Look Closely by Maureen Price

Hello again friends,
Here we are. Another week under our ever-expanding belts (maybe I should speak for myself). Okay, so my belt is expanding but it feels good to have another week behind me. I have been taking my own wise counsel from last week and plugging into divine strength to get through all this. I am doing better this week, than last. Every morning, I am walking over 3 miles and praying up and down the hills. Long winded prayers. I don’t think I am the only one. The scene from the movie BruceAlmighty with that Carey fellow rushed at me. Millions of prayers rising together, all colliding with one another, a deafening jumble, begging, pleading, negotiating. I bet it’s like that now.
Everyone, even those who didn’t do much praying before, are likely joining the chorus hoping God will listen. We are all desperate to make sense of this situation, to find meaning in what feels meaningless. This is so big and scary, clearly something we can’t control so, “Hello God, what are you doing?” Even though I am not hearing that “still small voice” I am still sure God is listening. And even though it may feel like He isn’t doing anything, there are little reminders that He is there, still at work. Look closely.
Last week, my granddaughter Ivy told me one of her clients reached out to her to say she had bought “Easter stuff” in February and now realized that she went overboard and wondered if Ivy wanted some of it for her little sisters. Earlier the same day, my daughter had lamented to me she didn’t have a thing for the little girls for Easter and felt overwhelmed at the very thought of trying to figure it out during this quarantine. Coincidence? Not to me. What seems to be a coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.
You can’t fool me. I saw His hand all over that situation. God knew what Amy needed before she knew what she would need. I love all the little reminders that He is working in the small things, so it stands to reason he is working in the big things too. Another example (though you probably have you own story) is the fact I had 7 masks shoved in a dresser drawer. Yes, Masks. Not Halloween masks, but actual medical masks. Seven, just enough masks for my two older granddaughters that live with me and 3 masks for my daughter and her little girls. Two small masks, one with colorful happy faces decorating it. Where the heck did I get those or why and when, I wondered. So strange but, still, I was so grateful since we have now been told wearing masks to stores is mandatory. I am so thankful that He has been showing up in little unmistakable but meaningful ways just when needed, right on time – especially now as I, frankly, don’t understand why all this is happening.
I need to remind myself of Isaiah 55: 8-9: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts and my ways are past finding out”. As I read on to verse 11, it ends with “my word goes out and it will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it”. I must square this with what I know that God does not let us suffer for no reason even though the reason may be hidden.
We are in the middle of a pandemic and I don’t believe for one second that He caused it but, clearly, He is allowing it and yet, it will accomplish something good for His purpose. This means I/we must trust in him because God only does what is right. We know He’s up to something important and He is never doing just one thing. So what does all this mean for us? It means we need to pray and trust and hope and pray more. Yes, I think those prayers can be as long winded as you like. He has ears to hear all these prayers. He also shows up in unexpected ways. We know He’s got this, as mystifying as that is, when you consider the job and financial losses, health worries, along with missing connection with friends and family, and restricted freedom, it’s a lot to try and wrap your head around. However, amid this, He hasn’t moved.
During this time of uncertainty, let’s be liberal with kindness, generosity and the “good news” for those who are struggling, offering hope in what feels almost hopeless to so many. Let’s remember to say God Bless You to everyone who crosses your path and smile. They may not be able to see the smile behind your mask, but they will hear the smile in your voice. Let them see and hear the hope and light within you. How we handle this can cause others to reach out and seek God. Keep looking for Him and look closely. I believe we will come out the other side of this stronger than ever. Please keep those prayers coming.
Stay strong! Stay healthy! 
May God bless you in unexpected ways, big and small (like Easter baskets and Medical masks) during this difficult time.
Maureen PriceExecutive Director

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