by Sharon Betters
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.”
The morning after surgery for breast cancer I looked out the hospital window at a gorgeous, hot summer day. The sunny day did not match my mood. I was afraid. Final biopsy results would take a few days. Today’s Treasure came to mind. I didn’t conclude that the Lord was promising I would survive cancer. I knew I could die, but I heard Him say through this verse that I was not alone in this journey. He would send new blessings or “treasures of encouragement” every day. I could depend on His presence to be revealed through little love notes reminding me that He was present, He was aware and He was enough for this journey.
I could “wait for Him” with confidence that whatever I needed, He would provide. Great is His faithfulness. I started looking for “treasures” that I knew only He could send my way. Most of them would seem insignificant to someone else, but each one held a message uniquely created to meet a need only He understood.
As you review your village (your family, friends), you might identify enormous needs that you know you cannot meet. Trust this promise from your Father. You do not need to be consumed by these needs, but instead, pray and patiently watch as He sends “treasures of encouragement” to you as a means of equipping you to “revive village life” in those you love.
One of the ways the Lord sent blessings to me every morning was through His Word. I started my day with reading the Bible, expecting Him to give me a verse that reminded me that He “had my back.” Often the devotional accompanying the Scripture spoke directly to a specific need in my heart that no one else knew about, but God did. He answered my plea, “Search my heart, Oh Lord. See if there is any wicked way in me.” The “wicked way” in me during that hard time was to show me how I was not trusting in Him. I appeared surrendered to Him, but my spiritual hands were clenched.
“What equips me to offer life-giving encouragement to others?
It is recognizing my ongoing need for the Lord’s mercy and new compassion every day.”
We can be so busy “being right” that we miss His merciful righteousness in our own lives, let alone the opportunity to offer it to others. His compassion toward me is new every morning. Take time to spend time with Him and watch for the new blessings He promises to send every day.
Many people abuse God’s Word. They religiously read the Bible every morning, pray for their families, but their lives don’t reflect humility or a genuine understanding of the mercy He has extended. Their words drip with condemnation rather than grace. One of the greatest “mercies” He sends to us is opening our eyes to our own sin, of His imperative of repentance, and to our own need for Him.
Oh Father, Your compassion never fails. Your love covers us in ways we don’t even know. You send treasures of encouragement, new mercies, not just to help turn our hearts toward You, but to also infuse into our hearts a reminder of Your faithful love in a way that overflows into the lives of others.
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the MARKINC website and listen to the audio resource titled “Standing with Hope: Through it All” so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's. Here is a summary and teaser of this resource:
How do you find purpose when you are in excruciating pain 24/7, survived 78 surgeries and will most likely face more? Add to that your status as a double amputee. In this interview, Gracie Rosenberger, who was age 17 when she was in an almost fatal car accident, shares what life and marriage is like with such challenges. Gracie’s story reveals a woman of strength and determination in the face of impossible obstacles.