Refreshed Hearts

“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints” Philemon 7

This verse comes from one of the shortest books in the Bible.  The book of Philemon.  A book that is so short it has no chapters, only verses.  In the largest study Bible I have, the book of Philemon and the notes for it only take up four pages.  This seems incredibly small.  Yet, mighty things come from small packages.

A precious child begins as a tiny cell.  A giant tree starts as one little seed.  A well known leader was once just a student.  A great nation built from a couple of people.

God uses it all.

God has used this one little verse in such a mighty way in my heart and in my week.

For those who have often read my postings you are already aware of my recent failures.  For those of you who are new to my website, I have a goal that I post articles on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I missed it this week.  I could give you that good old excuse that I was busy, but I won’t.  I chose what to do with my time.  I chose not to get on the computer.

Instead, I took this verse from Philemon and set out on an avid card writing mission.  I’ve been writing three or four a day.  That in and of itself may seem pretty small.  When I write a card it is like crafting a fine work of art.  It takes time.  There’s the selection of the card, preparing my palate of words & phrases, and the need to fill my pen with the ink of my heart.

I pray for the recipient of the card before I even begin.  I ask God to give me just a tiny glimpse into the beauty of who He created them to be.  I also inquire of God to help me to feel the greatest ache in their life and respond to it in a way that would show deep love and compassion for them.

I can not begin to describe the number of times that I sit down with a blank card and have no clue where it will go.  God is good.  God is faithful.  He always provides generously and abundantly.  I have seen God respond to my request in ways that leave me without a single word to say.

The responses to the cards I write are absolutely phenomenal.  I am overwhelmed to tears to glance at how God is using me.  In a way that may seem so small and so insignificant to so many.  In truth, I can’t wait to get to heaven because I know the tiny bit that I see know is a mere foretaste of that to come.

I write cards.  This is my gift.  This is my purpose.  I write as if I am writing unto the Lord.  I feel Him smiling down upon me.  I get such excitement when I place a sealed envelope in the mailbox.  I often think of it as I am placing my gift in God’s hands, what happens to it at that point is completely out of my control.  It is left in the hands of God.  He can do some really amazing things with my little effort.

Joy.  Encouragement.  Refreshment.

I get so excited when I see an envelope in my mailbox that is not kicked out en mass from a distribution chain.  I stop my world to focus on this amazing treasure that has unexpectedly come to me.  I take it in.  I savor it.  Many of which I keep in a box.  I go through them like many people page through photo albums.  I’m reminded of the blessings that they brought to my life.  These are the offerings that I long to provide for others through my cards.

My dear reader, when I blog, I long to do the same thing.  I fully acknowledge that this route is less personal.  It’s not as deep on a relational level.  But, I do try to write with the same heart.  Sometimes it seems to work.  Other times not so much.  But, I can only give what I have.  I try to do that faithfully.

I know that you have unbelievably amazing gifts and talents.  You are a treasure.  God purposed you specifically because you have something that no one has ever had before and no one will ever have again.  You were meant for this time & this place and it was meant for you.  It may be that your purpose is so massive that it is terrifying.  It may seem so insignificant that it can be discouraging.  But it is yours, only yours.

God will grow you, develop you and change you.  But each step of the journey He is refining you.  He sees the whole picture – beginning, middle and end.  I love this line that I read with my daughter last night in her devotional, “We need to remember that God knows more about every situation than we do.  We need to remind ourselves that God knows everything.  It’s like we’re standing on a street corner, watching a parade.  We can only see the float or band that’s right in front of us.  But God is like the TV cameraman high up on the corner of the roof who looks down and can see the whole parade: beginning, middle and end.”  Kristin Holl & Jennifer Vogtlin

You are a critical part of the parade of life.  God is so excited to see you shine for Him.  He knows what it takes to build and prepare.  He knows the stresses and the frustrations.  He sees the times of disappointment when it feels so much easier to give up and to walk away.  He feels the fears that you have when you are not sure you should step out because you can’t imagine how it will all come together.  God is with you through it all.  There is never a step of this parade that you will walk alone.

God loves you.  God loves you with a love that is perfect and pure.  God loves you at ALL times.  His love for you has been consistent since the day you were formed.  May that be the greatest joy, encouragement and refreshment to your heart.  You are never alone.  God is with you.  “God is for you!” Romans 8:31

Thank you for giving me the gift of your precious time, a gift that can never be taken back.  I would like to make an offer onto you that I may share my gift.  If you would like a personally written card for yourself or for someone in your life, please let me know.  Comment on the post.  Send me an email at pepupforjoy@gmail.com.  I will do my best to pour out my gift for you.

Thank you my friend for showing your love to me it has encouraged me, brought me joy and refreshed my heart.

Dearest & Beloved Lord,

Wow, God!  You just amaze me with the abundance that You pour out into our lives.  It’s astonishing and awe inspiring.  Thank You just never seems like enough. 

I love You!  I love You!  I love You!

In Jesus’ name, amen. 

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