When the first of the year rolled around, I had a special word in mind for the year: enjoy. I picked it because I wanted to just enjoy this year with my children. They seem to be growing up so fast. I can’t even handle it! My oldest will be eleven this year. The moments are going by fast, as everyone told me they would.
When I thought about this year I wanted to enjoy life in West Virginia for one more year. This will be (hopefully) our last year before we move to Honduras. God is impressing on me to slow down and remember the beauty of the mountains, seasons, and friendships forged over long years together.
As I walked into this year God whispered ANOTHER word just for me. “Enjoy” might be for my family and those around me. But God said to my heart, again and again: “I want you to see My kindness.” Everywhere I looked I saw this word:
God’s kindness first showed up when I was reading the book of Ruth. Naomi, when she realized God had not forgotten her after all, said: “Blessed be he of the Lord, who has not forsaken His kindness.” After losing her husband and two sons, coming back to her hometown empty and broken she felt forsaken by God’s kindness. Only God was working and as I see in these passages, God will never ever forget His kindness to me:
For His merciful kindness is great toward us, And the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord! Psalm 117:2 (NKJV)
With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” Says the Lord, your Redeemer. Isaiah 54:8 (NKJV)
So when I’m feeling forgotten, lonely, left-out, and unloved – I see the God of kindness. The kindness of God is found in the small and the big ways. The small moments when I’m with Him in the mornings, quiet with my coffee. The little moments laughing with my children over something silly. The ordinary date nights with my husband, just holding his hand. More and more kindness is given to me and I miss it. I miss seeing the beauty because I’m wrapped up in myself.
The big ways He is kind: to provide the funds to move to Honduras; the way He answers the big prayers; and my salvation. The eternal life waiting for me and the abundant life in surrendering today – those are all from the kindness of God. The grace enough for today and the wisdom for the next step: more of His kindness.
God whispered to me: See MY kindness. I can see where it changes me. As I see more and more of His kindness I see where I fall short. It drives me to kindness to those who are close to me. Sometimes kindness means I stop writing this blog post to help my daughter. Kindness means I will give up eating to fix a meal. Kindness means I go out of my way so others don’t have to.
THIS ONE TRUTH: God’s kindness is for EVER!
Kindness is my new word for the year. And it is a safe place to be, friend, when we think about God’s kindness. My favorite verse is this:
Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. Joel 2:13
Returning the Lord, our God, is sometimes simply going to church, reading our Bibles, or prayer. How will you return to God today? Remember His great kindness and return friend. Remember His kindness in the simple acts of faith.