God has done great things, but sometimes it takes the small things to remind me how great He really is.
I don't believe in coincidence; I believe God is Sovereign over every detail of this universe, including those that seem mysterious or random to our limited human understanding. When I find myself stumbling upon the same Bible verse in various places, or reading about the same subject in different books and blogs and magazine articles, I think it is more than random chance. I see it as God getting my attention through the small things, to make sure I really understand what He is trying to teach me.
Don and I experienced this just a few weeks ago, when he was given the opportunity to preach at an afternoon church service. He was inspired by Psalm 150 to prepare his sermon, "A Proper Response to God," on how God wants us to joyfully praise Him. When it was nearly time to deliver the message about David dancing before the Lord, Don felt uncertain, wondering if he really was interpreting the Scripture correctly. He had been plagued by a pulled muscle for a few days leading up to Sunday morning, and he wondered if it was God trying to tell him something about the sermon. But then, when the morning service ended and we picked the boys up from their Children's Church class, they were shaking paper plate tambourines. The papers they had colored showed David praising the Lord with music. In fact, their lesson was on the very same event that Don was planning to preach about! The back of the paper even had a verse from Psalm 150. When I noticed that, it nearly brought tears to my eyes. God was so good to give us such clear reassurance!
Then this week, as the children and I enjoyed our last summer days and started to gently transition back towards a more structured school year schedule, the Lord has shown me the same Bible verse three times. First, he convicted me that instead of spending every nursing moment in front of the laptop, I should use the times when the boys are awake to read with them, just like I used to read board books to Donny in the early days of nursing Hayden. Accordingly, during Monday's first nursing session, we read a chapter from Hymns for a Kid's Heart, a really interesting book about the stories behind famous hymns - it even comes with a CD of children singing the hymns that we all enjoy listening to. Each chapter includes "A Verse for My Heart," so after learning about "To God Be the Glory," we read:
The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad. -Psalm 126:3
It is such a simple verse, yet so profound. God HAS done great things for us! And we read about some more of those great things on our "Worldwide Wednesday," when I flipped to a fitting article in Donny's magazine. The article was about some orphans in Kenya who had gone to live in a place called Sanctuary of Hope. At their new home, they have brothers and sisters, and they learn verses and songs about God. Splashed across the magazine page in bold letters was Psalm 126:3, this time from the NIV:
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
I pointed out to Donny that we had just read the same verse in a different translation. Then tonight, I had written all of one line of a new blog post, when I decided to do a search for something on my website. The first post to pop up in my search was a summary of last year, concluding with, once again, Psalm 126:3. By now, I have the words memorized!
The Lord has done great things for me, for my marriage, and my family. He has done great things for orphans in Kenya and for a blind girl who wrote thousands of praise hymns. He has done great things for all of us, because He IS great, and His love is greater than we can understand. As I meditate on it, like the Psalmist, my heart is filled with joy. I love when He speaks to me through the small things.
Thank you Lord, for being greater than coincidence and more than chance. Thank you for the great things you have done. Thank you for encouraging me tonight. May I always be glad and filled with joy because of YOU!