Isaiah 40:26 NLT “Look up into the heavens. Who created the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of His great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing.”

I look up at my ceiling before falling asleep — you know, to check for uninvited crawling guests. Call me crazy, but Alabama bugs are no joke! For some reason, I sleep better knowing I looked up — just to be safe.

The other night I did my nightly check and looked up up up. My eye caught something round and small just above my bed. AH! I shined my flashlight, squinted my eyes, looked for a shoe…but wait! As I looked a moment more I realized it was just a ladybug. Whew! Actually, I felt pretty lucky. Ladybugs take me back to being a little girl. I have a painting of a ladybug hanging in my office today from when I was six years old! Nostalgic, I know. But ladybugs are one of those things God uses to take me back to a place of childlike faith — to days when all I knew was being little. To days when I was looking up at the sky for ladybugs on the regular. He reminds me today I am still just as much His child now as I was then. Ladybugs are little too, but God still knows the spots on their wings.

Psalm 57:10 ICB “Your love is so great it reaches to the skies. Your truth reaches to the clouds.”

Looking up at my ceiling reminds me to look up more often. I’m not that different from this ladybug — I’m small too. We’re just two girls at an impromptu sleepover party with stories and dreams and challenges and wonders. (All we’re missing is Princess Diaries 2!) Maybe all this ladybug wants is to get off my ceiling and get up the courage to spread her wings and fly. It’s scary in the dark of night, but light is coming soon. Perhaps she is waiting for the signal of dawn. Maybe she is resting and preparing. And maybe I should take note here. Her calm presence — unmoving and unworried — makes me think of a phrase from Isaiah 30:15… “only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.”

Quietness and confidence is my strength. But how often do I choose busyness and distraction? I love how God nudges us with small everyday encounters when we look up to Him. Nudges to rest in Him and trust His promises. Promises He provides. Comforts He is my home. Joys unshakable. Foundations sure and strong. He provides for the wildflowers (and ladybugs too!) So He certainly cares for me. And you. And you. (Matthew 6:30). This little ladybug lit up my faith in a big way before I fell asleep that night. A spark that took me back to the little girl who loved writing stories. (And watching Princess Diaries 2, of course!) What little moments take you back? How is God using your surroundings to bring you closer to Him? Stop and look up for a bit. Now I see I really am like the ladybug on the ceiling — waiting for light to signal wings to take flight. Trusting the Lord’s timing and path.

Psalm 62:1 NLT “I quietly wait before God, for my victory comes from Him.”

Waiting is not passive and it does not need to be. Even today as many of us face quarantine and staying home to wait for the virus to pass, our waiting can be a restoring and sanctifying time. While we wait, our confidence and strength in the Lord has time to grow. We can feel it tangibly perhaps now more than ever before. God is actively at work in us. No matter what we face in the days coming, we can stand firm in His promises. The victory is already won in Jesus.

“Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, You have brought us is safety to this new day: Preserve us with Your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of Your purpose, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” Common Book of Prayer p. 137

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