Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Do not be afraid of discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.

Deuteronomy 31:8

We’ve been working through the story of Abraham in Genesis over the last couple months. I went into it a bit closed-minded, thinking I wouldn’t enjoy reading through the same stories I’ve head so many times. I really need to stop doing that when reading the Bible, because every time God shows me such incredible things I never noticed before. He takes a story I’ve heard since early childhood and flips it into this incredible tale that captures my attention and leaves me in awe.

Over the weeks, God has really been reminding me of His incredible faithfulness and what that looks like. As I’ve worked through Genesis, I’ve had the opportunity to read about every promise the Lord made to Abraham through his life, and then see the way the Father fulfilled those promises time and time again. In addition, I’ve seen how God prepared a way for Abraham to reach those promises, no matter the hardships, doubts, or fears that tried to hinder him.

If I had an account of my life like Abraham did, I think I would be awestruck with how the Father has been faithful to me (and will be).

I’ve seen him answer prayer after prayer in the past. He has provided strength, courage, and hope through the toughest parts of my life. Regardless of my decisions, He has stayed by my side and waited for me to turn around and fall into His open arms. He has prepared a path for me in areas that still leave me awestruck. I already have seen Him do so much.

Sometimes it’s so easy to see this and be grateful. But, I think a lot of times, it’s easy to be discouraged in life and lose sight of that. There’s times you don’t see results, life becomes extremely difficult, and you seem to be stuck in something with no way out. It’s so easy to miss the blessings, love, and joy the Father offers us. At times, He feels distant. It’s hard to remember He’s there at all. There are things like this I struggle with on a daily basis. There are things I have been praying for for years, but with what feels like no response.

But Abraham and Sarah waited over 25 years for a son. They were in a place where it was actually impossible to have a child. Sarah even resorted to giving Abraham a servant with the hopes of continuing the family line. It became a situation that seemed completely hopeless. Until God transformed it into an incredible, impossible miracle. God was faithful.

I feel in a lot of ways that I have been very judgmental of Abraham and Sarah in the past as they took matters into their own hands. After all, God did promise them a son, yeah? But this time as I read their story again, I was able to see it from a different perspective. Having a son, and someone to carry on their lineage was a HUGE deal then. It was something that showed value as well. Children were prized. And they had none. They had waited well past the time their bodies were physically capable of producing children. That is such a hopeless place. No wonder they tried to find another option. But God was faithful.

I do that too, in different ways, I think. In times I feel hopeless, I turn to other things. Sometimes it’s to take my mind off what is bothering me as I scroll through social media. Sometimes it’s searching for comfort in other people around me. Sometimes it’s reading or working or filling my schedule to keep myself busy. These are not bad things on their own, but often, I do this in place of turning to God. Instead of coming to him for comfort and love when I feel hopeless, I try to take care of that feeling in my own way. But God is faithful.

We have a loving, patient Father.

He is faithful in fulfilling His promises, yes. He is also faithful to us, remaining with us through every situation we walk through. Even when I can’t see what He’s doing, I do have the opportunity to see Him. What an amazing thing that we have a God that walks alongside us through this crazy life!

Father, thank you for being present and faithful always. Help me to see your faithfulness in every area of my life, and to have confidence in You, knowing you are with me and preparing a way for me wherever I go.

Prayer

“God is great and God is good, and we thank Him for our food. By His hands, we all are fed. Give us, Lord, our daily bread. Amen.”

This little prayer was one of the first dinner prayers I learned growing up (along with the Superman prayer, of course). Along with my parents praying with us before bed, this became the small beginning to my prayer life.

It took me a while to be comfortable praying my own words in front of my family without feeling like I was doing wrong. It took much longer to pray in front of other, and even longer to pray OVER others. Today, my challenge is working towards the confidence to ask others if I can pray for them without being prompted.

I used to see prayer as something that just happened before meals with my family and before I slept to keep away bad dreams or comfort me when I did have them. For a while it seemed boring. I understood that I was talking to God, but I didn’t understand the importance of that. Closing my eyes, bowing my head, and droning on just didn’t seem so interesting to me.

To be completely honest, I still have a hard time sitting through prayers sometimes. I can’t keep my eyes shut, because I get distracted and zone out. But I think I understand a good bit more now how significant it is that I get to talk to our Father whenever I want.

My favorite memories of prayer are the times I sit and journal, talk to God, and write down our conversations. Next to those are the times I don’t know what to say, but I can just sit with Him, knowing He hears my heart. Singing, worship, and playing guitar are another one of my favorite ways when my heart is heavy and I need a reminder that He is orchestrating everything. And for those times I sit with my head bowed and pray (with my eyes open), I know now that it doesn’t have to be perfect and I can stumble as much as I need to over my words. He appreciates when we are real and genuine with Him, and that’s beautiful.

I have been so blessed to see the Lord’s provision and faithfulness to my prayers repeatedly. I can easily name off multiple times whereHe has absolutely floored me with His blessing. I have proof in my life that He hears me. Admittedly, I still have a hard time with some prayers. Despite the fact that I have seen the Father listens to me and continuously provides, I still allow doubt to creep in when I receive prayer for healing. I know how beautiful it is to see the result of prayers being answered, but I also understand the pain of going for prayer dozens of times and wondering why.

Prayer is significant. It’s incredible. It can be simple. It can be mind-boggling. It can be difficult. But it is a conversation with our Father no matter what. That. is. so. cool.

The last few weeks, God has really been highlighting the importance of this specific part of my relationship with Him. He’s been reminding me what a unique thing it is to be able to communicate with Him in such an intimate way. Not only that, He’s showing me the value of a community where I am surrounded by others that are so willing to stop and join in conversation with Him.

To be honest, it scared me a little at first when I saw in our Receptionist manual “pray with the oncoming Receptionist”. When it didn’t seem to be a common occurrence, I was a bit relieved. But my relief was short-lived. I’m so glad. Honestly, I don’t know if there’s a better way to start an end an 8-hour shift than just talking with God.

Our first day of surgeries, all meetings on the ship were interrupted as one of our surgeons began the day with a prayer over the PA system. How cool, yeah??

As I checked one of our crew members out before their flight home, he stopped (despite the limited time to make it to the airport), called over his wife, and asked if they could pray over a minor injury I have. This was such a significant moment for me, as simple as it was. It meant so much to have someone take important time out of their day just to stop and come before the Lord. I think that helped me understand how much more valuable our time is when we spend it with the Lord.

He is so good.

I love more than anything that we can just sit where we are and thank Him for everything. We can thank Him, cry out to Him, draw close to Him, be brutally honest with Him, and just talk… and we can do it anytime, anywhere, with anyone, and He hears. What an incredible privilege that is.

Father, help me to learn more and more each day the power, beauty, importance, and significance of talking to you.