Looking Back

It’s hard to believe that so much time has passed since my last blog post, but a lot of changes have occurred since then as well. Covid, job change (or, I guess it’s more of a job shift since I am still at our hospital even though I’m in a different department), and so many other things God is using in my life to challenge me every day.

This weekend is Father’s Day weekend. It’s been four years since my Dad entered the presence of Jesus. I still grieve, but it’s in a different way than I grieved during the first year. I miss him, but I’m no longer sad since I know he’s in Heaven with God. There are so many things God has taught me along the way. In one of my earlier posts, I said I felt like I was trudging through a fog during that first year. I went through the motions of the day simply because I knew I had to, but I had no idea about what the purpose was or where I was going to end up mentally and emotionally.

One thing about it, there are certain songs and hymns that have meant more to me after Dad passed away than they did before. It’s interesting how things hit me in new ways. About a month after Dad’s death, I picked up an old hymnal and started reading through some of the songs. I could quote several of them in my sleep since I had sung them almost all of my life, but one song in particular struck me in a way that it never did before. I’m including the title and the words below.

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

by Thomas Chisolm

“Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me! 

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.”

That phrase “strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow” kept playing over and over in my mind. I looked back a few months after Dad passed, and I kept thinking, “How did I ever do that?” The thought came right afterwards that I didn’t do it. God did!! Whatever I did in the months following Dad’s death, God is the One Who did it in me and through me, and He did it every single day!! He gives us just enough strength, wisdom, power, and whatever we need to accomplish the tasks we have to accomplish . . . just for that day. He does the same thing every. single. day!! My mind then went to the book of Exodus and the story of the children of Israel. They wandered in the wilderness for 40 years . . . that’s about 75% of my entire lifetime . . . 40 YEARS!! Every day during that entire time, God provided just enough manna to get them through just one day, and He did it the next day, and the next, and the next . . . for 40 years. Their shoes never wore out, and He always provided light for them to travel. The Bible describes the light as a “pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night”. I read somewhere that the pillar in Exodus is a symbol of God’s faithfulness. It is a token of God’s promise to us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He knows that we will struggle with heartache, pain, and suffering, and He is right there with us guiding us every step of the way. He offers His hand to us every day. All we have to do is reach out and grab it, and allow Him to do the rest of it, no matter what “it” is . . . every day. To all of my friends reading this, whatever you are facing, rest in the knowledge that God completely understands. He experienced everything on the Cross of Calvary, and He is with you every step of the way. He extends His hand to you every day. All you have to do is take it . . . one day at a time!!

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