749. The gift of A Long-Overdue Lunch Date with friends. We've been friends with this particular couple for almost 13 years. I met the mom in the nursing room at church in December 1999 or January 2000--I had a 3-month-old boy; she had a newborn baby girl. We made a connection while nursing our babies, and we've been friends ever since.
750. The gift of Knowing that God's Plan is Bigger and Better than Mine. Our message in church this morning wrapped-up our summer series on The Promises of God. The final word is that God doesn't break His promises. However, there are times when, to us, His promises don't appear to have been kept . . . but God's promises are always kept. Sometimes our human eyes don't see that, but God has a bigger plan in mind and He always keeps His promises. What a wonderful thing to cling to!
751. The gift of My Stepson, Thomas. Today is his 22nd birthday; as much as I wish we were able to spend it with him, that's just not possible due to where he is currently residing. But today I was again reminded of how God's plan is still unfolding for Thomas and for us. Looking back I can see where God has had His hand in my step-parenting relationship and I am grateful for the challenges because they strengthened my relationship with God; and God has used, and will continue to use the challenges in order to shape me into the person He wants me to be. I am reminded of a verse in Job which I memorized earlier this year . . . "But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold." Job 23:10. Even something as beautiful as gold must go through a "test/refinement process" in order to reach its final state of value. God uses tough situations in our lives to refine us--and ultimately, to make us more beautiful for His purposes.