The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1
My family and I returned late last night from a road trip to and from Winona Lake, Indiana, with an overnight stop along the way in Cleveland, Ohio. We attended a conference presented by The Friends of Israel on the book of Revelation called The Final Word at Grace College in Winona Lake and visited with my brother-in-law in Cleveland.
There’s so much I could say about the book of Revelation but, well, you should just read it yourself! Bottom line. Jesus IS coming again. When we meet Him either by our death or by His coming, we will be judged. The Bible clearly states that if you repent and place your faith in Jesus, you will be JUSTIFIED. This means that we are given Christ’s righteousness as our own and that is what God sees when He looks on us. (Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1) This is a gift of grace, through faith, to all who receive, and it sits at the foot of the cross where Jesus paid our penalty of sin. Have you been to the cross of redemption?
Well, our journey was full of chaos as you would imagine, hauling three young boys across several states. We had our share of laughs, snacks, potty breaks, time outs, and even a trip to the emergency room. We found a great playground about a mile from the conference site. Our middle son fell from the monkey bars, resulting in one wild ride to a hospital involving five kids (we had my friend’s children with us) who were mostly all crying (my youngest son asked if his brother was going to die), a certain mom bursting through the ER doors yelling in a Jersey accent no one seemed to understand (Okay it was me. They are in slow motion out there and I was NOT going to wait with my screaming child in my arms!), and one really disappointing X-ray machine on wheels (???) that seemed to indicate his arm isn’t broken but we aren’t throwing any parties until he sees the orthopedic specialist in two days. Thankfully, he hasn’t had much discomfort (especially after post traumatic giant cups of ice cream…pictured below) and we were able to finish our trip! (Keep reading after photo!)
I am praising and thanking God today. There was a time recently when I didn’t think I could make such a trip. It wasn’t without physical challenges for me, but God continues to strengthen and uphold me each day. I consider the trip a gift from Him. I spent time with my family. I learned so much at the conference. God truly takes care of me, and He knows just what I need!
Finally, I must share this. A lovely, graceful detail. God gave me this trip, and that was like a piece of cake. But then He went and put a big dollop of sweet icing on top…
My favorite creature is the monarch butterfly. If you’ve ever studied anything about them, you know they are remarkable! Not only do they go through the amazing transformation from Larva to Butterfly, but these tiny beings also migrate thousands of miles across the northern continent. I just taught about them a few weeks ago in my children’s ministry because they are such an awesome example of the glory of God in His creation!
Okay here comes the icing. While visiting my brother-in-law, he took us to Cuyahoga National Park. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that there they have a “way station”, which is a reserve for migrating monarchs, full of the plants and flowers they eat. I was able to get up close and personal with my favorite creature (see photo below!), while being reminded that the “heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.”
God loves us enough to put icing on our cake even though we are so undeserved! What I mean is that He knows what we love and what excites us. HE KNOWS US. He wants to speak to our hearts by saying something like, “Katie, I love that you love the monarch I created! I will bring you to a place where they are and show you Myself. And, Katie, let this be another glimpse of evidence that I am with you.” Of course, He didn’t really say that to me. But this is what I heard in the Spirit because I know God delights in loving and blessing his children.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him. Psalm 34:8
Grace be with you, my friends.