Thursday, January 16, 2014

Smile! God loves you! By Karen Finn

Smile! God loves you!

By Karen Finn

Theme: God is Always with us
A Smiley … makes me recall a story I once read. An elderly couple had a custom of drawing the happy-face icon on small note cards with the letters “SHMILY” printed underneath. They would tuck their cards in various places (i.e. a sock drawer, a closet shelf, etc.), expecting the other to eventually discover it. The acrostic “See How Much I Love You” was an encouraging reminder of the warmth and happiness that still existed—after sixty years of marriage!
I like to think that God has placed SHMILY signs all around us too! His presence is manifested in the answers to prayer, the beauty of creation, and the fellowship we have with other believers—just to name a few!
I have a lot of favorite passages of Scripture, but whenever I begin to doubt God’s presence or power in my life, I turn to Psalm 139, which is full of promises I can claim. In fact, many times, after re-reading it, I feel overwhelmed. Not overwhelmed in a bad way; overwhelmed by the compassion and care that is infinitely mine!
Let me show you what I mean:
* Overwhelmed by His Intimate Knowledge
Psalm 139:1-4 states: “O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.” (KJV)
In such a highly technical world of social media and internet access, we are able to keep in touch 24/7 with friends and family from all over the world; however, our Heavenly Father has that beat! God knows our thoughts, and actions and even the very words we are about to speak! When I begin to dwell on this truth, it stirs up in my heart the need to be much more accountable to Him with what I say and do….all the time!
* Overwhelmed by His Intimate Care
Psalm 139:5-10 says: “Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” (KJV)
This part of the passage mentions God’s hand several times. God’s protective, loving care knows no boundaries because, as His children, His Hand is always upon us. The choices we
make may take us places where God really would rather not have us be, but He doesn’t ever abandon us. I am reminded of God’s prophet, Jonah, who, in disobedience, tried to run from God. He was unable to escape from God’s presence, even after being swallowed by a “great fish”! God’s Hand was evident in Jonah’s life—it just took some time for Jonah to recognize it!
* Overwhelmed by His Intimate Creation
Psalm 139:11-18 proclaims “If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knowest right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.” (KJV)
Don’t ever be discouraged or disappointed with your physical appearance. I saw this once on a bumper sticker: “God made me, and God doesn’t make no junk!” Although, this statement is improperly written (grammatically-speaking), it confirms that whatever God has fashioned, it is His workmanship, which is not trash, but treasure. Life is a miracle, and it is very valuable to God. Because you are His handiwork, He thinks of you constantly. And His thoughts about you are precious and plentiful. Wow.
It is my hope that this nugget from God’s Word sparkles today in your heart! You are not alone—ever. God’s presence is always with you. Perhaps you have grown somewhat indifferent in your attitude towards God’s knowledge, care and creation of you. Ask Him for forgiveness of that behavior, and praise Him today!


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