South Africa

God Is Mindful

God goes ahead of me! He orders my steps in all that I do. Why do I worry about the next turn when God has already been there, set up people and situations to fall into place for everything that we will need. It is so refreshing and reassuring to know my God is mindful of me that He would go ahead of me and prepare the way. And even if we can’t react positively in a certain situation God has already anticipated our response and planned for that. For He is the great I AM! He is everything we need even before we know we need it! His provision is such a blessing. It shows that God is mindful of us. What does that really mean? Well when we are mindful of someone it is first because we care about them on some level. Usually a lot. Parents are mindful of their children. Teachers are mindful of their students. They care about them deeply so they have them on their minds at all times. They are usually the first thing they consider when planning and making decisions.

Well God is mindful of us! We are always on His mind. He thinks of us always. He is always planning and moving to make sure everything is perfect for us. He goes ahead of us to make sure the way is safe and secure. He walks the same steps we will before we even get out of the bed each day. He has lived the day ahead of us to secure every person and situation is in place just for us. Wow! Such amazing love!

But…there is always a ‘but’. Yes but, we must do something to make this mindfulness work properly. We must trust God’s provision! We must wake up every morning trusting that God has already lived this day so He has already made provisions for us. He has already provided everything we will need to make the day a success. Even when things seem to be going horribly and terribly wrong. When all of OUR plans go out the window and nothing seems to be working in OUR favor. We must trust that God has ordered our steps and we are in His will. So what can man do to us? What harm can come to us? The day can’t be ruined because He was ordered us to be in it! Now let’s truly think about what that means. God has a will and we are supposed to remain in His will. Now that may mean things may not go OUR way all of the time, and things we plan for may not work out how WE wanted. But as long as we remember that we are living and walking in His will then those plans we took such careful time to make won’t matter anymore because God always has a better plan. And those times when it seems nothing is going our way, its ok because God ordained us to be in that place at that particular time. He put us there!

Here is a real example of God’s mindfulness. During the entire 2013, I was preparing and God was preparing me for this journey to South Africa. At the start of the year, I finally accepted that this was not just a good option for the next phase of my life, but that this journey to South Africa was a part of God’s will and ultimately my destiny. So once I came into that acceptance, I had to physically prepare for my trip. I knew it would be hard and take a lot of work, but I don’t think I was quite prepared for everything that it would intell. Every step of the way I was met with opposition. From applying to my program to sending the funds to secure my place to applying for my travel Visa even to getting my immunizations I was met with forces working against me. Many times I wanted to (and did) break down and cry. I couldn’t understand why it was so unbelievably hard to do something God told me to do. It seemed that everything was telling me to not pursue this, but each time I got knocked down I felt the gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit telling me to keep going. Then God spoke a word to me and taught me a valuable lesson. He showed me that He ALLOWED all of these ‘bad’ things to happen. He allowed man to give me a hard time about my Visa. He allowed for my plans that I worked so hard to put into place not to work out. He was allowing all of this! Why? Because He had ordered my steps. Everything was done on purpose for a purpose. Mine. God was trying to teach me that as long as I remain in His will, nothing and no one can stop me. He allowed all those things to happen to delay my steps, but never once did any of them deny my steps. There was only so much man could do to me, because I was in the palm of God’s hand. Wow! God was mindful of me even then.

So if we know that it was God’s doing for us to be in a certain place then we can draw comfort and peace because we know nothing that God allows is ever meant to kill or destroy us! We can even rejoice because we know we are operating in God’s plan for our lives. And His plans are ALWAYS better than anything we could ever imagine.

We waste so much time trying to be everything God already is! For He is the great I AM! That covers everything we would ever need or want! We are His sheep. Have you ever seen a sheep in a valley? They always seem not to have a care in the world. All they do is eat grass and meander in the valley. They seem so peaceful. Why? Because they have total and complete trust in their Shepard! They know that the Shepard is always near. He is always watching out for danger. The Shepard is always making sure the sheep have enough to eat, and have shelter from the harsh weather. The Shepard is mindful of his sheep, and will even leave the herd in search for one lost sheep! He provides all of the needs of the sheep. All the sheep have to do is trust the Shepard.

Before coming to South Africa I will admit I was a little worried. I was worried that I would get here and not know anyone and not have the things I would need. But God’s provision…He had already traveled ahead of me. Set up all of the people, places, and situations to work in my favor. He had already provided all that I would need. All I had to do was be like the sheep and place all of my trust in Him. I think that is a good trade. If I put ALL of my trust in God, then He will supply ALL of my needs! If I don’t receive something I thought I needed (i.e. unlimited internet access…) then obviously it’s not something I needed after all. And God had an even better plan in place for me! Try trusting with complete and total abandonment. Abandoning all of your preconceived notions. Abandoning all of your fears. Abandoning all of your perfectly set plans for your life. Abandoning everything the world said about you and what you should be doing. Surrender it all to Christ! He already knows what you really need…and He has already put provisions in place just for you!

God will provide! So why does it seem like sometimes He doesn’t? Maybe because we never give Him a chance to! For whatever reason we are too impatient or too stubborn to allow God to be GOD in our lives. God is everything, knows everything, is everywhere at all times so why not trust Him with everything we have and everything we want?

This past week God has been showing me time after time how He is mindful of me. Each morning I make a 10 – 15 minute walk to the center where I volunteer. Most of the route is along a “safe” area, but towards the end of my walk the area changes and there has been a history of not so “safe” things happening to people in that area. Of course I was a little apprehensive about this at first, but each morning as I walk to the center I know that God is taking each step with me. Actually, even before I get out of my bed and leave my flat God has already walked that route for me. He has removed all seen and unseen dangers and put angels in my path. Even in the late afternoons when I have to make that walk back home (this is the time of day most of the not so “safe” things have occurred), He has made a way for someone at the center to give me a lift home. Everyday someone offers to drop me home, and every day I am grateful. I don’t even have to ask, God puts on someone’s heart to help me get home safely. Several times I have been walking around town and the people on the corner harass the person ahead of me, but when I walk by they just seem to stare at me in awe. Now I know it must be because they see Jesus walking beside me. They now that I am off limits. So every time I become nervous about leaving my safe and secure flat to enter into this world alone, I am comforted by the fact that God is mindful of me. He knows what I need even before I ask. He goes ahead of me and sets up blessings in my path.

We must know that God thinks about what we need. He loves us, so He is concerned about us. All He requires of us is to trust in Him fully and to not worry. Many times I have to catch myself because I’ve noticed that when my mind starts to wonder the worries start to seep in. So now when I feel the worry monster coming on, I am quick to shut him out and replace it with trust in my Father. Psalms chapter 8 verse 4 says, “What is mankind that You are mindful of them, human beings that You care for them?” I wondered why the psalmist poses this as a question and not a statement. I believe it is due to the fact it’s hard to understand why such a powerful and important God would be mindful of mere humans. It is not that we deserve God’s mindfulness, but it is just a benefit of being in relationship with Him. It is in God’s character to be mindful of His children. We didn’t and couldn’t do anything to deserve His love, but I am so glad that He is mindful of me. That He thinks of me! The all-powerful and all-knowing God thinks about little ole me! I am sure God has much better things to do then to spend time thinking about me! But that is why it is such a blessing!

So I am learning as God is speaking to me, that He is mindful of me. I don’t have to worry about ANYTHING! Big or small because God has already taken care of it all. Now of course I am not going to be reckless in my actions and walk around town at night by myself. But I also won’t allow fear to keep me trapped in my comfort zone, but I will move through this journey with confidence and peace because I know my God is mindful about all that I will need to complete this mission. Rejoice because our God is mindful of you too!

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