As long as YOU are glorified!

Shall I take from Your hand Your blessings 
Yet not welcome any pain
Shall I thank You for days of sunshine
Yet grumble in days of rain
Shall I love You in times of plenty
Then leave you in days of drought
Shall I trust when I reap a harvest
But when winter winds blow, then doubt

Oh let Your will be done in me
In Your love I will abide
Oh I long for nothing else as long 
As You are glorified

Are You good only when I prosper
And true only when I'm filled
Are you King only when I'm carefree
And God only when I'm well
You are good when I'm poor and needy
You are true when I'm parched and dry
You will reign in the deepest valley
You're still God in the darkest night.

So quiet my restless heart
So quiet my restless heart
Quiet my restless heart
in You.

Oh let Your will be done in me
In Your love I will abide
Oh I long for nothing else as long 
As You are glorified

This was one of the songs we sang at church this morning.  If you google "As Long As You Are Glorified" you can find and listen to it on YouTube!  It's a beautiful song, and a great reminder to start the New Year with.  "OH LET YOUR WILL BE DONE IN ME (that's NOT an easy one is it?  HIS will can surely take us somewhere we would NEVER choose to be, TRUST me, I know!), IN YOUR LOVE I WILL ABIDE (that is the ONLY place I can abide) , OH I LONG FOR NOTHING ELSE AS LONG, AS YOU ARE GLORIFIED (THAT is my prayer, that EVEN in this, that the LORD would be glorified)! YOU ARE GOOD WHEN I'M POOR AND NEEDY (maybe not poor, but certainly needy (like when I'm whining because I'm home alone on New Year's Eve!) - and some days WAY more than others), YOU ARE TRUE WHEN I'M PARCHED AND DRY, YOU WILL REIGN IN THE DEEPEST VALLEY (this is the DEEPEST valley I could have imagined myself in), YOU'RE STILL GOD IN THE DARKEST NIGHT (again, some nights are darker than others - last night felt like one of those "dark" nights).  Those last lines remind me of the "Footprints" poem.  I remember when my Grandma Newlin was in the hospital before she died, she told a nurse the story of the poem.  That always made it special to me, but even more-so now, the last line of the poem is RIGHT where we are ... "The times when you have seen only one set of footprints, is when I carried you".  That was true for Grandma when she was in the hospital, she KNEW her Lord was carrying her, and it is true for us today, we KNOW that God is carrying us!  You can read the entire poem HERE!

My devotional this morning contained ANOTHER of my favorite verses, Jeremiah 29:11: "Tor 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."  That's a lot to take in.  Plans to prosper and not harm, well, this seems kind of harm-ful right now, trying to carry on without my best friend, without the kid's daddy . . . but, ultimately in God's BIG plan, He has plans to prosper, to give us HOPE and a future.  The HOPE is our eternal hope, the hope that we have in HEAVEN, Rick's new "digs"!  We have the promise that right now, there is ONLY one set of footprints in the sand, that being because we are not walking this road alone, God is walking with us, carrying us, sustaining us, protecting us!  Those are AMAZING promises!  

This afternoon as I was driving home from Fred & Renee's (after some AMAZING FOOD and a fun afternoon with friends & famiily), I was thinking how EXCITED Rick would be about the Packer's season!  I could just HEAR him bragging about his Packers to anyone and everyone who would listen, and I realized that even THIS, the Packers AWESOME season is NOTHING, nothing compared to HEAVEN.   I also know that comparison is very weak and pale and does not do any justice to what Heaven will really be like!  But, even knowing that, it does give me that peace and that HOPE, that promise of WHERE Rick is, WHERE we will spend eternity.  As I was in church this morning, I was suddenly hit with how BLESSED we really are.  Blessed seems an odd word, because it's not easy to see our loss as a blessing, but, there are blessings among the circumstances.  The GREATEST blessing being that truth, the truth that we KNOW Rick is with the Lord.  We KNOW that he had a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ.  We know that he had asked the Lord into his heart and life.  We know that he professed this faith through the outward act of baptism.  We KNOW that Rick was NOT good enough (and he was a pretty good guy!), we KNOW that he didn't do enough "good works" (he did alot of those too, though!), we know that his parents didn't have him baptized as a baby promising him entrance into Heaven.  We know that it is only through Rick's PERSONAL faith in JESUS CHRIST that gained him entrance into Heaven.  And that, we do know!  I can say to you, to the kids, to ANYONE who asks, that I KNOW where Rick is today!  He is IN HEAVEN!  He is not in purgatory where I have to pray for him to be released into Heaven from.  He went IMMEDIATELY from that rooftop to Heaven's glories! All that to get back to the "blessing".  The blessing being that I KNOW that, that the kids know that.  How terrible would it be if we didn't know that.  If we weren't sure of his standing with the Lord.  If we didn't know of that time when he asked Christ to be his Savior and Lord.  If we thought that his death on earth was the end.  If we had to spend our days praying him "into" Heaven.  We have that assurance that we know where he is, that when I said "Daddy is in HEAVEN" to the girls that terrible moment in the hospital, it was the TRUTH.  How many others go through something like this WITHOUT that assurance.  How terrible is THAT?  How do you assure/comfort your children, without comfort yourself?  Yes, even in this tragedy, I am blessed.  I do not wonder, I KNOW!  Wow, that was a really long, rambling paragraph - I hope I didn't lose you!

So, tonight, on this FIRST day of 2012, I can go to bed in peace.  Though my future looks uncertain.  Though I will face this year without my best friend by my side.  Though it doesn't make any sense to my human mind.  Though I have learned that "people" will fail me.  Though some days I'd rather just stay home and not have to do "life" as "normal". Though . . . I could go on and on . . . Though all those things, I can still have PEACE.  The Peace that passes understanding.  The promise of HOPE and a FUTURE.  The promise that He reigns in the deepest valley.  The promise that He's still GOD in the darkest night.  The assurance that He will (ALWAYS) quiet my restless heart (if only I'm quiet long enough to listen to Him and let Him CARRY me)!

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