ALL Things

The word ALL is more than some, except, or part.  In elementary school, a teacher assigned all the problems on one page for the next day, I was immediately overwhelmed.  If the assignment just contained the even or odd numbers, the assignment would be easier to take.  When my Mother insisted I clean up all my bedroom and this included the closet, I was overwhelmed.  The floor of the closet contained all the paper boats I had laboriously folded from an old Sears catalog.  Surely not throw away my dearest possessions, the product of all my labors.  But she said ALL. 
Suddenly these two words, All Things flashed in neon lights in my mind.  Reading His Word, these two words flashed at me over and over.  Again I became overwhelmed with greatness of God that surrounds us on all sides. Answered prayers and the peace that comes from fully trusting our Lord Jesus every day.  Seeing and hearing His love in those around us.  Breath-taking fall colors appear as God changes seasons.  Family-time with loved ones. Hearing an awesome song with lyrics that brush my soul with joy and awe of His Greatness.
The power that men proclaim to wield over others is nothing.  Nations fight and try to conquer what is not theirs.  They use the ultimate weapon of cessation of life itself – which is God-given.  Yet through the blood sacrifice of Jesus, He conquered death itself.  All is in subjection to our Lord Jesus Christ…without Him, nothing IS.
Now He is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come.  God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.  And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.  Ephesians 1:21-23
Jesus Christ has all things under his authority and he is the head over all things.  Why?  To benefit the church, for the church is His Body.  The last phrase is awesome – Jesus fills all things everywhere with himself. 
This reminds me of the scripture…from Psalm 139:7-12. 
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, you are there!  If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.  If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, 
for darkness is as light with you.
Hiding from or denying our Lord God is impossible.  He is all around us, with us, and in us.  When we choose to connect with God – it is a connection that never has a faulty ‘server’.  It is ‘on’ 24/7.  He is faithful!  But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.  Psalm 86:15
So many times when we need help, sustenance and hope. All these things come from God.  When sickness, death or various kinds of failures happen in our lives – we are assured that He waits for us to call on Him.  Not to remove the situation, but to help us to depend on him and learn to hope.  He brings us peace of mind as we trust in Him.
Three years ago I heard the diagnosis for my husband, Lewy Body Dementia.  Stunned, it didn’t register.  Why did this happen?  Decisions were made, and continue to be made, including selling our home and moving out of our comfort zone to a new area of the country. 
So many losses occurred in the ‘downsizing’ of our life, possessions and comfortable way of living.  A new beginning and way of life moved into our lives.  New doctors, a new place to live, a new church family and a new city to learn.
The end of the story of the changes has not ended.  Then I re-read this verse….
And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God fills all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:27-28
All things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  Indeed, when I accepted what is and trust our Lord God, my life found a new and greater purpose as every verse of Scripture becomes alive.  I learned that when we make Jesus our Sovereign Lord….even song lyrics are more meaningful. 
 Sovereign in my greatest joy, Sovereign in my deepest cry, With me in the dark, With me at the dawnIn your everlasting arms, All the pieces of my life, From beginning to the end, I can trust you. In your never failing love, You work everything for good, God whatever comes my way, I will trust you.   (Chris Tomlin – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-S3nVv24SU)

Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.  Genesis 24:1
Now place your name in place of Abraham’s…and read again.  This is your promise and my promise.  And we sing together with joy and praise…
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains, You raise me up to walk on stormy seas, I am strong when I am on your shoulders, You raise me up to more than I can be… (Josh Grogan –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeUJ4Y-XOeY)

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