For this week’s Friday Voices, Claudia shares with us how she is grateful for God’s faithfulness, despite life’s challenges.
Grateful for God’s Faithfulness
by Claudia Duff
“Therefore, let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”
Well, we made it! It’s 2020, not a date that I even thought possible back in 1976 when I was a little brown ten-year-old girl growing up all over St. Louis, MO. When I was young, we moved a lot. Not because of the military but because I was raised by a single Mom with very limited resources. In frank words, “we was po.” By the time I was ten, I was attending my fifth elementary school and I was in the 5th grade. So, basically, I attended a new school every year. I got really good at adapting to new and strange situations.
I stopped talking and started reading books. That’s when I fell in love with Jesus and the Bible. I can remember sleeping with it tucked next to me. Growing up in an unstable home made me appreciate the strength only God could provide.
I needed a Savior and Jesus became my everything.
I am grateful that during this season of uncertainty and an overwhelming sense of not being safe God was with me! I always felt Him lingering near, never knew what alone felt like because, sweet friends, I had Jesus. Not because I believed in myself or even those around me. He, Jesus, was with me because I invited him in and clung to him because Jesus was and still is and always will be my Savior. The blood of Christ redeems me and he pursued my heart through the work of the Cross.
My absolute favorite hymn is “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” The words of this hymn beat loudly, and may I say wildly, in my heart.
“There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not.
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.”
This verse wrecks me every single time I hear it. Why? Because it is the heartbeat of my soul. I know I would not be here today sitting in my sewing room typing out how much I love Jesus without the faithfulness of God. I should have a different testimony. I should be another statistic being raised by a single mom in poverty. But, God.
Grateful for God’s Faithfulness
God said, no to that and I said, yes to his faithfulness. I say all of this not to impress you, but rather to point you towards the cross because the mercy of God is being poured out because he is faithful! Gratefulness is acquired through total and complete faith in God. Believing he is all the Word of God declares him to be and trusting him to work the continued miracle of salvation in me through the process of sanctification. It is on the threshing room floor where we see who God truly is, a Redeemer.
This year my one word is, Grateful. I am becoming aware that my one word each year follows the same theme, I have no idea what God is gonna do with it. I am at the place where I just have to hold on for dear life to the hem of his garment and trust him. It’s kinda like riding a rollercoaster. They strap you in for safety with that bar holding you tight and send you off! Walking with Jesus sometimes feels more like a sprint than a leisurely stroll.
The Scripture the Lord gave me this year allows me to see a glimpse of what may be to come. There are words like, consuming, fire, and shaken. Seriously? Sounds like an earthquake that will end badly. There are also words like worship, receiving, reverence, and awe. These sound like a revival and a shouting good time. I can get down with that!
But, putting these together seems like . . . well, life.
Your life, my life is full of all of this on a daily basis and some days I can experience all of these within the space of an hour. We live in a fallen world surrounded by fallen people, to include ourselves. Our daily lives are a recipe for disaster and complete madness, but we get Jesus! Every time and all of the time we get a Savior who redeems all that we place in his hands.
I am in pursuit of God and it’s a daily pursuit. A few years back I started becoming more intentional with my prayer life. I have three prayer alarms on my phone to remind me to stop and pray for the next person on my list. Sometimes it’s a longer prayer and sometimes it’s truly a whispered prayer while driving. But the important thing is that I stop and pray. I have seen God use this in huge ways in my life. Some of the people on my list may not even know I am praying for them. But it changes me, sweet friends. I have witnessed the softening of my heart and the humbling of my spirit to yield to the Holy Spirit and it is joy. And I am ever so grateful for God’s faithfulness.
This year in PR we are focusing on “Growing Together” not just in person but in spirit. I encourage you to take this journey with me as I share how the Lord is speaking love to my feeble heart through prayer. And praying that you will pursue Jesus through prayer this week. See you back here next Friday!
firmly rooted in Christ!