In God We Trusted

imageI have a friend that gave me a brand new released state quarter every time they came out. I was also the recipient of a brand new shiny gold Washington dollar, released by the U.S. Mint the year they were issued. It’s a beautiful coin, really, quite similar to the Susan B. Anthony.

We were sitting and eating lunch, my friend and I. It was a beautiful sunny day and we were afforded the blessing of sitting down by the lake right by her work. There were three of us there and she gave out coins to each of us. I looked at the coins in my hand. I was more drawn to the gold as I noticed George Washington’s imprint on the face of the coin.

“Did you notice he isn’t smiling on the dollar coin?” I asked them.

No, they hadn’t noticed.

They took another bite of lunch and I kept looking at George. Then I looked at George on the quarter. “He’s smiling on the quarter,” I brought to their attention.

They hadn’t noticed that, either.

I looked back at the gold coin.

“Did you notice they got rid of “In God We Trust” on the face of the dollar coin?” I asked.

One answered yes. The other, no.

“Get this,” said the friend who gave me the coin. “They’ve put it on the side.”

“That’s stupid,” I commented. “It’ll get rubbed off.”

And then I thought, Just like we are rubbing God right out of our country. We take a little of Him out of this and we take a little bit of Him out of that and before you know it, He’ll be completely gone and when we are at the end of our ropes, we’ll cry out Him. And why should He answer? We didn’t need Him.   We didn’t want anything to do with Him. We made that more than clear.

Some days we wake up and feel empty and alone and wonder why. The answer may be simple, really…

One day we chose to rub out our prayers at school.   Then we rubbed out giving thanks before meals. Embarrassing when we go out to eat. Can’t have that. What will people think? And the next week we rub our quiet time out of our mornings. Gotta make this meeting, gotta make that luncheon, gotta do this, gotta do that. And it’s becoming quite easy to justify rubbing church off the calendar because of the songs they sing or the pastor’s preaching style.  Before we know it, we’ve rubbed God completley out of our lives.

“In God We Trust.”

It’ll get rubbed right off of the sides of those dollars. Just wait and see. A little here, a little there. To want Him off the coin, we first had to rub Him out of our lives. As a country, we’ve done a pretty good job of rubbing  Him out  of our.  nation.

Before we know it, we’ll have rubbed Him out of everything.  Perhaps that’s why poor George isn’t smiling anymore.

Broken at Birth

imageI think I have lived long enough to learn, although an ongoing process, that as hard as I seek, no one or nothing but God can fill the hole in my heart. I believe I was born with this hole. Broken at birth.

I have sought after friends, family members, things – consciously and subconsciously. A husband, no matter how loving or a child, no matter how loved can fill this hole, a deep chasm that cries out for fulfillment and wholeness.

I stumble often and again, consistently and constantly, telling myself that just a hug, just an “I love you”, just some extra patience extended toward me – these are the things I seek – the things I long for and that will pour a shovelful of fulfillment into that empty space.

But, they don’t.

It isn’t anyone’s fault. There is no blame to hand off. It is a case of trying to fill a hole made intentionally by a God who wants me to realize He put it there and only He can fill it.

When I stop and recognize that truth, slow down enough to actually dwell on what that really means, I begin to drink of His love, His forgiveness, and His sovereignty. I begin to experience His blessings of fullness and of a beautiful new wholeness.

I find myself setting others free from impossible expectations I have imposed upon them and in the process, free myself. I may have been born into this world broken and in need, but I will leave whole and not wanting for anything.

The Meaning of A Rainbow

Rainbow of Tulips (2016) by Sherri Woodbridge
Rainbow of Tulips (2016) by Sherri Woodbridge

Generally, when you see a rainbow, clouds are not too far away. To see a rainbow, you need sunlight and raindrops. Like glass prisms, raindrops break sunlight into different colors and reflect it to make a rainbow.

Some say that the rainbow comes after the storm. While that is true, it is also true that rainbows can come during the wake of a storm.

After God turned off the floodgates of the great flood, He told Noah that He would put a rainbow in the sky to serve as a reminder that never again would He destroy the earth by a flood. (See Genesis 9 in the Old Testament)

The rainbow was and still is a reminder of God’s patience to a fallen world. It is a reminder of His faithfulness. It is a symbol of His mercy and His grace and it is a symbol of peace.

Our warrior God, the One who fights for us, hung up his bow in the sky and promised to all humanity that never again would He send a flood to destroy the earth. He didn’t need the reminder – we did. A reminder of His faithfulness. A reminder of patience and of His grace.

When the storms in our life threaten to take us out to sea, raging wild, causing us to fear for our lives, it is sometimes easy to feel God has forgotten us and has left us to drown. But then the skies part just a teensy-weensy bit and what do we see? Raindrops. Millions of raindrops and one humongous rainbow. A reminder that He is in control. A reminder that He is faithful. A reminder that He is a God.

You can’t view a rainbow unless the sun is behind you. The light has to break through the prism of raindrops so a rainbow can been seen. And so it does. And so it will. The light of the sun breaks through the raindrops that have pounded hard upon us, trying to break us down and leave us feeling hopeless. And when the light passes through those drops of rain, it bends to create a beautiful rainbow.

How many times have you seen a rainbow and seemed to feel better? Either because you were awestruck by its beauty or because you were reminded of God’s faithfulness? He put that beauty in the sky for us, so that we would remember HE is in control. That He always keeps His promises.

There may still be clouds hovering above. There may be rain pouring down, but look for the Son and you’ll find a rainbow and there you will also find… Peace.
Did you know…
Because the raindrops are always ‘moving, the way we see the rainbow is constantly changing, and as two people cannot occupy the same place in space at the same time, every body sees a different rainbow. So, every time you see a rainbow, it’s God’s personal reminder to you that He never changes and He’s right there with you through the storms.