Where’s Wilma?

Did you ever say something and then regret what you said because you realize you may actually have to do what you said?

This past summer as Mark and I were planning for our Reservoir Bible Study which would need to be pre-recorded to be used on our zoom meetings I had an idea…

In the past I would begin our Bible Study time together by encouraging the youth and young adults to share something they were thankful for, an answered prayer, or a God story from their week.

It was a stretch, but usually there would be several brave ones who would share something and I loved whatever they said because I know the power of words and it gave them a safe place to learn the power of praise!

Well, this summer I was considering how to include praise and thanksgiving via zoom. I have to believe it was God’s idea that He put in my mind because it certainly wasn’t something that I actually wanted to do.

So, I found myself saying to Mark one day, “I should dress up like Where’s Waldo’s girl friend, Wilma, and do a video clip encouraging the students to Find God in their lives and give Him thanks.”

It was just a thought, just a silly idea…

But Mark took it seriously!

He thought it was a great idea!

Next thing I knew we were ordering the “Where’s Waldo” Book, AND the “Where’s Wilma” costume.

It started to take on a life of its own. We thought of shooting the video in different places in West Milford and at the end of my talk we could pan out to something that would be a clue of where I was so the students could guess and for each correct guess their name would be put in the basket for a drawing each month.

As long as it was an idea; as long as the book was on the table, and the costume was folded on my dresser and there were some plans of where we could record the video, it was all good.

Then, there came the day I needed to pick up the book, put on the costume, go out to some place in West Milford, stand in front of the video camera, and talk.

That was a different thing!

But I found as I went out with the motive to give others the encouragement to be thankful and to share their God Stories, I became brave and courageous to do exactly that, even in my “Wilma Suit” and with the possibility of people passing by seeing me and hearing me.

And so, the very thing God stirred in my heart, the very thing I spoke out, though it was something I regretted and feared, became something that I am very thankful for and have learned that God’s will doesn’t always fit in my comfort zone, but it is for my best and intended to point others to Him!

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.  I will be found by you, says the Lord…” Jeremiah 29:11-14

My Father is the KING!

“Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come.
Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Matthew 6:9-13

I was reminded of these verses this morning and I found them to be comforting, convicting, and encouraging all wrapped up together.

Jesus tells me to pray to God using the words, “Our Father.”

God, the One who is outside of time, who always was, always is, and forever will be!

God, the One who spoke all of heaven and earth into being!

God, the One true God who rules over all from His throne in heaven!

Yes, this God is the God who loved the world so much He sent Jesus to show us who He is and to make a way so we can call Him, Father!

Jesus was sent here to demonstrate God’s intention for life!

Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection was the first fruit of what God intends for all those He creates!

Jesus’ perfect sacrifice on the cross defeated sin and death so we no longer are slaves to sin and have relationship with God, our Father.

“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,  and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. Romans 8:15-17

Now that I am a child of God I have the same status as Jesus, and therefore I too can call God, my Father!

But I admit sometimes my Father in heaven seems so far away, so out of touch from the things I’m going through here on earth.

The evil one who rules the earth seems to be winning. Seems to be in control.

God reminded me that His throne in heaven doesn’t mean He is far away and out of touch. His presence is everywhere! God is all-seeing, all-knowing, moving and working in all ways and in all things!

And that I find very comforting!

But, as everyone else, I am pondering God’s perspective of what is going on here on earth.

I was reminded of the time Jesus told His disciples about the suffering, death, and resurrection He was to go through, Peter jumped in and said, No way! Peter’s perspective didn’t want those things to take place, yet they were the very things that brought life!

Could this suffering, these seemingly evil plans of man, this death and destruction, be part of a bigger picture that I don’t understand?

While God doesn’t create evil, He uses the evil schemes of Satan and works them for good. 

I am convicted of looking at the things around me, reading the reports of man, and becoming angry, fearful, and frustrated.

I don’t have the answer, but I know God has placed me here for such a time as this and I as I cry out for His perspective He keeps reminding me to keep my eyes on Him.

This world has always been dark and evil and that is the very reason He sent Jesus and it is the very reason He sent me, and all who believe in Him!

As I pray to Him, trust in Him, and keep my eyes on Him He will give me my daily bread, He will forgive me when I stumble, as I forgive those who stumble around me, and He will keep me safe from the evil one.

Because I belong to a kingdom that isn’t of this world!

It is a powerful kingdom, a glorious kingdom, and an eternal kingdom.

And my Father is the KING!