When I, with eyes closed, reached in to the pile of names to pick out the winner of the Woman's Study Bible, I had no idea who I would pick or why that particular person would be chosen, but God knew who and why.
He always does.
After I emailed, Betty Z, to let her know that she was the winner of the Study Bible she wrote back and shared this with me. I thought it might encourage you. Here's what Betty had to say:
Seriously, Andrea -- I won?????
I must say, I am touched by God's goodness!
Joel 2:12-13 was my verse to live out yesterday, "'even now,' declares the Lord, 'return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.' Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious an compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love ..."
I hate to say, but it is not often at all I fast, but yesterday morning in quiet time, I really talked with the Lord about my thoughts and actions lately, that were not what He wanted for my life -- acknowledging sin, confessing sin, asking forgiveness, believing His forgiveness is mine, repenting and desiring to turn to His good ways for my life. Then my "through the year bible reading" was Joel. And God convicted me by the verses above. I said the words, but do I really mourn over my sinfulness? Christ paid such a great price of suffering and separation from the Father for this sin of mine.
So, it was a sweet day yesterday of fellowship with God and of being reminded that giving up food is so small compared to what God gave in Christ Jesus. Not that we should be telling others about fasting in a prideful way, but I just wanted you to know how moved to tears (seriously) I am as I "break the fast" this morning and am SO thankful for God's graciousness and compassion to me.
And now to read the email that He is blessing me with His WORD. He is El Roi -- the God who sees me personally and touches my life with His love in very special ways!
Thank you, dear Betty! The Lord used you to bless me and remind me of His unique and personal love for each of us, a love that knows no limits and never fails.