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.

The Name of Jesus

Hey there 🙂 It’s been a while.

Quick update (because you know how much I love those): Since I last posted, I have been in three different places. Las Palmas, Gran Canaria; Santa Cruz, Tenerife; and now, Dakar, Senegal! Dakar is where I will be for the remainder of my time on board the Africa Mercy (probably). During our time in Las Palmas and Santa Cruz, the ship was under repair and there were a TON of major projects going on. Because God is good, every single one of the 60+ projects were completed successfully in time for us to sail.

We are now safely in Dakar! In just a few short weeks, our first patients will be on board receiving care. In the meantime, there is a lot of work going into the hospital, Hope Center, and Dental Clinic in preparation for our arriving patients.

I also have a bit of exciting news! After a lot of thought and prayer, I have extended my time on board the ship an additional two months. I will now be staying with the Africa Mercy for twelve months in total, which means I will have the opportunity to see an entire field service in action. I am so so SO excited about this and I cannot wait to see how God uses this time and what blessings and experiences will come through this.

With all of the changes and adjustments, life has been really crazy and busy here for me as well. It’s been a bit taxing physically, emotionally, and spiritually for me the last few weeks. I’ve been drained and exhausted in every way, but God is good. Every day, despite how weak I felt, He has continued to bless me and remind me that He is with me no matter what.

I think sometimes I limit myself to learning about God on the days I have a clear mind and lots of energy. On the days I feel tired, it often feels like it takes everything I have just to say a quick prayer for help. But God has been showing me that taking time to get to know him isn’t as exhausting as I make it out to be. Sometimes, yes, it means resting and just talking to Him, but it doesn’t take much energy to pick up my Bible and spend time listening to Him, either.

I learned this week that even when I don’t feel like doing anything- when I want to give up, taking the time to listen to and get to know my Father is worth it. I may feel empty. I may feel like I have nothing to say or offer Him. I may not feel like picking up my Bible or praying. But by spending time with Him, He is providing energy for me. He is giving me exactly what I need each day. He is filling my cup. And not only that, I’m getting to know Him in a deeper and more intimate way than I knew Him before.

This week, He has been teaching me about the power of His Name. We have been reading through Genesis as a community, and this week, many of the chapters also mentioned some of the different Names of the Lord. Discovering these Names and learning about the significance and power behind each one has been incredible.

When I felt overwhelmed, I learned that He is El-Roi, the God who sees me (Genesis 16:13). Even when different things cloud my vision and different things cause stress and anxiety, He sees it all. He sees me, He hears me, and He is with me.

When I felt weak, I learned that He is El-Shaddai – the God Almighty (Genesis 17:1). Every trouble, weakness, and fear is subject to the authority of my Father in heaven. He is more powerful than it all. His love conquers all.

When I felt powerless and like I had no voice, I learned that He is the King of Kings. Not only that, He reminded me that I am a daughter of the King. I am a princess: “A woman having sovereign power” and “a member of the royal family”. I am His.

When I didn’t know what to expect, I learned that He is my Provider. I may not know what’s coming next, but I can trust that He will provide for every one of my needs as it comes. He has a desire to bless me.

I learned this week about the many powerful Names of my Father. I learned that when I am exhausted, I can call on the Name of El-Roi, El-Shaddai, the King of Kings, and my Provider. No matter what, He will always be there.

I’m so grateful that even in the times life doesn’t seem to go the way I want it to, that God is so faithful. Not only that, but that He also wants so badly to bless me. He is so good, so loving, and so faithful. I can look towards tomorrow knowing that no matter what happens, I can trust Him. Maybe tomorrow will be stressful, maybe it will bring difficult challenges, maybe it will be the best day of my life – regardless, my Father is walking with me through it all.