Posts Tagged ‘goodness’

The Ugliness of Pain

Mar 03

by Victoria Robinson

Have you ever seen a woman who no matter how beautiful her clothes, hairdo, and makeup are is just plain ugly? This ugliness stems from the pain of her inner self. She has been hurt deeply and is scared, bitter, or is just writhing in pain. Such appears to be the case with a woman named Naomi we find in the book of Ruth. She was so bitter that she changed her name and said, “Don’t call me Naomi, … Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty.” It is interesting to note the name Naomi means “my delight” while Mara means “bitter”. This woman went from delightful to bitter. One can only imagine the ugliness of perhaps a haggard and drawn face this poor woman might have had. Just what brought Naomi to this point? She was left alone in an ungodly foreign country where her husband and sons died.

Contrast the story of Naomi with that of a precious friend of mine, Nancy, who recently became a widow. The beauty of Nancy shined through at her husband’s funeral. I watched as she raised her hands in praise to God for His goodness even at a difficult time. Her beauty continued to glorify God as she had planned the entire funeral to bring salvation to the lost who were in attendance. This is a memory of a beautiful woman I shall forever cherish.

Later in the book of Ruth we see Naomi as a beautiful woman who had gotten beyond her pain. Her friends said, “Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”

Understandably in the midst of our darkest days, we may never look in the mirror and see a beautiful woman outwardly. Yet even during these trials, others can see our inner beauty if our hearts are in right standing with our Lord. Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would seek the inner beauty only godliness can give us.

So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?” “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” ~ Ruth 1:19-21 NIV
 
The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” ~ Ruth 4:14-15 NIV
 
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. ~ Hebrews 12:15 NIV
 
But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. ~ James 3:14-16 NIV
 
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. … ~ 1 Peter 3:3-5 NIV

Enraptured in His Presence

Dec 01

by Victoria Robinson

The idea of being enraptured in the presence of our heavenly Father is comforting beyond any other comfort I could imagine. Think about this for a moment girlfriends. There is the yummy warmth of comfort food. The comfort of shopping for jewelry, and purses, and shoes … oh my! The comforting love of best friends. And of course, the sweet indulgent comfort of chocolate! Yet all these pale in comparison to the comfort of the presence of our Lord.

Dearest girlfriends, whenever you are facing difficulties in your life, allow yourself the wonderful indulgence of being comforted by the presence of your heavenly Father.

In my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever. ~ Psalm 41:12 NIV

Your goodness is so great! You have stored up great blessings for those who honor you. You have done so much for those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world. You hide them in the shelter of your presence, safe from those who conspire against them. You shelter them in your presence, far from accusing tongues. ~ Psalm 31:19-20 NLT

Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD. ~ Psalm 89:15 NIV

Savoring Sweet Moments

Nov 25

by Victoria Robinson

Today is a great day to look for the sweet moments our heavenly Father so graciously gives us. Even in the midst of trials, God has not left us without something sweet to hold onto. Though it might not seem like much, when you do find even one sweet moment, it is of utmost importance to hold on tightly and savor the sweetness among the bitterness of your difficulties.

Sweet moments are a literal expression of our heavenly Father’s love for us. The littlest of niceties can bring the most wonderful thoughts and encouragement just when we need it the most. Whatever you are facing, your heavenly Father has and is providing sweet moments to help alleviate the discomfort you may be experiencing.

When Jesus reminded His disciples He would be going away, it must have been difficult for them to grasp and hold onto the sweet moments they had together. Girlfriends, there were so many wonderful experiences they had together, yet when Jesus died the grief was enormous. Still, they had so much goodness to savor. There were healings, financial miracles, provisions for an unplanned feast for five thousand, even raising people from the dead! If you are pondering your sweet moments, maybe they seem trivial compared to all the disciples had seen. But God gives each of us what we need when we need it. Even the smallest provision in our lives is just as sweet to savor as a feast for five thousand. One loaf of bread in time of need is just as wonderful as all the bread the disciples had served the impromptu guests.

It really comes down to looking for the goodness of our heavenly Father no matter how imperfect your life may be. Dearest girlfriends, let us hold onto the sweet moments our heavenly Father lavishes on us in times of need.

… and we are always happy, even in times of suffering. ~ 2 Corinthians 6:10 CEV
 
When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future. ~ Ecclesiastes 7:14 NIV
 
Dear children, how brief are these moments before I must go away and leave you! … ~ John 13:33
 
God makes everything happen at the right time. Yet none of us can ever fully understand all he has done, and he puts questions in our minds about the past and the future. I know the best thing we can do is to always enjoy life, because God’s gift to us is the happiness we get from our food and drink and from the work we do. ~ Ecclesiastes 3:11-13 CEV