On December 2 I found my first painted rock.

The timing – Divine.

The message – God inspired.

The outcome – Hope.

The scriptures tell us we will all have trials. Jesus had trials – we will have trials.

We will have heartache.

We will have setbacks.

We will face discouragement and feelings of despair.

If you aren’t walking through a storm right now then we can know one is coming – it’s life – right? So we know it’s coming. It’s scriptural.

I’ve tried to train myself to repeat this question, “what am I to glean from this and how will You use this for good Lord?”

I ask this question a lot.

I was discouraged the day I found this rock sitting in the window ledge at the Ministry Village Bargain Center. I almost walked passed it saying, “let someone else find it” but something told me to “go back.

When I picked up the rock and I read it I almost cried. I looked at it several times and repeated in my mind the verse someone had painted on this rock just for me . . . “I will restore the years the locust have destroyed”.

My timeline isn’t the Lord’s timeline.

I had sensed He was preparing me for something that hadn’t fallen into place in the timing He had spoken unto my soul.

I was frustrated.

“Am I delaying You Lord?”

“Am I missing what I’m supposed to be doing?”

“Is this it? Is this ALL you have for me to do?” (Remember I shared my discontentment post a few weeks ago?)

Yeah – I was discouraged – so this nugget from the Lord was hope and comfort to my soul.

Later that day I was rubbing the rock that was in my pocket as I walked through a parking lot going in to a store. I asked the Lord for a penny that day to tape it at Joel 2:25 as a visual reminder for me to cling to Hope. On my way out of the store – just minutes later – wasn’t a penny – but a nickel.

And the Lord says, “You asked for a penny, but I gave you a nickel. I will provide above what you can imagine”

The rock stays sitting out so I can see it many times a day. The penny is taped in my journaling Bible. And again this morning in my quiet time the Lord reminded me of His faithfulness. He reminded me again to be content where I am and to keep striving to be more like Him and to pause and be still – to just keep doing what He’s told me to do and that is to simply obey.

“When someone needs a meal – buy them a meal. When someone needs a hug – give them a hug. When someone needs a bracelet – give them a bracelet. When someone needs to know they are loved – tell them they are loved. Just be obedient, Stacey. Do what I prompt you to do. Be available.

Maybe you are like me and find yourself discouraged because life just hasn’t turned out the way you planned or expected – don’t be discouraged. Don’t try and be like someone else or wish what someone else has. It only sets us up for despair and discontentment.

Just be obedient.

When we are discouraged more than likely it is because we intertwined our plans with the Lord plans and like oil and water, they just don’t mix.

Joel 2:25, The Lord says, I will give you back what was lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you. . . . you will praise the Lord your God, who does these miracles for you.”

On a side note, the artist of the rock, she is from Long Island. And yes, I was able to connect with her and share how important this rock is to me. She is here in the panhandle of Florida caring for her mom who has dementia. I am asking everyone who reads this to please pause and pray for her. She has a hard road upon her.