This Monday, I returned from an extended weekend stay in Arizona.
It's a great place, not as desert-y as I had feared.
It's really nice!
There is a great deal of desert, sure, but I saw so many homes with their own set of greenery. Phoenix, Arizona is a huge city. It takes 30 minutes on a major freeway to get from one of the city to another city.
And that's if there is no traffic to contend with!
I noticed that I meditated on God's Word a great deal. It seemed like every moment of the day, I was chewing, muttering, marinating in one or many sets of Scriptures.
It was a very fulfilling time that I shared with friends and fellow patriots there in the Phoenix area.
Then I came home, and I realized something:
What is preventing me from meditating at length here in my own home town, my own city? What has been holding me back from thinking that I do not need to ask for God's favor here in the place where I live, where I have called home for the last three decades?
For a long time, when by myself or walking about boldly yet singly in public, I would think out loud, let my mind wander and wonder onto so many topics.
I never really got settled. It was so easy to get upset about past slights or future fears. After five days of staying at someone else's home in another state, after the habit of repeating and meditating on God's Word in different passages, I found that my mind was clearer, and opportunities began to appear in great number.
I can ask for God's favor and receive His grace for every day. Why was I not doing that when back at home in the South Bay?
Just because I know the South Bay, just because I have lived in Torrance for the greater part of my life, that does not mean that I do not need God's grace, His favor for facing different challenges and issues from day to day, or from hour to hour.
I need His grace, I desire His favor wherever I go, whatever I do.
The five day excursion in Arizona really opened my mind, my heart to seeing more of Jesus and receiving more of his abundant gifts of righteousness and grace (Romans 5:17).
I want my loving Daddy God to surprise me every day. For the last four days back home, I have found myself really appreciating everything that I have lived in, that I have enjoyed for this great length of time.
What can I say? I need God's favor even in places with which I have been so familiar all of these years. Yes, I may know that so many things close to me are relatively the same, but who knows what may happen upon me when I trust His favor?
I want to get into the habit now more than ever, just as Ruth did when she joined with Israel:
"And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter." (Ruth 2:2)
Ruth landed in the perfect field:
"And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech." (Ruth 2:3)
She trusted in God's favor. She believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the same God who sent His Son to die on the Cross for us, to grant us His rightoeusness, His life, and His standing.
In the same way that Ruth trusted God's favor and found herself not just by chance, but by "her hap", in not just a good field, but the field belonging to her Kinsman-Redeemer.
Let's not hold back God from blessing us beyond what we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). Let's ask God to continue to show us through His Son how much He loves us! (Ephesians 3: 17-19).