Have you ever felt discouraged? Have you ever lost your motivation? Have you ever felt so tired that you don’t want to do anything and don’t really care about it either? I have had a few days like that recently. I felt like every day was a huge struggle. Life is just too busy at the moment!
Last week when I was putting a few things away I found a little shoe box in the bottom of my wardrobe! It was like finding a treasure! I set down on the floor like an excited little kid that had been given all the Christmas presents she had put on her list! The box was just an old brown shoe box, nothing special about it, except the word letters written on it!
I opened it and saw the envelopes there and immediately a smile was drawn on my face! Those were the letters I received from dear friends encouraging me to keep on going when I first moved to this country nearly 11 years ago. I was having a difficult time adjusting to the culture and I missed my family terribly! I picked one letter from the pile and started reading it! It brought tears to my eyes as I read the verses my friend wrote so beautifully:
7 ‘Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’ Joshua 1:7-9
And she wrote: “don’t get distracted with things that are taking your attention away from the Cross. Be brave! God is with you always! He has a purpose for you there – trust and throw yourself in His arms!”
God is amazing! He knew I needed encouragement there and then! What an amazing thing it is to know that my God will always be with me and has commanded me to be strong and courageous! It was almost as if God himself was telling me to focus my eyes on Him!
I am also very thankful for how HE used my dear friends that so graciously have encouraged me then and how He uses His word to encourage me time and time again.
We went on holiday to a beautiful part of England – Cumbria – during the October half term. Wow! Breath taking views and friendly people everywhere! We really enjoyed ourselves. One of the things we did, despite the weather, was walk up some hills and while we did that we saw big rainbows and small ones, double rainbows, half rainbows and full ones! It was amazing! We also saw rainbows from the boat when we were exploring lake Windermere! (Photo above)
All the time while we were admiring the arch painted beautifully in the sky we were also being reminded of God’s love and his promises!
After God told Noah to build the ark and take the animals and his family in He closed the doors and His judgement came down on his creation as a big flood. When God told Noah it was safe to leave the ark HE made a promise – a new covenant with all living creature. This is what the Bible tells us in Genesis 9:8-17:
“8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 ‘I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you – the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you – every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ 12 And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.’ 17 So God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.’”
How amazing is that! In his unfailing, never stopping love God put a sign in the sky to remind Himself of the covenant He made with his creation! We had plenty of opportunities to talk about Noah, his faithfulness to God, his obedience, his faith and trust in God. We spoke about the sin in the world that made people turn away time and time again from God. We talked about how God decided to make his world clean and He rescued/saved Noah and his family and all the animals. It was really amazing to have so many opportunities to teach our children about God’s love.
It is the season of rainbows now! Well, there is plenty of rain around and some days we might get a little glimpse of the sun, so, when you next see a rainbow, why not tell the person next to you about God’s promises and his love?