Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Tale of Sparrows and Sock Monkeys

My husband and I just returned from a much needed vacation in New Hampshire at Lake Winnepesaukee. It is a trip worth taking if you get the opportunity. God has been impressing upon me just how near He is to me everyday. I recently had an epiphany regarding God's promise of His ever abiding presence. In Joshua, after Moses' death, the Lord says to Joshua, "As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you."(Joshua 1:5b)  A few verses later in the same chapter the Lord once again encourages Joshua, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9) italics mine. It is very easy to forget that God is always with me. If I am at work, He is there, when I travel He travels with me and even when I sleep at night, He is present keeping watch over me. However an even greater revelation is the fact that God dwells within me by His Spirit and you can't get any closer than that! Jesus promised His disciples the gift of the Holy Spirit in John chapter 16 and reaffirmed the gift shortly before His ascension into heaven in Acts chapter 1. I often encourage my clients to look for God in the ordinary, in the everyday things in life that surround them. A sister in Christ recently sent me an e-mail from a wonderful book she is reading that has touched her spirit in a profound way and on a very deep level. The author speaks about the fact that we as Christians are ignorant as to how much power we possess in the Spirit. The author goes on to say that if we really tapped into the Spirit's power we should be wearing crash helmets in the pews, in essence bracing ourselves for impact, the release of the Spirit! Wow! In my efforts to be more aware of the Lord's presence, I tried to remain open to Him during our vacation. I was not disappointed. While stopping for ice cream at a small stand we came back to the car to find a sparrow perched on the roof. The immediate thought that came to mind was the chorus from the song, "His Eye Is On The Sparrow." The final verse of that chorus states, "His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me." As if that weren't enough I had a similar sparrow encounter while enjoying a dessert in front of a bakery. My husband pointed to a sparrow hopping towards us while we ate. Once again that chorus popped into my head. Finally our last night in New Hampshire we revisited a gift shop we had stopped by earlier in the week. It was a rather large store with so many items it was overwhelming. The store had even more items upstairs! The first time in the store we didn't see anything of interest. However I have a rather large stuffed animal collection that I have accumulated during my growing up years. I had recently seen an ad on television that showed a sock monkey. (For those of you old enough to remember you know what they look like.) I had mentioned to my husband that I had always wanted a sock monkey to add to my collection but did not think any more about it. As we browsed through the store the second time we visited, I was not really thinking about sock monkeys but God remembered my heart's desire. Just as we were about to leave the store, there off in a corner was a basket with (you guessed it) two sock monkeys! I was ecstatic! Of course I purchased one and gave thanks to God! The sock monkey has now been added to my stuffed animal collection and will forever serve as a visual reminder that my God is always with me, so much so that He hears and answers the silent desires of my heart.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Sheree

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