Do You See that Face?

Neal’s million-dollar smile

That face has smiled at me for the past 19 years.  That face has greeted me in the morning, prayed with me, laughed with me, and kissed me goodnight.  That face has lit up at the birth of our children, and wept with joy at each of their rebirths when they were baptized.  That face has been filled with passion in the pulpit Sunday after Sunday.  That face has looked at me with compassion and strength during difficult times.  That face has offered me patience and forgiveness when I was the one that caused the pain.  When I look at that face every day, I see dedication, love, and a sterling character.

My prayer for today:  May my face reflect the same commitment, understanding, and generosity that has been so freely given to me.

Neal wrestling with Clover

“Life and Favor”

This little phrase that makes up the title of this post and my blog has always spoken to my heart.  It comes from the mouth of Job.  “You have granted me life and favor, and Your care has preserved my spirit” (Job 10:12).  In the midst of some sorrowful tragedies, Job acknowledged God as the Source of the blessings in his life.  He questioned his trials, but he kept his faith.  He believed God was his Creator.  “You have granted me life.”  Even though the lives of his own children had been taken away, Job understood that the Giver of life was still in control.  He believed  God was his Benefactor.  “You have granted me favor.”  God didn’t just give him life.  He gave him an abundant life.  Job was still blessed, and he knew it.  He believed God was his Deliverer.  “Your care has preserved my spirit.”  Even when experiencing loss, Job knew he could trust his heart to God’s safekeeping.  The providence of God kept Job from giving up, from shriveling up, and kept his spirit looking up.  This little phrase reminds me to be grateful for the blessings that all Christians enjoy.  God is the source of eternal life (Rom. 6:23), the abundant life (2 Pet. 1:3), and the protected life (1 Tim. 4:10)!