Life Lessons in God's Love
A devotional by Gena Anderson
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
–Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)
Three days ago, as I write this, I snuggled under a blanket watching TV after a steak dinner, in cozy oblivion to the degree of comfort I was experiencing. Looking back, I’d define my state at that time as being spoiled: a lack of awareness of the luxuries one possesses that others lack.
Today I sit in my bed in a new and uncomfortable situation, as we are starting day three without electricity and hour 15 without running water, in the midst of a winter storm. Temperatures have been as low as seven degrees, we have gotten five inches of snow, and last night brought a fresh layer of icy rain. It’s now 23 degrees, a step up from yesterday. Everyone is dressed in layers so we don’t freeze, which is good because no one has bathed in three days.
I’d like to convey what this has been like. The first 24 hours of the blackout, my husband was at work. He prepared firewood before leaving, and I used it to keep a fire going as our only source of heat. I cooked on our gas grill in frigid temperatures and made ice packs by filling baggies with snow to keep the food in the fridge cold. Everything in our area was without power, so getting food anywhere else wasn’t likely. When my husband came home from his 24-hour shift at the fire department he was exhausted, but managed to bring home wood pallets and cut them up since we were running low on wood. After I cooked dinner in our fireplace when the grill ran out of propane, my husband woke up from a much needed nap and suddenly remembered our camper had propane tanks. He went to storage to retrieve those so we could cook again, and have a heat source to melt snow to use to flush our toilets.
Our entire focus has been on sustenance and warmth, something we’ve never before lacked. Thankfully this is not our normal routine, and I’ve gained new empathy for those who cannot say that.
This whole experience has been trying, cold, and hard. Today, I can say with confidence my heart is full and I’m grateful, even at this time. Like the fresh snow outside my window that is covering everything in sight, I feel a new coating of grace that’s bubbled up out of fresh repentance. I recognize now how dependent I had become on life’s comforts, and I see clearly the things that obstructed my view of God. Knowing God is the only true comfort for our souls, and the realization of how beautifully he provides exactly what we need has humbled me. I have been reminded of God’s love.
Externally I may have appeared positive to my kids, but internally I’ve lamented my fair share these past days. In this book of sorrow and sadness over the destruction of Jerusalem, the author of Lamentations reminds us in the passage above God’s goodness is not measured by life’s difficulties, and his love is constant. This thing we are enduring will not consume us.
God’s love is evident in … the kindness of neighbors as we have helped each other … the beauty of creation, which I now see since I have no electronics to focus on … using what I’ve already been given to provide in abundance for my family and friends … continuing to guide, comfort, provide for, and forgive me while I continue to struggle with the temptations of this life … the gift of family games around a fire when there is literally nothing else to do.
God’s love is here, always has been, always will be. I hope, when the lights come back on and this life of luxury resumes, I don’t allow its constant covering to become unappreciated, and live a life dripping with remembrance of the love of God.
Let’s Pray: God, you are good and loving, and I praise you for being exactly the kind of Father we need. Forgive me for not always acknowledging and appreciating your love, and allowing life’s luxuries to become my comfort and idol. Help me to be a humble receiver and generous giver of the love you so lavishly pour out. Thank you for loving me. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Gena Anderson is a Jesus-lover, writer, nurse practitioner, and blogger who loves to share wellness information and inspiration with the world around her.
She is the author of The Well Woman: A Journey to Wellness Through Loving Jesus, which is available on Amazon.com.
Gena proudly holds the title of wife, mom, and the world’s most average CrossFitter. She loves writing, reading, traveling, and brownies. She's working on that last one.
Gena lives in Hutto, Texas with her husband and two children.
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