In the book of James he says " Consider it pure joy my brother and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds."
Seriously? Let's face it, as humans it is either good times or bad times and I don't know many of us who are joyful when bad times come around. But as a Christians, we know...yes we do.
I would say this past year has been "the worse of times" for my family. And I can honestly say if it hadn't been for God I don't know how I would have got up each day. But I did because of Him. At the end of the day I would say "I made it. I'm still here. The world is still going on." But to be totally honest the "pure joy and trials" well... let's just say I wasn't feeling it. As far as I was concerned the trials could go away. I wasn't feeling the joy. Nope! Not this girl.
Thankfully, each day I read a word from God and if it was a bad day(and most of them were) He got me through it. If it was a good day I thanked Him. Hmmm... I was beginning to get it. Bad day...made it. Good day...thankful. Bad day... grateful I made it. Good day...grateful for it. It's not like my emotions are a switch you can turn off and on. I was choosing to find joy, gratefulness and love. I could either waddle in a pool of self pity or get up each day, lean on God and persevere.
Yesterday was a very good day and it was so easy to find the joy and be happy. Today not so much. It would have been much easier to just sit around and be upset. But I choose to be joyful. I choose to love and I also choose to forgive. It's true if you don't forgive you are the prisoner not the other person. They go on with their life not giving a care what they did to you. Forgiveness doesn't mean you condone the actions of the other person or you have to like them and be their best buddy. Forgiveness is releasing you to move on. It is one of the most powerful things you can do.
Like I said, today wasn't a very good day. I am concerned about our foundation and not having enough sponsors, donors and as for me enough time to work on this blessing God has trust me with. My desire is that I can work for our foundation. I never wanted to receive a paycheck doing this but in order to make this everything God desires it to be I need to work at it full time. Often our passions don't pay very well monetary but they do pay our heart abundantly!
I cried out to God and said "please Lord, show me what you want me to do."
Can I be honest here? I don't gamble but I was kind of hoping His answer would be "here is some numbers go down and buy a lottery ticket and your prayers will be answered!" Ahh yes. The easy way. I took some quiet time and waited for that still small voice. Sure enough I hear "reach for your bible." I have a small bible in our office. So I reached for it expecting some amazing scripture to jump out at me. Nope. Out slips a devotion card I had put in there a few years ago. One side had this quote from Washington Irving "There is in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly love, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity." Wow...that spoke to me. On the other side was a scripture Hebrews 10:36 "You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised." At that moment I found pure joy in my trial. I knew I would find peace because God gave me the answer...PERSEVERE!
You see I may have my trials, we all do but I personally know of a couple of hundred precious children that God has placed in my life that have no food, no clean water, no education, some one parent or no parents. They have trials but whenever I am blessed to go to Ethiopia and visit them they are smiling and hopeful because they know that myself and others who go with me are there because we care about them. They are not forgotten. We are going to make a difference. We tell them God loves them and He sent us to them and we share about the one true King. And the smiles get bigger.
Do I know what is going to happen with the foundation? No. What I do know is that God always finishes what He starts and on that word alone I will trust Him. He will provide a away for me and others to feed, cloth, educate, love and teach these little ones. They will learn that God provides. That God is always faithful and with God ALL things are possible!
Be joyful in all trials. To say that doesn't mean your not going to cry or hurt or be angry it means you will learn from these trails to trust Him. And once you put that trust in Him, that my friends is pure joy!
My Ethiopian Babies!
|Our daughter Jordan with her new friend|
|She lost her family to AIDS.|
|This is Berharu. He was my sponsor son. He died last August. M|
Heart broke like I never could have imagined. But I know he is in
heaven because he was sponsored and learned about Jesus and became
quite the little evangelist!