This week our pastor encouraged us to realize committing our live to God was not a one time event. Neither was it a “get out of hell” card. Rather that commitment to God was only the beginning of what God wanted for us. She shared with us this verse:
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7
One of her suggestions was to “turn off the noise and be silent.” How can we hear from God when we have such noise all around us?
I thought a lot about that yesterday. We get in the car and turn on the radio; we spend too much time on social media, the news. None of that is bad – but sometimes it can become overload. So today while cleaning my kitchen I turned off all the “noise” and just let my heart and mind pray as I polished the dining table, underloaded the dishwasher and swept the kitchen floor. How peaceful I felt.
Then I put on an old CD to hear a song I have not listened to in years. It is a song that used to be sung in church and played on Christian radios every Easter. But we seem to only want to hear songs that have been written in the last two years 🙂 and some powerful songs are forgotten.
Today, I am reminded of the wonderful story that Jesus died not only so I could look forward to eternal life after this life, but could have joy and peace today – joy and peace that come to me when I take time to worship Him.
If you have not heard this song before, I hope it speaks to your heart. And if you have, I hope it reminds you that we serve a God who is able to help us no matter what our circumstances. And I think we need to celebrate this more than just one Sunday in spring.
We decided to celebrate the end of summer and beginning of fall by taking our granddaughter to Potter’s Zoo. The Zoo is part of Potter Park in Lansing, Michigan.
It is the oldest public zoo in Michigan. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) since 1986, the Zoo has also received the AZA Quarter Century Award recognizing their accreditation for 25 years or more. The Zoo covers over 20 acres and includes over 500 individual animals representing approximately 160 different species.
Every year they publish an annual report. The report for 2020 shows that even in spite of Covid-19 and being closed for 92 days (March 13 – June 15) they had 90,920 visitors.
The land for the Park was donated in 1910 by James W. Potter. He first donated 58 acres and later in 1917 gave an additional 27 acres. Additional donations of land from others increased the park to its present 102 acres.
Our first stop were the North American River Otters.
So many different animals to enjoy but one of my favorites was the peacock. These birds were walking all around the zoo. So beautiful when they open up their wings.
It was a very hot day and the lions and leopards were taking life easy.
We got to see the black rhino Jaali just before the Zoo will be saying goodbye to him.
Jaali was born at the Zoo in 2019. This was a special event for the Zoo as he is one of only a few black rhinos born in zoos. Jaali has been used to draw attention to black rhino conservation. Rhinos are becoming close to being extinct and veterinarians, zookeepers, rhino experts, and multiple AZA institutions have been working to try to breed more rhinos. Recently a breeding match for Jaali has been discovered and he will be soon be leaving to join his mate at another zoo where it is hoped they will find true love and increase the rhino population. The Zoo is actually holding a going-away party for Jaali in October.
Our granddaughter loves wolves so we had to make a stop there.
It was interesting to see the reasons why wolves howl.
To assemble the pack before and after hunts.
To alarm one another of danger.
To send territorial message from one pack to another.
Or, simply because they hear a nearby wolf howing.
The sign also told us that when wolves howl together, they harmonize rather than use the same note. This creates an illusion that there are more wolves in the pack than there actually are.
Another of the species in danger of extinction is the Eastern Bongo. From African, I thought these animals were very pretty.
There were several different kind of birds, but the one I loved the best was the bald eagle.
I did not realize there are different kinds of foxes. To me, a fox was a fox. We saw the Artic Fox, whose habitat is of course, the northern regions near the North Pole. I wonder how they like our hot summers here.
And the bat-eared fox was very interesting with its large ears – like a bat. We were told that these large ears help them locate beetle larvae buried underneath the ground.
By the time we had walked near the back of the zoo, I was so tired. Thankfully we found a nice place to sit and enjoy the farm animals.
By the end of the visit, we were happy but tired. A last visit at the gift shop was, of course, in order.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It was in October 19 years ago that I discovered a lump that turned out to be cancer. Each year I thank God for another year of life – and I remember how He was with me – especially on my first day of radiation. He is the God Who Sees Me!
Studying the names of God, I continue to reflect on the name Hagar, the Egyptian Slave of Abraham and Sarah, gave to God in her encounter with Him. It was a moment of great despair and hopelessness for her. Despair and hopelessness until she realized that God saw her and cared about her.
As I continue to think about this concept that God sees us, I continue to be reminded of times in my own life when things seemed hopeless, but then God reminded me that I was not alone, that He saw me and He cared. I shared the first two times in my life – at ages 14 and 33 – when God revealed Himself to me so vividly in The God Who Sees Me – Part 1 and The God Who Sees Me – Part 2
Perhaps the greatest time God showed up for me was when…
Recently I begin studying the Tabernacle in the Old Testament.
Many who study the Bible never really look at the Old Testament and the truths of the Tabernacle found there. But much of the Bible is revealed in a study of the Tabernacle.
More than 50 chapters are devoted to the details of the Tabernacle.
In Exodus chapters 25-40 give guidance on the construction of the Tabernacle.
Leviticus contains 18 chapters on the function of the Tabernacle.
Deuteronomy has 2 chapters on the Tabernacle.
Hebrews shares a New Testament commentary on the Tabernacle in 4 chapters.
Revelation gives images of the Tabernacle (Temple) in heaven.
The people were told that the purpose of the Tabernacle in the Old Testament was so God could dwell with them.
“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.” Exodus 25:8
We see in Revelation that God’s desire is still to dwell among us.
“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.” Revelation 21:3
We know that was the point of the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus – to make us able to have a relationship with God.
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16
As we look at the Tabernacle, we notice that there was only one gate – only one way to enter.
This clearly points to Jesus:
“Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.” John 10:9
“I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father by through me.” John 14:6
I AM– Jesus used these words several times in the Gospels. In Matthew 22:32 He basically quotes Exodus 3:6.
‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. So he is the God of the living, not the dead.” Matthew 22:32
“‘I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.” Exodus 3:6
Later Jesus made it plan that he was calling Himself God. The people recognized His claim because they tried to stone Him for blasphemy.
“The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I am! At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple.” John 8:57-59
THE WAY– Jesus did not say I am “a” way. He said He was “the” way. In today’s culture, I know it is not politically correct to say there is only one way. A person can reject Christianity, but if they accept the Bible, they have to accept the claims of Jesus.
THE TRUTH – Again Jesus used the definite article to that He is the only truth. Jesus demonstrated this on HIs Sermon on the Mount. He pointed out different commandments they had and then said “but I say unto you” placing His truth above what the culture of the day said.
THE LIFE – Strange in a way that as Jesus is talking about his death, He claims to be “the” source of life. He claimed because He lived, we would too.
“Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.” John 14:19
He claimed He was giving us abundant life.
“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
As a follower of Jesus I believe He was promising eternal life after this life. But more than that, I believe He was promising a real life of freedom from condemnation, of joy even in difficult times. Abundant life consists of abundance of love, joy, peace, and the rest of the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5.
In following Jesus I have found true joy. I love this picture of Jesus! To me, this is how I picture Him.
After living almost three years in Michigan and hearing of the beautiful Dow Gardens, my husband and I decided it was time to check it out.
All the hype we had heard was true – it is an unbelievable place of peace and beauty. My husband commented that this was just a glimpse of what the Garden of Eden must have been. We laughed that we might see Adam and Eve and our daughter who was with us wondered if they would have any clothes on. 🙂
This beautiful place was once the home of Herbert and Grace Dow. They built their home here in 1899. Called “The Pines” the couple raised their family here. Herbert Dow conducted experiments in fruit-growing and developed gardens. Today the home is listed as a National Historic Landmark.
Tours are offered to view the insides of the home where it is furnished with many of the Dow items and gives a good look at what life was like for them. We were not able to take a tour of the home but we did sit on the porch and enjoy the beautiful huge yard with its large expanse of green grass and flowers plantings everywhere.
Herbert Dow was the founder of Dow Chemical Company and by his death had received over 90 patents for chemical processes, compounds and products. I do not understand all the science behind it, but the Dow Chemical Company website says he devised a new way of extracting the bromine that was trapped in underground brine. The company went on to became one of the world’s major producers of magnesium metal, agricultural chemicals, elemental chlorine, phenol and other dye chemicals. The company also was involved in producing plutonium, the element used in hydrogen bombs (a type of atomic bomb).
The company has been the subject of several lawsuits for environmental concerns. In 2011 Dow agreed to pay a $2.5 million civil penalty over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) at its chemical manufacturing and research complex in Midland, Mich.
Herbert Dow started the gardens as a hobby. He experimented growing different flowers, shrubs and trees seeing what would grow well in the sandy soil. On his death, his wife created The Herbert H and Grace A Dow Foundation. Its charter goals were to improve the lives of Michigan’s people through educational, religious, economic and cultural means. The Foundation gave the estate to Michigan for the community enjoyment. Today the 110-acre Dow Gardens welcomes over 300,000 visitors each year.
There are multiple gardens with 3 miles of accessible hard-surface walks. In the spring over 22,000 bulbs begin to bloom and in the summer over 35,000 annuals provide much color and beauty.
Walking along the path we heard the beautiful sound of running water. Turning a corner we came to a beautiful stream. It was so peaceful we had to stop and just sit and listen to the melodious sounds of the water as it flowed through the peaceful garden.
While we were there we found they had a exhibit of glass gardens by Lansing Michigan artist Craig Mitchell Smith. Mr. Smith creates beautiful floral forms out of glass. His work has been displayed at the Missouri Botanical Gardens and the Epcot Center of Disney World.
There was much more to see including the Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens. This area is 54 acres of woodlands, ponds, meadows and stream. It contains the nation’s longest canopy walk. It is 1400 feet long and reaches up to 40 feet above the ground. There is also a playground for children, two pedestrian bridges and a Cafe. I would have loved to see the forest although I do not think I would have attempted the canopy walk. But my arthritic knees gave out on me and we had to call it a day.
My husband and I plan to go back at some point and check out the forest. If you are ever in mid-Michigan I would highly recommend you include a visit to the Dow Gardens. It is probably as close to the Garden of Eden that we will get in this life.
I often get gifts from friends or family members because it is my birthday, or Mother’s Day or Christmas. While I always appreciate that someone thought of me, remembered my special day and took time to purchase something for me, the best gift I just received this week was for no special day.
The person sending me the flowers said it was “just because.”
Each of the roses was a different color – and so beautiful!
I could not decide which color I loved the most. But I am definitely feeling the love!
In our daily devotions my husband and I have been reading the book of Exodus. It was interesting to me to see that when the Israelites were delivered from bondage in Egypt God chose to not lead them directly to the land He had promised them. Rather, he led them into the wilderness.
When Pharoah finlly let the people go, God did ot lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine terriroty, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land….God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea. Exodus 13:17-18.
There, in the wilderness, God gave them two things they needed to become the nation He desired.
The Tabernacle – unifying symbol of God’s presence with principles of worship
The Tablet (Ten Commandments) – principles of God for personal practices of a godly life reflected in our behavior
Since much of the Old Testament is devoted to the Tabernacle I have decided to take a closer look at this structure and what it meant to the Israelites, what it might mean to us in our understanding of the importance of worship of God.
First thing that caught my attention was the preparation to build the Tabernacle.
Materials required: gold, silver, bronze, blue, purple and scarlet thread, fine linen, gemstones and more. Exodus 25:3-7
Voluntary offering: it was not demanded but rather was to be given by those “whose hearts are moved to offer them.” Exodus 25:1-2
Both men and women were involved in the giving and preparation. Exodus 35:22; 35:25-26
The leaders set the example in giving. Exodus 35:27-28
The Holy Spirit was present and filled the workmen. Exodus 35:31-35
Looking at what was involved in the preparation to build the Tabernacle, I thought how that applied to our attempts to be involved in the church today.
As the materials required were things of great value, so should be our efforts for God. We should bring Him our best. Sadly, I fear we do not. Too often we spend our days working, playing, filling our time with our own needs/wants/desires. Then at the end of the day we fall into bed and quickly murmur a prayer to God. We often neglect gathering with the family of God to worship Him and encourage and be encouraged by others. We often give Him what is left of our time/talent/money after we have met all our wants/needs.
Yet our worship, our efforts for Him should never be done because it is demanded. It must come from a love of God.
Sadly, for years many have restricted women from fulfilling their God-given call. Yet we see Jesus often ministering to the women. It was a woman who carried the message of the Messiah to the Samarian village. It was a woman who Jesus first appeared to after His resurrection.
I am thankful that in my church our pastor sets an example of selfless service to others. But sadly we have often see ministers who have set themselves above the rest of God’s family.
The Holy Spirit was present in these men to make furniture, to build the Tabernacle. Again, we have often made the work of the Spirit to mean something “supernatural.” God often uses us in “natural” gifts like baking a meal for a family suffering illness, fixing a car for a single mother, babysitting to give a couple a night out. God’s Spirit is given for more everyday, ordinary people and we need to recognize this.
Why did God tell them to build the Tabernacle? What was His purpose?
Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them. Exodus 25:8
What a wonderful thought! God desired to live among them. Later when Jesus came John’s Gospel tells us that Jesus came to dwell among us. The Greek word used for dwell in John 1:14 is skenoo and literally means “to pitch a tent. This word is the very word used in the New Testament to refer to the tabernacle of God used by Israel in their early worship of God. Jesus came because God still desires to live among us.
Jesus told us that wherever two or three gathered in His name, He would be there. So when we come into church on Sunday, He is there. Do we realize that? How often we come in late, grabbing our coffee, looking around to see who is there, talking to the one next to us? Do we not realize we are entering the presence of God? He is there. Let our worship show we acknowledge that.
I will be writing more as I study this Old Testament Tabernacle. Hope you will follow me on this journey.
My computer of almost nine years is about to die on me I think. It is getting slower and slower. I purchased it when I retired and never thought it would last this long. Today I began saving files, pictures and other documents on the computer to flash drives so I will not lose everything if and when the computer bites the dust.
Going through my files I found this article I wrote but never posted. The story took place many years ago but reading it today I was reminded of that day I got mad at God. I am so thankful that we can be honest with Him and He does not reject us when we share our deepest thoughts and feelings.
The two grandchildren I mention in this post are now all grown up. Robert has two handsome boys with his wife, Amy, and Barbara is almost though law school. God has blessed my husband and I with many more grandchildren – and great grandchildren.
To be honest there have been a couple more times when I have found myself upset with God. But He has been faithful to me for over 73 years and I am thankful that He loves me – at all times, in all seasons.
So – here is that article I never posted.
I remember the moment I held my daughter in my arms. It was overwhelming to realize I was a mother, personally responsible for this tiny baby. Looking at her, I whispered that we were going to be the best of friends. I shared with her my hopes and dreams of the hours we would spend reading, playing in the park and listening to music. Four years later I once again held another daughter in my arms. How happy I was – two beautiful daughters!
My girls were my world. As a mother, there was nothing I would not do to make them happy. As time passed, my oldest daughter and her husband gave me the joy of being a grandmother. Robert was born and his first year was filled with precious memories watching him beginning to walk and say his first words. One year later a beautiful granddaughter was born. As I walked into the room where my daughter lay holding this new grandchild, my heart skipped a beat when she held the baby out to me and said, “Mother, meet Barbara Rose!” She was named Barbara after me!
In the midst of this joy, my heart was torn. In just a few short weeks I would have the honor of dedicating this little child to God. However, a few days after the dedication I would get on an airplane with my husband and youngest daughter and fly to the other side of the world to serve as a missionary in the Philippines.
Several months before Rebekah had become pregnant with Barbara, God had opened a door for my husband and me to work in the Philippines for a couple of years teaching in a Bible College. At the time I felt everything would be okay because by the time we left Robert would be over a year old and Rebekah and Rob would do fine as new parents with this little boy. While I would miss Robert, I would have had that first year to share and treasure while we were gone. But now my daughter, who had married very young, had not one, but two children less than twelve months apart. She and her husband were both college students.
As I looked at them struggling to keep up with their home, their studies and two little babies, I wondered how can this young couple make it. Holding Barbara Rose on dedication day, my heart ached as I realized I would not be there to see her sit up, take her first steps, and say her first words. When I came back, she and her brother would not know who I was.
Yet, I knew God had called us to go. I thought of the verse in the Bible that speaks of loving God so that in comparison it may seem we hate our family.
Rebekah and Rob went with us in the airport as far as they could go before security barred their way. The last look I had was the two of them standing there, each with a baby in their arms, and the saddest, forlorn look on their faces. I felt my heart would break. I was deserting them when they really needed me.
We settled in the Philippines and while my heart still ached, I became busy in the work and prayed the time would pass fast for them. A couple of months later, we had a call from my daughter. Our little granddaughter was having digestive issues and it looked as if she might have to have surgery. How I longed to go home, but we had just arrived and our budget did not really include money to make a trip home. Rebekah assured me they would be fine and did not need us, but I could hear in her voice the longing for her mother.
Hanging up the phone, I went into my bedroom, laid on the bed and told God how mad I was at Him. I said, “I sold everything I had, gave up my time with my grandchildren to obey You. The least you could do is take care of them. I feel as if I am turning my back on my daughter.” God did not strike me with lightning for speaking that way. He understood the love of a mother for her children. But quietly I felt that “still small voice” of God speaking to me. He said, “I turned my back on my Son for you.”
For the first time in my life I got a little idea of how much God really loved me when He sent His Son to die on that cross. John 3:16 took on new meaning for me.
And the end of the story – Robert and Barbara quickly developed a love for Grandma and our relationship is very close. God also has given me many more grandchildren and I believe the example we set putting God first in our lives has had a tremendous influence on my children. Putting God first is sometimes hard, but always in the end, brings great blessings.
To celebrate our anniversary this year we took a short trip to the thumb of Michigan. Before moving to Michigan I had never heard this expression in reference to the state. However, when you look at the map of Michigan you can see that the lower peninsula does look like a mitten and – yes- the eastern part does look like a thumb.
We stayed at Port Huron where we could look over and see Canada. Unfortunately the border between our country and Canada is still closed. It was nice to see our flag and the Canadian flag flying together on both sides of the Clinton River which celebrates the two nations.
In 1836 the US established a Port of Entry and commercial ferry service began from Port Huron to Canada. It was not until 1938 that a bridge was built and opened to automobile traffic. Today the bridge is referred to as the Blue Water Bridge and is a twin-span international bridge connecting Interstate 69 and 94 in Michigan to Highway 402 in Ontario. Since moving to Michigan it has been our goal to cross this bridge and explore Canada. However, the Covid 19 has made that impossible for now. Hopefully in the future we can do that. Still, we enjoyed looking across into Canada and the bridge at night with its lights was beautiful.
We had a great lunch at Vintage Tavern. The food was great and the building built in the 1800’s was beautiful. They had the original tin ceiling with hardwood floors and brick walls throughout. There were also leaded stained glass windows and three fireplaces.
Thomas Edison lived here as a young boy and there is a museum commemorating his time in Port Huron.
As a student at Port Huron a schoolmaster called Edison “addled.” Furious, his mother took him out of the school and proceeded to teach him at home. Edison said many years later, “My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me, and I felt I had some one to live for, some one I must not disappoint.”
In 1859, Edison took a job selling newspapers and candy on the Grand Trunk Railroad to Detroit. In the baggage car, he set up a laboratory for his chemistry experiments and a printing press, where he started the Grand Trunk Herald, the first newspaper published on a train. An accidental fire forced him to stop his experiments on board.
While he was in Detroit Edison would visit the large library there. He said, “I didn’t read a few books, I read the library.”
When he was 19 Edison moved to Kentucky and continued with his experiments. By the time of his death in 1831 he had a record 1,093 patents: 389 for electric light and power, 195 for the phonograph, 150 for the telegraph, 141 for storage batteries and 34 for the telephone.
Another interesting stop in Port Huron was the Great Lakes Maritime Center. Here we found a wealth of information about the history of shipping on the Great Lakes.
We also learned about the underground tunnels that run under the St Clair River allowing trains to make the crossing from Port Huron to Sarnia, Ontario. This tunnel was the first full-size subaqueous tunnel built in North America allowing a railroad to pass beneath a river. Before the tunnels were built trains would come to Port Huron where they would have to be loaded on a barge and carried across the river to tracks in Sarnia.
Along with all the interesting history of shipping on the Great Lakes, the Center was a nice place to just sit and watch the ships on the river as well as again glance across at Canada.
We finished our visit to the Thumb by checking out the Fort Gratiot lighthouse. This fort was built in 1914 during the War of 1812. Occupied by the United States Army until 1879 it stood guard over the juncture of St. Clair River and Lake Huron. In 1823 the lighthouse was built here and it is the first lighthouse in Michigan and the second oldest on the Great Lakes.
We enjoyed sitting here and watching the large ships coming from Lake Huron to the St Clair River.
The keepers house is large and looks beautiful although we were not able to go inside.
You can climb the stairs in the lighthouse and I only imagine what the view would be like. But my arthritic knees prevented me from climbing the 94 stairs to the top.
As always on our trips, there was so much more we wanted to see but time did not permit more exploring. There is much more to discover on the Thumb and hopefully we can return again and explore more.
Our pastor has been doing a series on Psalm 23 – taking one verse at a time. Today she spoke on one verse that has been such a blessing to me throughout the past almost 20 years. It is the verse that says:
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou are with me.
That is the verse that came to my mind the day of my first visit to the oncologist following surgery for breast cancer. His first words to me were “The odds are not in your favor.” Immediately the above verse came to my mind.
I did not know if the Lord was assuring me I would walk through this valley to health and life on the other side or if I would walk through this valley into death.
What was comforting to me was the assurance that He was going to be with me through this time.
Looking back on my life as I near the last years of life I am so thankful to see all the times He has been there for me.
What comfort I find in knowing He will continue to walk with me through the rest of my life – both on the mountain times and the deep valley experiences life may bring.
At this point in my life I would say I’m mostly experiencing those “mountain” times. Last week my husband and I celebrated 37 years of marriage. What a blessing it is to be able to say that he is my bff and our love for one another is deeper and stronger than the day we married. We are blessed with good health for our age and we have a beautiful home to enjoy.
Yet I have been facing some “valley” moments these last few weeks. When I had surgery for cancer the surgeon apologized and said that he had done quite a bit of nerve damage as the lymph nodes were full of cancerous cells and he wanted to make sure he removed all the cancer. That plus the extensive radiation I had has left me with pain ever since. The damage done to my side has, with age, also led to a damaged rotator cuff. Surgeons now do not want to do surgery to repair the cuff because there has been so much nerve damage already done.
For whatever reason – old age I guess – the chronic pain that I have learned to live with has recently become much worse. It is especially difficult when I try to lay down and I have come to dread bedtime.
This morning my church family gathered around me and prayed for me. What an encouragement that was. One young man put some legs on his prayers and offered to come help me with my housework, even to vacuum my floors. My husband is able to help me and I refuse to just sit and give in – got to keep moving. But it was so kind of him to offer. That’s what real love is all about.
How blessed I am – how good to know not only that God is with me – but He has given me friends to love and support me.
Whatever situation dear reader you may be in – let me encourage you to lean on God. He is our Good Shepherd and His promises to be with us in “all” seasons I have found to be true.