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Circle of Love
Week of August 26, 2012


"There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you."  -Deuteronomy 12:7

Recently, I was in my kitchen about to mix ingredients for spinach lasagna. As I pondered which bowl to use for the cheese mixture, a particular one came to mind. It was my old, reliable bowl, the one that’s large enough to accommodate messy ingredients without spillage. But as soon as I thought of the bowl, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “No, use this one.”

In a flash, He brought to mind the jade-colored bowl He had recently led me to purchase, the one I hadn’t used yet, the one I had cleaned and displayed high upon a shelf in my dining room. It was that special. It was smooth and perfect. It had a pour spout and a handle. And it was identical to my late grandmother’s batter bowl.

God cares about the details of our lives and especially about the love yearnings in our hearts. He hadn’t spoken to me about my grandmother in years. She had passed on to be with her Lord when I was 12-years-old. I had been very close to her. Ironically, 12 years ago, God did a deep healing in my heart regarding her passing. He filled up that hole in my heart that had left me sorrowful for decades.

God offers us levels of healing, levels of refinement and levels of joy and celebration in various areas of our lives by cycling us around to moments of opportunities that show us what He has done for us and what He still desires to do.

I carefully retrieved the bowl from the shelf and placed it on my countertop. As I grasped the bowl’s handle, I imagined how it felt for my grandmother to stand at her kitchen counter, in her country farmhouse, preparing daily bread for her family. I was a little girl when I first saw her stirring ingredients in her bowl. And now, as a mature woman, I can see her in my mind. My helper, the Holy Spirit, was right with me. And He was right: That bowl was the perfect fit—both to facilitate a perfect memory and also to accommodate my physical ingredients. I was glad I hearkened to the Holy Spirit’s prompting because I have no doubt that, if He hadn’t done a healing in my heart years ago, I would not have been able to enjoy stirring the egg and cheese together in my new bowl full of fond, old memories without pain.

I found myself enjoying cooking with the Holy Spirit, as we remembered my sweet grandmother—and His goodness through her—together. My heart delighted and was reunited in this way. Although my grandmother has moved onto eternity, the Holy Spirit’s goodness continues onto me. I love how God loves me enough to have given me this very special moment. And He loves you just the same. He will give you special moments too, sweet, tender memories that reconnect you to His goodness on earth as it is in heaven in a way that’s just for you. Embrace these heavenly treasures.

God loves us too much to let our hearts stay stuck in sorrow and emptiness, in grief. The Holy Spirit will fill us up if we ask Him. He knows the facets of our hearts that need His ministering, and He will turn our mourning into gladness (Jeremiah 31:13).

He knows the simple joys that are meaningful to us. He is our ever-present Helper. And He is faithful to complete the work He began in us, through us and on our behalf. He is a God of complete restoration, of goodness and of love (Psalm 23:6).

God often works in cycles and seasons. There are levels of wholeness and seasons of opportunity for our restoration. I invite you to invite Him to lead your restoration to the point of celebration, of a happy memory, where there’s no more pain. God never gives up on us. Even when we have forgotten or have released our pain to Him, He honors us by giving us back seasons of joy (Psalm 30:5).

When we draw near to God, He draws near to us (James 4:8). He desires intimacy with us. And He has much waiting for us in those secret moments, including precious memories and simple, meaningful pleasures wherever we are, even in our kitchens. God’s purposes are right on time. And they are right on target, even in—and sometimes especially in—the little things.

What loving comfort does God desire to give to you today, to show you, to share with you? 

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And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

1 John 4:16
Margaret D. Mitchell


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