We are blessed. God is wonderful to allow us this much time fairly close to most of our family since leaving the United States in 1998. We’ve cherished these months – there have been some incredible highs and lows and every emotional level in-between. We know. It’s just life: births, deaths, relationships, certainties and uncertainties – all the normal stuff each of us experience in the moments given. We struggle sometimes.
Culture shock has been just that – a SHOCK. We’ve read about it and prayed about it and even anticipated it but this time around it’s slapped us silly. Encouragement from The Word shot directly into the heart by our Father keeps our feet on the ground. Many of you also encourage and help us for which we ask God to bless you abundantly for your service to Him towards us. What would we do without the Body of Christ? You know who you are so please take this as a very warm and very public THANK YOU. Seriously, we appreciate you more than we can possible express here on this earth.
You encourage us to serve better.
We miss our wonderful God-given family in the Philippines. You also know who you are. Our hearts literally ache sometimes. Yes, literally. We also miss our co-workers and partners and their families. And it’s not just the wonderful people we left there – we even miss the food, culture, smells and noise. Who would have thought that? Do you ever feel fickle before the Lord or is it just us? We missed all that from here when we were there. We relate to these words divinely preserved in Psalms 199:8 when the author entreats the Lord in the second part of the verse:
Psalms 119: 8 O forsake me not utterly.
How can He not be completely exasperated with us? Can we just add here that God, our Father, is faithfully holding us close with all His mighty strength? We know that even when we don’t exactly feel His arms grasping around our bodies. We cling to that fact when we fail Him and those around us. We stand assured of that fact when our emotions are all over the place, failing Him every other moment and thinking we have to KNOW what’s ahead of us.
We praise and thank Him for the times we do feel His tight embrace.
All that to say, “We don’t know what is ahead of us.” Is it any surprise that God draws us to the book of James chapter four?
And it might sound old and cliché to some so you can just skip this next part of this sentence (and reread James:4)… although we don’t know our future, we do know the One who planned and holds our future. Praise God it is in HIM we trust!
Selfish prayer request:
Pray we wait with patience. Pray we do not grow weary to do any good works. Pray that we guard our hearts and remember our words and actions are judged by Him – and that no other judgement counts in the end. Pray that we draw ever close to the Lord. Pray that we are willing and eager to run in the direction He gives when He reveals it to us. Pray.
After reading our blog, an understanding friend shared this lovely poem by Minnie L. Haskin :
I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God.
That shall be to you better than a light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth and finding the hand of God,
strode gladly into the night,
and He led me toward the hills and the breaking of the down in the lone east.”
We pray it’s an encouragement to you too!
Again we say “Thanks” in the warmest possible way that the written word can express (bold and italics).