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May 27, 2012

"Thus far the Lord has helped us."

This morning I sat in a bright, sunny kitchen nook eating a haphazard breakfast. Museli, retrieved from a moving box and eaten by the handful. My meals lately have been the random ones of a person who is moving. But, inspired by various friends who are doing "read through the Bible in one year" plans, my spiritual food has been more regular and healthy than it has been in a while.

I've started into 1 Samuel this week, and this morning had me reading some verses that I want to record as reminders to myself:

"Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, 
"If you return to the Lord with all your hearts,  
then put away the foreign gods...from among you, 
and prepare your hearts for the Lord
and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” 
{1 Sam. 7:3-4}

"I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind."{I Sam. 2:35}

This week's move was the most convoluted move I have ever made. So much to think about, so much to do. I am feeling drained. Not just by the move, but by the business of an over-committed life. The years 2011 and 2012 have been rushing by. Feels like I'm on a hurtling train that's moving too fast to enjoy some of the slow joys of life. I hope that will change soon, as I wrap up my responsibilities here and move on to new things. I'm needing time to process all God has been teaching me, to regroup, to rest. To bask in His beauty.

But I Samuel reminds me that no matter my season, I need to return to Him. To pour my exhaustion out and be filled with His strength. To put away my addictions and idolatries and truly prepare my heart for service to Him. What kind of person does He seek after? One who does according to what is in His heart and mind. To live that way is to delight the Father, and therefore to live in the joy of His blessing. He is truly the God of real refreshment and help for this tired soul.

"Then Samuel took a stone and set it up.... He named it Ebenezer, saying, 'Thus far the Lord has helped us.'” {1 Sam. 7:12}

As I've been packing and moving, I've been taking photos or making mental note of how God has blessed me through His people. These memories are Ebenezers of sorts, so that someday, when I'm facing another giant, God will remind me of how He has always helped me. A few months ago I was asking God for storage and for temporary housing, and He beautifully provided for both of those needs. When I was getting stressed, He gave me rest in a friend's home in the country. God sent a thoughtful e-mail, a bowl of Thai fish curry or a friend to scrub out my stove... at just the right time. So, as I pull up the covers on Moving Day, this I "say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'" {Heb. 13:6}

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