May 29, 2020 by Beckie Hartgerink
When Pastor Bob asked me to write a devotional for the church I said yes and then laughed when he told me they needed one for Friday, May 29. Friday, May 29 is a special day for us in the Hartgerink family. This is the day that our son will marry his sweetheart. We laugh because everything we had planned for this date has been changed many times in the last few weeks.
We have all wrestled with unmet expectations and disappointments. We had it all planned out. Every last detail choreographed for a perfect day…then uncertainty barged in and changed everything.
We spent many nights with them talking about what the changes would mean. In the end, we decided that the changes to their wedding didn’t really matter. We were all invited to see the big picture that God paints in our life.
I think about the big picture a lot as I grow older. We read about many great men and women in the Bible who faced hardships and unexpected changes.
– Noah – called to build an Ark and then spend many nights at sea
– Abraham – wandering the dessert clinging to the promise of a mighty nation
– Joseph – sold into slavery and sent to a foreign land
– Moses – forced to flee Egypt and start a new life
– Esther – suddenly in the company of a king without her Uncle
– Ruth – widowed and returning empty-handed to her homeland
– Mary- pregnant and engaged, becoming a mother so soon
In every instance, each one of these people was called to walk in faith a road that they had not chosen. A road that God had called them too. In each and every instance God was there.
We read in Deuteronomy 31:8
“The Lord himself will lead you and be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you, so do not lose courage or be afraid.”
Joshua 1: 9 reminds us:
“Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go.”
God reminds us that in every instance He is there.
So how does that change my reality of what today – this special day holds? It is a sweet, sweet reminder that my Father loves me. He took this special day and changed it so it would be forever ingrained in my heart and mind. You see, now when I think back to the day that our son was married I won’t have to try and remember details of the wedding… (which I am sure I will forget!!) Instead, I will never forget the weeks and days leading up to it. A time of “quarantine blessings” filled with long walks, family dinners & game nights. God was faithful to sustain us, to mold my heart, and to do give me a glimpse of His goodness.
A long time ago a good friend taught me to turn around when life gets hard. When we are overwhelmed by everything that life seems to bring us – we need to simply turn around and ask God to open our eyes to see His faithfulness in our lives. Turn around and see the way He has blessed our journey along the way both in the valleys and the mountains. God was faithful in the past and He is faithful now.
Lamentations 3:22-23 reminds us: “The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease; For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”
On this Friday, May 29 we choose to walk in faith and joy because we serve a faithful God who does not change.