Thursday, December 11, 2008

Finding Hope in a Thrift Shop

"Thrift is not an affair of the pocket, but an affair of character."—S.W. Straus

I'm an avid thrift shopper. Many of the valuable items I find remind me of myself after my divorce—discarded and unwanted. No longer desired by the original owner, it's cast aside to find a new usefulness.

My creator values and knows me, my heart, my hopes, and my future. He promises to never leave nor forsake me. But often in despair, I feel that perhaps God has abandoned me.

I found a watercolor encased in an antique frame. Rich in meaning, these words written in calligraphy express my heart's depths better than I can.

To live in the midst of the world without wishing its pleasures;

To be a member of each family yet belonging to none;

To share all sufferings; to penetrate all secrets,

To heal all wounds; to go from men to God and offer Him their prayers;

To return from God to men to bring pardon and hope;

To have a heart of fire for charity, and a heart of bronze for chastity;

To teach and to pardon, console and to bless always;

My God, what a life; and it is yours,

O priest of Jesus Christ.

—Jean-Baptiste-Henri Dominique Lacordaire

Are You Struggling, Feeling Abandoned by God?

He reminds us over and over that he won't leave us. His love pursues us nonstop.

Every day.

Every hour.

Every minute.

This second.

I keep wondering, How many times will he have to remind me that I'm secure in his love before I really believe him? I'm so amazed how the Bible expresses my fears, frustrations and feelings, then reminds me of God's eternal, unbreakable promises—

Genesis 28:15 (NASB): "Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."

Deuteronomy 4:31(NASB): For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you…

Deuteronomy 31:6 (NASB): Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you He will not fail you or forsake you.

Deuteronomy 31:8 (NASB): The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.

Joshua 1:5 (NASB): No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.

1 Samuel 12:22 (NASB): For the LORD will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the LORD has been pleased to make you a people for Himself.

1 Chronicles 28:20 (NASB): Then David said to his son Solomon, "Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished."

Ezra 9:9 (NASB): For we are slaves; yet in our bondage our God has not forsaken us, but has extended lovingkindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us reviving to raise up the house of our God, to restore its ruins and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem.

Nehemiah 9:30-31 (NASB): However, You bore with them for many years, And admonished them by Your Spirit through Your prophets, Yet they would not give ear. Therefore You gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands. Nevertheless, in Your great compassion You did not make an end of them or forsake them, For You are a gracious and compassionate God.

Psalm 9:10 31 (NASB): And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.

Psalm 37:28 (NASB): For the LORD loves justice And does not forsake His godly ones; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.

Psalm 48:14 (NASB): For such is God, Our God forever and ever; He will guide us until death.

Psalm 89:30-33 (NASB): If his sons forsake My law And do not walk in My judgments, If they violate My statutes And do not keep My commandments, Then I will punish their transgression with the rod And their iniquity with stripes. But I will not break off My lovingkindness from him, Nor deal falsely in My faithfulness.

Psalm 94:14 (NASB): For the LORD will not abandon His people, Nor will He forsake His inheritance.

Isaiah 41:17 (NASB): The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, And their tongue is parched with thirst; I, the LORD, will answer them Myself, As the God of Israel I will not forsake them.

Isaiah 42:16 (NASB): I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, In paths they do not know I will guide them, I will make darkness into light before them And rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, And I will not leave them undone.

Isaiah 49:13-15 (NASB): Shout for joy, O heavens! And rejoice, O earth! Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people And will have compassion on His afflicted. But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me, And the Lord has forgotten me." "Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you."

Matthew 28:19-20 (NASB): Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (NASB): We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

Hebrews 13:5 (NASB): Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU."

1 comment:

Tiffany Stuart said...

Love your willingness to write about the reminder of God never discards us! I too see many reminders of God and us as I shop in thrift stores. I get so excited when I find something no one wanted for cheap.

Even when we feel unwanted and abandoned, God offers us a place. A forever home.

God finds pleasure in who He made you to be, Scoti. His eye is on you, his most treasured creation. His artistic masterpiece. May His words written in beautiful calligraphy be carved deep into your word, filling every hidden wound.

Great to post all the truth to reinforce His Word.