Guest Post: A Thanksgiving Blessing

I am currently sitting in my office at home, looking out at the snow coming down and the slow moving cars on the road.  From the safety of my home, I am able to enjoy the beauty and calm that exists from my view point. All activities will be cancelled and for the rest of the evening, nothing feels rushed or pressured.  I wonder why it always takes something big to get me to slow down, catch my breath and and give myself permission to just be.

The change of seasons has always been encouraging to me.  A sense of something new or a fresh start. Maybe it has been the fact that when the seasons change my work load changes as well.  My year always starts off with finishing bookwork from the year before and preparing for taxes to be done. A slower physical pace and place of spiritual and emotional fulfillment. Then comes spring, with the promise of new growth, mowing grass, longer days and beautiful sunsets.  Summer and Fall are usually my crazy busy season at work and are usually physically and mentally tiring, but it fuels me somehow. But then I’m ready to sit in my office for a day, do bookwork, watch the snow come down and the cars go by.

As I think about the beauty of these seasons changing and how every year looks different than the past year.  I am reminded that my steadfast God never changes. He longs to be first, He delights in my presence, He has plans and purposes that only I can fulfill, He is with me in the safety of my office and He is with my husband traveling home on slick roads and my kids 45 minutes in opposite directions.  The best place I can be on any given day is close to Him no matter where I am.

I have been so inspired lately by Stephen in Acts 6.  In this season of Stephens life, he was chosen to distribute food to those who were being overlooked. The requirements for the job…”to be filled with the Spirit and wisdom”. It is recorded that he was “a man full of God’s grace and power, and he did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people”.  I was encouraged that no matter the title or position, we fulfill Jesus purposes when we spend time with him. He used Stephen, not based on his “position” as food distributor, but as a result of spending time with Jesus.

WOW!!  Sometimes I make things so much more complicated than they need to be.  I can only be more like Him when I spend time with Him and then He can use me and He receives the Glory!

I don’t get this right on many occasions, when I am going through the motions of trying to love others without loving my God first.  But I am so encouraged that He reminds me in this season of change, He whispers to me, “Lori, have you heard of my servant Stephen? Let me encourage you with his story”.  May you too be encouraged to take this season and just be close to Jesus! What is the thing that makes you feel His presence? Sit there a while and be. You have no idea what beautiful surprise may be around the corner.  

Blessings during this Thanksgiving season,

Lori Ober

Ashley Sider