Three weeks ago I sat in my "aunt Michelle's" house (she's been like an aunt ever since I can remember!) and she told my mom and I about a phrase that a wise woman had once told her.
God Goes Before.
Michelle has a tiny frame, which sits on her kitchen counter and displays those three precious words. The words don't stand out boldly, though one would expect they would, since Michelle herself is bold and vivacious, colorful and vibrant. Yet these words whisper in her home. They speak gently of truth, and bring the attention off of circumstances and onto our gracious Heavenly Father.
When I was staying at Michelle's house in Oregon, I had one morning free amidst the many meetings and opportunities to share about God's work with JV Kids. I didn't have anything scheduled for a time when my mom and Michelle were gone doing a radio interview. Michelle is (among many other talents and skills) a painter, and when I asked if I could use the morning to paint, she graciously shared her painting supplies and canvases. I'm no expert at painting with acrylics, but my heart was so refreshed nonetheless.
Before a landscape came into shape on my second canvas, all of my thoughts, feelings and prayers needed to come out on the first. As I painted, one phrase stuck in my head.
GGB - God Goes Before.
So I painted the above canvas with that phrase in mind. And this theme has followed me ever since. Or, rather, I know God has been pursuing me and his people, going before us, since the beginning of time, but my ears and eyes are attune to seeing him in this way.
Today was one of many days of seeing him go before me in grace and provision in the littlest of ways.
I wasn't sure how everything would fit together today, because the timing was so tight. I prayed in the morning that God would stretch the time and provide even daily bread for today, since I didn't even know how I would fit lunch into this day. He went far beyond what I had asked!
Mom and I were free at the same time, and Mom had to take dad's pants to a tailor in Wheaton, so our paths got to cross this morning. It felt as if we do this all the time, as if we always live on the same side of the ocean. I'm thrilled that I will be living on the same side of the ocean and serving alongside my mom in Josiah Venture soon!
God not only answered that desperate plea in the morning, but he gave me an unexpected hour with my mom too!
Then I was able to make it just in time for my next appointment - babysitting for a church family. From there, I made it again just in time for a Skype meeting with a new friend and prayer partner who lives on the other side of the world (hi Janene!!). We finished earlier than I expected, and that gave me even enough in-between time to make a cup of coffee and sit down with no minutes to spare for a conference call for my food demonstration job.
I finished my call just in time to clean up the kitchen, put on the rice, and have dinner on the table for mom this evening. Being able to host her, even in a home that's not my own (I'm at this home for a week of dogsitting!), gives me such joy. That was a sweet gift from the Lord too.
God goes before us, in the smallest of ways. He turns our faces upon him, so we can bask in his glory when we so easily get discouraged and consumed with the cares of this world. The LORD has always been working in this way, going after his people, dwelling with them, caring for the needs of those who call upon him.
O God, when you went out before your people,
when you marched through the wilderness,
the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain,
before God, the One of Sinai,
before God, the God of Israel.
Rain in abundance, O God, you shed abroad;
you restored your inheritance as it languished;
your flock found a dwelling in it;
in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy. ...
Blessed be the Lord,
who daily bears us up;
God is our salvation.