Ever wonder if you are receiving God’s best? It’s trendy to talk about “living your best life.” We all want the best life. But what about living God’s best life for you? Where does it start? One of my favorite stories is the romance of Isaac and Rebekah. Told in Genesis 24, Isaac’s father, Abraham, wanted to ensure his son found the best possible wife. So he loaded some camels and sent a servant on a journey to his homeland to find a wife for Isaac. There, the servant met a girl named Rebekah, who was from Abraham’s family. She agreed to be Isaac’s bride.
My first Valentine’s Day with a sweetheart looked like it was going to be a lonely one. I was 18 and living in a dorm at a Rhode Island Bible school. Over the course of the day, girls walked down the hall, giggling as they clutched a card or flowers or box of chocolates. But I had nothing. My boyfriend, Dana, and I had been dating for a year, but he was going to school in New York. It seemed he’d forgotten all about me. Later that long afternoon, someone knocked on my door. A delivery person was waiting outside. And there was a lovely bouquet of roses from Dana!
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many sweethearts – or would-be sweethearts – are making plans for how to express their love. The holiday is also one of the most popular days for becoming engaged. But what happens after the chocolates have been devoured and the roses have wilted? Or what if, after years or decades of being together, you’re just not feeling it anymore? Plenty of marriage books offer activities and tips that promise to help you reconnect.
If you are pursuing a goal, you have likely been tempted to quit. Maybe it is excising more, eating healthier, saving money, or spending more time with your family. My mother’s goal was to help translate the Bible into a language in which it has not yet been published. Tucked among the papers on her desk when she passed away was a verse from Scripture. Written in capitals, it said, “BE STRONG + DO NOT GIVE UP – FOR YOUR WORK WILL BE REWARDED,” 2 Chronicles 15:7.
On the swearing in of a new president, how should we pray? When I was growing up on an Oregon farm, my hippie mom was one of the only parents I knew at our rural church who’d voted for Jimmy Carter instead of Ronald Reagan. That could have created a split, but we continued sitting in the same pews and singing the same songs as before the divisive 1980 election. Mom didn’t sniff out which businesses had supported which candidate or pull us out of our church-supported school. She got up the same as every other morning, pulled on her rubber boots and went about the work that needed to be done, feeding our sheep and gathering the morning eggs.
Lately, I’ve been reading through the beginning of the Old Testament, an unexpected source of comfort and inspiration if you are walking through a difficult phase or journey. What could be harder than an entire civilization packing up their homes and families and herds to cross a perilous wilderness? On a good day, I have enough trouble packing up my kids to catch the school bus. Snacks? McDonald’s money for away basketball games? Who has time? And we are not usually being pursued by an angry army in chariots.