standing between the casket and the family started reading from John 14. I smiled to myself briefly. Really God? Are you speaking to me here? Now? That morning, I had "slept in." My sons and husband had gotten up about the same time I did. I missed my quiet time with God. As they conversed and the television played in the background, I reached out to the devotional book I have been reading from daily. I hesitated, and then I grabbed it. Usually, I am alone and the room is quiet when I share this time with my Father. But I reasoned with myself that it was the last day of 2016 and I wanted to see what God had to say to me on this day. The last scripture reference listed by the author for that day's reading was John 14: 26-27. I turned to it. Oh my! Verse 27 leaped off the page and into my heart, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."
He knew what my thoughts have been since the week after Thanksgiving when our city house was broken into and robbed. He knew about my second thoughts about the next chapter of our lives and our desire to become His ambassadors in our inner city. He knew that I had chosen PEACE as "my word" for 2017. And apparently He also knew that I needed a second dose of that verse for the day, for the coming year, while I stood at that graveside. I wonder if the imagery of the grave was another message to bury my fears and trust HIM in complete peace? He knows that I quite often, just like a wayward child, have to be told more than one time what it is He wants me to know, to believe. He is so good to me.
His love overwhelms me!