With our first rain storm of winter now behind us, I was reminded of the showers of blessings our Lord bestows on us all.
Yes, 2020 was a horrendous year, but it was still filled with blessings in many ways.
You may not see it that way, but I truly believe that God constantly bestows blessings upon us that, at first blush, we may consider to be anything but blessings.
Our first storm of the year brought several inches of much-needed rain to our parched plains. We received substantially more precipitation in our mountains and we’ve been advised that Lake Cachuma is nearly two-thirds full — or one-third empty for you pessimists in the audience.
Either way, we weathered the storm without any real flooding or debris flow this time around. We should all be thankful for the rain that fell and, hopefully, the end to the current drought.
Now, let’s get back to the year we can all thankfully leave behind. We would all be wise to reflect on the events of 2020.
Please don’t take the position that you’ve been victimized. We’ve all been affected by the pandemic in different and diverse ways. During my walk with God over the past 37 years, He’s shown me what I initially felt were undue hardships that became showers of blessings in His perfect timing.
Let me relate a personal experience not too many months back. In late August I found myself confined to a COVID-19 hospital room for five whole days! That five days turned into a blessing. The experience helped me to reconsider priorities and to focus on what was really important going forward.
Of course, I’m thankful for the wonderful care I received, but what was most significant was the rest and peace experienced while hospitalized.
A few days after being released from Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, I penned these words, which I feel present my struggle with the dreaded virus that has taken so many lives this past year:
A Personal Psalm to the Lord
My God. Where are You? All I sense is a deep darkness and You are nowhere to be found.
I sense an ugliness that overcomes me. It would be so easy to quit and succumb to the Enemy.
Wait, I call out in desperation and see a glimmer of light shine through the darkness in the veil.
Finally, I can see Your presence Lord. You draw closer to me as time flitters and the day goes by.
It’s a new day and I now know there is hope and that hope is found in You and You alone.
As I reach out for You, I feel Your warmth and know that You are nearer than ever before My Lord.
What a joy You bring to my heart. I no longer fear the Enemy and subtle hold he had early on.
Your victory over death overwhelms me and I glory in your immense presence this day forward!
God often speaks to me through His Word and gives me personal thoughts to write down for my benefit, and I trust the benefit those who read my weekly Noozhawk columns as well. What’s most important is that His Words are here for us, whether we believe them or not. His inerrant words are here for eternity. Let us turn to His Word for those blessings.
Let me share the one direct reference to showers of blessings found in Scripture. In Ezekiel 34:26, the prophet proclaims what the Lord spoke to him: “I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessings.”
These words were spoken to the Israelites during their Babylonian captivity and became a fulfillment of prophecy when Israel became a nation on May 14, 1948. That’s when David Ben-Gurion publicly pronounced the Israeli Declaration of Independence.
Up until 1948, the Jews were a nation without borders. Although the dispute continues, they are once again in their Promised Land.
Let me conclude by simply saying that God is in control, and He orchestrates our lives and our circumstances. We would be wise to accept His Lordship and cease thinking we control our destiny.
He is truly Lord over all!
Passages to Ponder
» Joshua 8:34-35
» Proverbs 10:20-23
» Matthew 5:3-11
» Mark 8:14-18
— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at [email protected] for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.