The Hope of Abundance After Testing

“For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver . . . we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.” Psalm 66:10; 12 NIV

I imagine some of you reading these words today are going through fire and water right now. God is testing and refining you. And it hurts.

Maybe I don’t hang out with the right people, but I don’t know anyone who enjoys taking tests. Nor do I know anyone who lines up early to be first for the refining process.

And going through fire? Well that’s downright scary and packed with potential for pain.

As for water, at first we might think oh yes, I’ll take that one. But consider the resistance we face when we have to walk through knee-high, waist-high, or—heaven forbid—neck-high water even when it’s calm. Add huge waves or dangerous current, and going through water imparts its own brand of scary.

The experiences that refine us—the fire and water—many times are marathon trials to boot. Endurance tests. When caring for Don’s mother during the last several years of her life over a decade ago, at times the demands of hospital duty threatened to engulf me. I also shared in the ongoing pain of our daughter and son-in-law as they waited for years to have a child. And now I’m in the midst of another endurance test as I navigate the waters of caring for a spouse with Alzheimer’s. No, refining isn’t easy.

Thank goodness the word but comes after the mention of tests and refining, of fire and water in the scripture above. Thank goodness God doesn’t leave us struggling through endurance tests forever. Instead, he brings us “to a place of abundance.” A place of great blessing.

So let’s take heart, friends. Let’s remember that as we go through the refiner’s fire, our place of abundance may be just around the bend. Great blessing is surely on the way.

“I am the LORD your God . . . Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.” Psalm 81:10 NIV

*How has God blessed you with abundance after a time of trial?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regular issue, comes out in early November. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Starbucks and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free! Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*Photo by Maxim Tajer on Unsplash

God—Our Gracious Giver of Bounty

“You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.” Psalm 65:11 NIV

Thriving backyard gardens. Colorful farmer’s markets. Seasonal fresh fruit offered in restaurants. Just a few signs of summer’s bounty in full swing. And if we’re not quite there yet, we will be soon, won’t we?

As we all get opportunity to enjoy the beauty and the nourishing benefits of growing and thriving gardens this summer, let’s remember the One who makes the bounty possible. And let’s remember he is not only crowning our year with good garden produce, but he’s blessing our lives with abundance in other areas as well.

For example, I’m rejoicing this month in a wonderful blessing God has given our family. Our daughter Kristin and her family are now living closer to us! Our travel time to see them has been cut in half, and that means we can visit for a quick overnight or even make a long day trip when necessary. And by the way, that highway runs both ways. They will be coming to see us more too!

We’ve seen great blessing in the lives of my extended family recently as well. My sister Debbie and her husband celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in May, and our entire family will be gathering for a joint celebration next month in Branson. The whole family has not been together since July 2017 so this upcoming gathering will be a great blessing indeed for all of us.

God has also brought bounty into my writer life this year through my writers group, the Fellowship of Christian Writers. Our group, like many others, has been struggling since the pandemic, but this year he led a core group of us to step out in faith and assume positions we didn’t think we could manage. And as you can imagine, he has rewarded those steps of faith and is growing and revitalizing our group in wonderful ways this year. We give him all the praise!

These are just a few current examples from my life. If I listed the bounty of an entire year, I’d have to do it in installments! Now that I think about it, my gratitude journal is one way of doing this.

What about you? How has God crowned your year with bounty? What abundance has he blessed you with lately? Join me, won’t you, in giving him glory for the good things he’s doing in our lives. I’m all ears!

“They will come and shout for joy . . . they will rejoice in the bounty of the LORD . . .” Jeremiah 31:12 NIV

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early August. Sign-up is FREE. *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by juicyverve, Creative Commons License