Thursday, June 9, 2016

Mutual Encouragement

"I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong--that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith" (Romans 1:11-12 NIV)

This is truly one of my favorite verses, and it is the impetus for every Gloria's Glimpses. I hope that this blog sometimes touches your heart and gives you spiritual encouragement to be stronger in faith. I am richly blessed when you share with me something that touches you - thank you for the encouragement.

I didn't write this blog at the usual time today (first thing in the morning) because I had a task on my 'to do' list that I was determined to complete. I needed to go to the Polk County Assessor's office to file for Homestead credit at our new home. I know that to everyone else reading this, that is a super simple thing of no concern what-so-ever. But, I'm a wimpy Des Moines driver when it comes to going somewhere new, especially downtown. Just the word, 'downtown,' suggests images of wall-to-wall traffic, no parking spots, blocks of buildings with no addresses, and invisible street signs to me. I fill up with anxiety and I have to practice lots of positive self-talk to psych myself up for the task.

Totally ridiculous, I realize. But it is only through doing those stressful tasks that I am able to gain confidence for the next excursion. So, faced with the June 30 deadline looming closer every day I decided this would be the day. I googled a map and directions, got the address and information I needed. I prayed for God's strength and guidance in the car, and asked that He keep me alert to all traffic, signs, and parking spots. I know that it is only with God at my side that I am able to push myself to new challenges, even though they seem small.

Well, of course, (thanks be to God) it was a breeze. I was able to take Second Avenue all the way to downtown, from Ankeny, and ended up just a block from the Polk County Administration Building. There was only mild traffic and many empty parking spots. I found the right room quickly and the whole process took barely five minutes. Somehow I ended up on all the one way streets going the right direction (Praise the Lord) and returned exactly as I had arrived.

I know it seems silly that I made such a big fuss over such a little task, but I am convinced that God made the process uneventful because I prayed for His presence with me. If I hadn't taken the time to pray for the confidence of God that I needed, I might have been the one in the accident I drove past, or who knows what I might have encountered. Anytime I drive somewhere new I take the time to pray and time and time again God has been with me on those trips and I've made it safely. God is indeed my refuge, and yours, too.

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