“Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love, and the future to God’s providence.” ~Augustine
I sent out a newsletter last week to help celebrate my new book, These Healing Hills. I nearly always offer a chance for readers to win something in a giveaway in my newsletters. (If you didn’t get the newsletter and would like to have a copy, just let me know. I’ll send one out to you.) As I often do, I invited readers to share a story with me. Since one of the major faith threads in These Healing Hills is how on the other side of disappointments, the Lord often has something better waiting, I asked readers to share a time when they felt the touch of God’s hand and His providence in their lives. I’m still reading the responses I’ve gotten, so if you responded and I’ve yet to get back with you, have patience. I will.
Of course, not everybody has sent a story. You didn’t have to in order to enter the giveaway. Any e-mail got the sender an entry, but I have already read a few heartfelt stories of times when the writer recognized Divine Providence in the things that happened to them including this story shared by Diana who gave me permission to share it forward. So here’s her story of how God’s love changed her life.
“One of the most times I can remember God at my side was when my brother passed away. I was losing my brother and dad to follow soon with cancer. At the same time my son was going away 2000 plus miles to college. My church split and my friends all left me. I shut down into a deep depression. I willed myself to die. How could I live when everything around me was being taken away? I lost hope and my joy. I never ate or drank for days. They ended up putting me in the hospital on IV’s to keep me going. My husband was by my side day and night. Most importantly, God was there also. For he never leaves me. See, I took my eyes off the Lord and was leading myself to death. A doctor talked to me and gave me a book to read. Wham!!! Right there it was. I had not kept my eyes on the Lord and felt I had control. God showed me I didn’t. I needed to put my hope in Him. When I did that, I found my joy! So easy to think we as Christians are always good and we got this world. Wrong! God showed me through this trial I needed to lean on Him instead of myself. I kept in his word and I read and read Philippians 4. My favorite verse was Philippians 4:13. ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.’ Right there telling me God is with me at all times. He will never forsake me. It was a year long battle and I really don’t remember much of anything else of that year. But PRAISE GOD I am healed. Am I perfect? No, not by far, but I learned a valuable lesson. So that’s the main time in my life I really felt God.”
The Lord is with us through good times, bad times, and even ordinary everyday times. Sometimes we don’t recognize God’s working in our lives and then sometimes, like Diana, we do.
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.” Psalm 37:23 (NKJ)
Thanks for reading. I’ll tell you move about my new giveaway Wednesday in case you didn’t get my newsletter or you can check it out on my News & Events Page.