If anyone questions whether there is a God, He is always fully present. If anyone asks if He hears our prayers, glance at who He places in your presence. If anyone wonders if He answers those prayers, look to the present to see how gloriously he responds. If anyone inquires about His expectations of us, teach them how His love demonstrates His present responsibility.
Faithful living brings a heart full of hope and a life of love and joy. Each day, we draw the picture of faithful living by the sonic footprint (the pattern and mark our words are leaving on others) we place on those around us.
Below is an excerpt from an earlier post. At the time, I was trying to keep a positive sonic footprint while I was in the middle of a storm. You see, I believe that economic independence is obtained through education. Two years ago, my dream of my offspring having that seemed to be going up in smoke. The anguish I experienced was soothed only in the comforting arms of prayer and through the encouraging words of others. God sent a prophet to me to let me know everything would be okay and charted a course my daughter could take to get where she needs to be. She is now on that course. She has pulled herself together and will soon enter community college. Enjoy!
While I was working at guest services today, a man on the security team named Aaron Hope approached me and began talking to me. His opening words included a comment on the emblem on my shirt. The emblem was my daughter’s high school and mascot. He told me he graduated from there just a few years ago. He talked about his positive experiences there as well as his challenges and struggles. His story included examples of his involvement in many activities, his laziness as a student, the encouragement of his parents, and his eventual and close-call path to graduation. I explained to him the grip fear has on me as I see my daughter in the exact same place while running out of time to correct her course. He laughed at the similarities between the two of them. He gave me some tips on clever ways to encourage her and let me know that his educational path ended with a college degree.
He was honest with me about the three university rejection letters that were the results of his less than perfect grades. He talked about having to apply to the local community college and finally getting accepted. It was a challenging experience for him because he knew he was a smart kid who had failed to apply himself. His decisions led to a less than desirable result. He was left behind as he watched his friends go away to four-year universities while he stayed at home to attend junior college. Through the experience, he found motivation to succeed. He regularly attended community college classes, paid attention, and made good grades. During his first year at the school, he visited a high school friend who got into a state university just two hours away. After visiting the campus just once, he committed to doing what it took to get admitted. The next year, he transferred there. He suggested that I take my daughter on a campus visit to the university and informed me that it has an undergraduate program and a follow on professional school program in my daughter’s area of interest. He ended the conversation with reminding me to be prayerful and patient because everything was going to work out. He then smiled and went on his way.
I believe this experience was God’s plan. God knew about the emotional meltdown my daughter had the day before when she realized the deep whole she was in because of low grades. He heard her cry out in my arms that she was slipping into a spiral and did not know how to stop it; that she is one of the smartest people in her group of friends but has the lowest grades because she hasn’t been studying like she should; and that she performed poorly in her sporting event the night before because she was tired as she can’t sleep because she is worried about passing her classes for the quarter. God’s spirit moved me to stay at home Saturday night to be with her instead of coming to church. He knew I was feeling fearful about her future, alone, and helpless. He also knew I needed a constructive example of an encouraging person who would make me feel good, to help me through the moment as well as to assist me with improving my sonic footprint.
Sooooo…to bring me into the fold, I was struck with an issue of importance to me, my daughter. God worked it out that I would be standing alone in His house the next day. He sent a handsome and physically fit young man who is half my age because He knew that would catch my attention. He sent a messenger named Aaron Hope – a brother and keeper from a high place bearing a strong and confident prospect. (Aaron is Hebrew for teacher, lofty, exalted; also Moses’ older brother and keeper by God’s command. Hope means to cherish a desire with anticipation.) Because I was vulnerable, I was able to hear God’s voice and was encouraged while receiving a lesson on how to advance His kingdom. Through the 10 minute interlude with Aaron, I was left with this:
- With Great intentionality, God sent his exalted teacher to remind me to stay optimistic and faithful as events of the future occur by His will and in His time.
- 5 “Before I started to put you together in your mother, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart as holy. I chose you to speak to the nations for Me.” Jeremiah 1:5
- As I wait, I must be an Aaron Hope by being positive with my words, leaving others feeling good and God led.
1 Peter 1 (MSG) tells us:
3-5 What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.
6-7 I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.
8-9 You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation.
10-12 The prophets who told us this was coming asked a lot of questions about this gift of life God was preparing. The Messiah’s Spirit let them in on some of it—that the Messiah would experience suffering, followed by glory. They clamored to know who and when. All they were told was that they were serving you, you who by orders from heaven have now heard for yourselves—through the Holy Spirit—the Message of those prophecies fulfilled. Do you realize how fortunate you are? Angels would have given anything to be in on this!
13-16 So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”
17 You call out to God for help and he helps—he’s a good Father that way. But don’t forget, he’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living.