I love living out in the country! Now I am, by no means, a country girl, but I do love the peace and serenity of living out here in the country. I can look out my front window and see a beautiful field that grows different crops each year. The first year in our home, the field across the street was growing cotton and it was spectacular to watch it go through the different stages. At dusk you can see the deer congregating in large groups and it is just a beautiful sight! You see for me it is win/win situation. Out here in the country I have the beauty and peace of nature and spacious landscape but in as little as two shakes of a lamb's tail (okay, so I am a little bit of a country girl, haha!), I can be right in the heart of the city shopping at Mayfaire orTarget or sipping my “cup of joy” at my favorite little coffee house, Starbucks! How perfect is that?
As I ride down these country roads, I pass a number of old homes that have been abandoned. Some of those homes have been demolished recently and some are probably next in line for it, but I can only imagine that at one time, those homes had life in them. When I pass I try to make up a story for that home based on its character. I know, this may sound crazy, but I can’t help but think that at one time real people lived there and that home had a story. I just think one up myself. I passed a particular home one day that really caught my attention. It was so adorable and had so much character that I’m sure it had beautiful memories. I could almost here the laughter of children and picture a big family kitchen table where lots of family dinners were shared. I even imagined that the front porch definitely saw it’s share of guests as people congregated there maybe swinging on a porch swing and sipping sweet iced tea on a warm summer night. I could see families gathered there as they sang old hymns and prayed together to give God glory! I just knew that home had such happy memories! What a warm cozy feeling I had as I let my imagination run wild!
As I got home that day, the Lord started pricking my heart about the homes I pass by everyday that do have life in them now. From the outside that home could look completely normal. Beautifully manicured yards, white picket fence, nice cars in the driveway, but what really goes on behind those doors? Behind those doors, there could be heartache, pain, and lost souls. Do those souls know the real joy of living? Do they know my Jesus? I found that as I rode by I was convicted to pray for those who live in those houses. So many times we see people that look “normal” on the outside but on the inside could be in real pain and in need of a Savior. Appearance can be deceiving and I began to pray that God would open my heart to be more sensitive to those I pass everyday.
We live in uncertain times. Jobs are scarce, money is tight, the world is a mess but my God is a God of hope, joy, comfort, provision, compassion, love, forgiveness, and on and on I could go! What I do know is that my God loves the hurting, the broken! He desires to see those lives come to know him and love him. In these uncertain times, the ONE thing we can be certain of is that God has our futures planned for us. It is a plan of hope and joy. One of my favorite passages of scripture is:
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Oh, if only people would know that they have real hope! That hope is my LORD! We need to be the ones that tell them! We who have experienced this hope, this joy, this forgiveness, should be the ones who shout it from the rooftops that there is HOPE and his name is JESUS! Hallelujah!
From a drive down my country road the Lord showed me that those I pass by daily need this hope.
Sweet Heavenly Father, may I be the vessel that shares and prays for those in need of you. May the hope and love that I have experienced through your forgiveness be the light that touches souls and helps them see that hope is there for them as well. Lord, mold my heart and use my words as a testimony of your unfailing love! You are the breath I breathe and life is so much sweeter being filled with your Spirit!
Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. "
As you begin your week, stay open to the Holy Spirit’s leading of a home in need of him. As you pass those homes daily, be in prayer for the souls that abide there. What awesome power is in prayer!