The After Effect
I just came across this devotional I was asked to write for my church 24 years ago.
"'Don't worry about anything, instead pray about everything, tell God your needs and don't forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your heart quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.' Philippians 4: 6-7 Thirteen months ago, I was a stay at home mom living in Greensboro. Mike and I had always hoped to come back to Wilmington to live, but after seven years had given up. I had a job offer and really wanted the outlet, but felt it was more important to be at home with my daughters. There was no peace when it came to this topic. I had prayed about it numerous times. I remembered in Sunday school that morning, we talked about "turning it over to God." I realized I had never done this. I had prayed and worried. This time I prayed that God knew what was best for my family and I was turning it over for good. After much torment, I truly did not worry, I trusted it would work out.
Within a week, 'strange' things started happening. I was on my way to starting my own business (something I had never thought of). Even though I was out of town, I started my business in Wilmington, trusting that by the time my girls started to school I could hire someone to work the area. Soon I was expanding to Charlotte. On paper, this should have never worked out. Within the month, Mike had a job offer in Wilmington. We asked God to guide us on all of these sudden changes in our lives. We put our house up for sale and it sold immediately. It was overwhelming however detail was falling into place. Some people commented that things were going 'too good', but I feel it was God directing our path. Every time that I sit at my desk, I thank God for my job and that everyone with whom I come into contact will know I am a Christian. I have been blessed with Christians representing my business and we all put god first. I could never have built this dream alone.
Things did not stop when we left Greensboro. Saddened to leave a wonderful Sunday school class, I was looking forward to becoming a member of Wesley again. After much debate in a Sunday school class, Mike and I prayed that again we would make the right decision. Once I finally turned it over, God led me to start a Sunday school class. I was so scared the first Sunday morning that I looked up "anxiety" in my Bible and the verse shown was that God won't ask us to do anything that he will not help us through. That first Sunday was the start of some wonderful new friendships and a closer walk with God. When I look back at last year, only God could have all the doors for my family. And only God could have given me the peace with which I have been blessed."
Nothing has changed in these last 24 years as far as God. He remains the same but oh how I have changed. Hebrews 13: 8, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." I have more faith from watching Him work over and over! And while I know He is faithful beyond belief I continue to be amazed at His love and works! And when I try to think of where the after effect starts it has to go back to Jesus who was there in the beginning. He came and died for me, a little girl who God had formed and knitted together in my mother's womb. The after effect? I love Him because He first loved me. 1 John 4: 19, ""We love because he first loved us."
Then there is the after effect of my parents raising me in a Christian home and in the church. As an adult, I never have to decide if I am going to church each Sunday, I am going. I need the corporate worship just as Jesus told us. Hebrews 10: 24-25, "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." My Sunday school class is where I learned about "turning it over" and then I began seeing God work in my life.
I did find it "funny" that I had been asked to write a devotional 24 years ago. Shortly after that I was being asked to give talks that I would have to write. Who knew He had more writing in store for me and a passion for it in my spiritual dna. A few years ago, I was praying, again, for the perfect job - something in the ministry. God went and prepared a place for me at my church writing blogs for our church. All because of the after effect! Thanks be to God!