The last month has been quite a journey for all of us.

Week one I titled my devotional Silver Linings. This was the first week of shelter in place. God spoke clearly about the incredible opportunities that awaited me if I would just ask Him. As the Holy Spirit brought names to me I was able to catch up with so many. I had opportunities to pray and encourage others, all of which made for a joy filled week. Week two God was speaking to me about my inner life and sheltering myself in His shadow. I was finding a new delight in the word of God, spending more time there and moving into greater times of intercession, both for myself and for others and our country. Of course like many of you I was also busy with lots of projects around the house. This was also a week of conviction as I meditated on 2 Chronicles 7:14 and had to deal with my own areas of sin as I prayed for healing over our land. Still rather exciting as I felt filled with spiritual purpose. Week three was focused on retaining my own peace by continuing in the word and pulling back from the news..making sure I was not being moved into a place of fear rather than faith and I felt the challenge. Week four was really rather special as I compared our current situation to Passover and then celebrated Easter. Perhaps more than ever before the significance of the blood that Jesus shed on our behalf was brought home to me. His words of peace spoken to his disciples after the resurrection seemed to be so relevant to us today, I needed His Shalom.

I had an amazing Easter Sunday with my oldest son’s family. It may have been due to working too hard in the kitchen Sunday morning to give everyone their favorite baked goods that afternoon but by Monday morning I woke up tired and grumbling. Fortunately I was grumbling to myself, it was too early to share!

I wanted to go see my youngest son, I just wanted to go somewhere….maybe out to dinner…I wanted something other than what I had at the moment.

However, as had become habit I got my tea and opened up my computer for a morning devotional time.  Kimberly Dirrman began to compare her shelter in experience with the Israelites after they were liberated from Egypt.

They had been were spared death, set free, leaving captivity heavy laden with the Egyptian’s gold and silver, brought miraculously across the red sea and given manna to eat from heaven. All that and yet they began to grumble. They wanted leeks and onions and all they satisfied their appetites with while back in slavery. Yikes! I was found out! God is so good to us. Like a gentle father pulling us out of dangers reach. He corrects us quickly before too much damage is done.

Kimberly led us to a few scriptures I have kept close this week:

1 Thessalonians 5:15-18  (AMP)

15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek that which is good for one another and for all people. 16 Rejoice always and delight in your faith17 be unceasing and persistent in prayer; 18 in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God;for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-8  (AMP)

Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].

Finally, [a]believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].

I realized that I needed God’s grace to stay cheerful and thankful. I also knew I had to start speaking that thanksgiving out loud.

I told my husband how great it was to walk into a clean garage, I wrote all three kids a note saying how much I appreciated them for various things and I just began to thank God again for a beautiful place to shelter in.

Keeping my thoughts centered on those things that are worthy of praise takes work but the reward is great. My days are filled with purpose and joy again.

I know we all feel the challenge of these unusual times and my prayer is that you will not worry, you will be filled with thanksgiving and you will enjoy all the mana He is providing for you.

Blessings,

Irene