Welcome! Thank you for stopping by my blog today. I especially appreciate it given that it's two days before Christmas. If you are visiting for the first time after reading my Encouragement for Today devotion titled, "Why God Told Shepherd First," I hope you'll spend some time with me today. Or, if you have to finish last-minute shopping, then check back next week.
My devotion was about being awed by God - specifically how the shepherds in the Christmas story were awed. The shepherds were first afraid, then curious, then awed, and couldn't keep it to themselves. I want to be awed like that.
Seems like Christmas, the time of year when I should be awed, is often the time when I'm worn out - physically and emotionally. This year I had a book deadline ... last week. Although I didn't pull any over-nighters, it consumed my thoughts until I hit "send." Then I had Christmas-catch-up to do.
So last week, I started praying for God to help me be amazed and awed at Him. Partly because I knew this devotion was running and I promised to tell you how to cultivate amazement in your heart. But also because I don't want to miss the majesty of Christ with my eyes focused on the mundane.
God did just that. He amazed me. In the most surprising of ways. I didn't see a heavenly host, nor hear an angel speak. But I did experience the power and majesty of God in three ways, and like the shepherds I want to tell you about it.
1. First, God gave me the most unbelievable peace as I finished my book. With my past books, as I approached the deadline, I woke up each morning with a sick feeling. It's a heavy burden knowing a publisher has invested a lot in your writing. I carry it willingly, but it's always there. This time, I asked for prayer from my friends at Proverbs 31, and it was truly, overwhelmingly, beyond expectation amazing. God gave me peace and inspiration.
2. On the day my book was due (12/15), my son was planning on driving all night from Phoenix to Texas to deliver a vehicle for his boss. Josh is only 19, and my husband had actually planned to go with him for safety. But at noon that day, Josh told me he was going alone. My husband was coming back from Tucson, but Josh wanted to get on the road. To say I wasn't happy was an understatement. I immediately put out a prayer request on Facebook for Josh's safety.
Then, I called my husband to let him know what was brewing. My husband was actually heading home, and I called Josh back to say "Wait, Dad will be here in an hour and a half." By the time I reached Josh, the office manager had already arranged for someone else to go with Josh.
Within 30 minutes God had spoken through a woman I don't know, and sent an older, very honorable and trustworthy man to go with Josh. They made the drive and arrived home safely.
3. Sunday morning I woke up to an email from a woman named Monica Hawkins, an author I met through She Speaks. Monica had written the email in the middle of the night from a hospital in Alabama. Less than 48 hours earlier, her son had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and was facing surgery that morning to relieve the pressure on his brain - not remove the tumor. Monica was calling everyone to worship God and watch as God fought the battle. I immediately turned on praise music and started worshipping.
The surgery was successful, the tumor was not malignant, and Monica's son is doing very well. Earlier this week, Monica outlined all the little ways the God stepped in, starting with a doctor ordering an MRI for a headache, and an immediate opening for the MRI. It truly is an amazing story. Visit Monica's blog and read for yourself. That was a link to an overview of the story. Click on "Home" to read more recent updates.
In less than a week, God amazed me with divine intervention and what I see as miracles. Some may say my peace came from experience, Josh's driving buddy was a coincidences, and Matthew's brain tumor is still there. But, like the shepherds, I choose to be believe and be amazed.
God hears prayers and orchestrates everyday events on behalf of His children. So, how to cultivate amazement? Pray about every need. Ask others to pray too. Then watch for answers.
When our eyes are watching for God's involvement in our world, we see it. The more we see it, the more amazing it is because God cares about details. Even when God says "No," it's amazing to see how we benefited from that no. (Usually it takes awhile to see it though).
If you are feeling a little worn out, take some time to review your prayers from the past year. Consider how God answered them: the "yeses" and the "nos". I'm confident you'll start to cultivate some amazement at how He has worked in your life.
I pray you have a wonderful next few days.
In His Love,