Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Clouds August 2, 2013

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:39 pm
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plainsI often wonder how can we see God on cloudy days? I mean I think that clouds are beautiful on a day when the sun is shining brightly and the clouds are white and fluffy, but what about on gray, cloudy days. So as I drove to work one day, I asked God what He wanted me to learn about Him on a cloudy day. Of course He wasted no time in telling me. There are several things:

1) The clouds are obedient to Him

2) You can find Him if you really look

3) He wants us to look and find Him

The clouds have no choice in the matter.They have no choice whether they cover the sky or not, they simply must do as the Creator tells them. 

They don’t argue or put up a fuss and say “But I don’t feel like covering the whole sky today.”

How often does God ask something of us and we whine about it, “But I don’t feel like being nice to that person today.”

All of nature is in obedience to His will. Does He ever wish he had stopped with nature and not made us humans beings with our free will, that constantly question His choices for our lives? 

But He did create us and gave us a free will, which in turn makes us disobedient at times. But the clouds are not, we could learn a few lessons from them.

Can you find God on gray days? I did today, He clearly showed me and this one ties in with number two and three, He wants us to look for Him on those gray days.  

I was looking straight ahead, as you should when you’re driving, and all I saw was grayness. But even in the gray you can see varying shades of gray. 

Gray is not just gray when it comes to our Creator. Notice how the trees stand out against a sky of gray, how the red barns seem more red, the harvested corn appears an unreal shade of yellow.

But if you only look straight ahead you could become discouraged. How often in life do we do that? We only look at what is right in front of us and if we don’t see God we think He must not be there. How wrong we are.

He isn’t always right in front of us, sometimes He is right beside us. 

For some reason I looked out my side window and there I saw it. A break in the clouds, blue sky hiding behind the gray clouds, pink reflecting off the clouds, a brilliant white. 

God was there, right beside me, I was amazed. Yes, Lord, you are there, even on the cloudy days.  Those are the days when we need You right beside us, don’t we? Gently guiding us by the elbow, the comfortable feel of His presence. 

Then I couldn’t see the break in the clouds and I knew it was over me or behind me.  How much more reassuring, God over me and behind me. 

When He led the Israelites out of Egypt by day He led them by a cloud of His presence. When they went to cross the Red Sea the cloud moved behind them to protect them from the enemy. 

 Think about that in your life. God moves where you need him, even if you don’t think that is where He needs to be, He knows exactly where to stand. Some days that might be right in front of you, other days it might be right beside you, yet still He could be dancing over you and better yet, He could be behind you, protecting you from your pursuing enemy. 

God beckons you to look for Him in every and all skies. He is there, but you must look.  Even if there is no break in the clouds,  look at the varying shades of gray each created by the Creator, each shade breathed into existence by Him, each shade made for you to find Him in.

Can you find Him? Look, He is there.

I want to encourage you. I know we all have days when God’s presence seems so far from us. But He says He will reveal himself to those who earnestly seek Him. Don’t give up. There are times when He tells me to just listen and not utter another prayer. That is when He shows up and reminds me of His great love and all He has done and longs to do in my life. Don’t stop looking, He is waiting for you, seek Him with all your heart.

The angel of God that had been leading the camp of Israel now shifted and got behind them. And the Pillar of Cloud that had been in front also shifted to the rear. The Cloud was now between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel. The Cloud enshrouded one camp in darkness and flooded the other with light. The two camps didn’t come near each other all night. Exodus 14:19-20 (The Message)

Where do you sense God is in your life right now? He is behind, beside, over or in front? Take a peek outside, what kind of clouds do you have in your part of the world? Share with us.

 

Part XXVII-Choose Obedience August 31, 2012

As I write this I am sitting in my favorite summer spot. A picnic table at Indian Creek Campground. I am surrounded by cottonwood leaves that have already made their fall escape from the trees and rest on the ground. The leaves that remain green and attached to their trees clap around me, praising our Creator. Crickets chirp a morning greeting and the smell of last night’s campfire fills the air. Robins sing a beautiful song and a chipmunk dashes across the grass hunting for food.

This is our last camping trip before school starts. I wait with anticipation of all God has planned for the upcoming school year.

I need to back up and share with you some things God did in my life in the year 2011, aside from sharing with our families.

In April of 2011 I began submitting articles to various magazine.

I will never forget the day I opened my inbox and I had an email from an editor who was interested in one of my articles. I wasted no time and sent her the article to read.

In May my article, “The Five Be’s of Brokenness,” was published. You can read that article here. I don’t believe for a second it was an accident that article saw publication first. It is all about sharing your story of brokenness with others. I wrote that piece as an assignment for my Christian Writers Guild course. It touched a deep place in my heart and is my passion.

In May our church had a mother daughter banquet. As we looked for a speaker I felt God tell me to do it. I shared with the rest of the women’s ministry team what God laid on my heart. They were in agreement and I had my first speaking engagement in May 2011.

I sent an article to Proverbs 31 the same time I sent out my first published article. In July I finally heard back from them. They said they liked my article but wondered if I could make it shorter. Of course I said yes, I can cut 500 of my precious words. That proved harder than I originally thought, but I did it.

A couple of weeks later (the week before Labor Day, a busy week with getting my classroom ready and meetings) I received another email from them saying they liked the piece but wondered if I could make it a Christmas article and could I have it done by the Thursday before Labor Day weekend. That gave me three days, that were already jammed packed, to reshape the article to meet their needs. Again, I said yes. Proverbs 31 is a magazine I had prayed to get an article in and did not want to miss this opportunity.

Thursday night before Labor Day I sent the completely reworked article back to them. It appeared in their December issue. They have a print magazine so I cannot add the link but I hold in my hand two print copies of my article. God is good.

In November another article appeared in Power to Change. You can find that article here.

In December one more article appeared in the same magazine, Inspired Women Magazine, that published my first article. You can find it here.

I also committed to beginning my novel. I didn’t work on Fridays last year and spent that day working on my book. I finished the first draft in February and I am getting close to being done with my first round of edits.

I don’t tell you all this to brag on myself but to brag on my Savior. He is so good. I know I say that a lot but it is so true.

When you choose obedience God will bless you.

I believe all these articles were published because Patrick and I began to share our story and God received all the honor due to Him.

I wonder how many blessings we miss out on because we are not being obedient. Trust me, I know I am not always obedient and that makes me sad, what am I missing when ignore my Father?

God has blessings for you. Believe it, claim them. Choose obedience and see what good gifts your Father has for you.

I have to share a praise. If you took time to prayer for Sherri Johnson’s husband, thank you. That day he was offered a job.

Didn’t I tell you God was good?

Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.’ John 14:23

Share something God has done in your life. How has He answered a prayer for you recently?

What’s your Genesis 5020? I know you have one but no one has shared yet. Remember you need to give God glory for what He has done in your life, what is stopping you? Send your stories to us at: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com. You can remain anonymous if you wish, just let us know.