It isn't often that I go back to my past, or discuss the dark days of long ago. But yesterday, it came up due to a discussion on homeless and the profoundly lost of our society.
When I think about my earlier years as a young wife and mother, it comes with some joyous stories of our boys, but also with profound sadness, grief and loss.
It was a time of confusion, pouring my heart out to my Lord, misunderstanding, anger, frustration, misguidance, and hope.
Did I say hope? Yes I DID! Because, had I not had the hope of my Lord and Savior, I do not know that I would have made it through the difficulties of the days.
Very few people know my story, and I will not share it, even on my blog, as the details do not matter. All I know is, that the Lord saw fit for me to go through many things, in order to break me, teach me, and make me dependent upon him. He weakened me, so that I could be strong. He humbled me, to bring Glory to Himself. He taught me to cling to His every word, so that I could become wise. Wise not in my own eyes, but wisdom from above. Have I arrived, no. Do I know all. No. But at the same time, the only TRUE wisdom comes from HIM and HIM alone!
As we were in Ukraine, I was struck by the awesome responsibility of bringing the Good news of Jesus Christ to those who hadn't heard. Where do you begin?
How do you tell a poor homeless, parentless child that he has a heavenly father who loves him? How do you tell that child living in abject poverty that God CARES and SEES and is with him? How do you explain to that child that the children on the other side of the world who are more interested in the next "event" to attend, who have all the food they want, who have parents and schools, and clothes, and everything they need materially are no more important than them in the eyes of GOD; yet they sit and ROT in a TB Sanitarium while the other child is at Disneyworld?
It became profoundly evident to me for one of the first times in my life that I actually had more in common with some of these kids than I realized. The profound grief, the rejection, the loss of hope, the despair, the unknown; I have truly felt those things profoundly and deeply. The questions, "If God loves me AND I love him, why am I sitting here rotting like this?" That was a question I once asked.
In His infinite wisdom KNOWS what is best for His children. I am so thankful for those experiences now. I understand NOW more why they were important in my life to go through. Had I not been there, I would never be able to minister, even to my own children, as the Lord has made possible because of what my experiences were in my past.
I praise Him for HIS MERCY and WISDOM and LOVE.
And yes, I knew, even in times of despair, that He was carrying me through. There is HOPE in Christ. The TRUE Gospel does not offer the riches of this world. It does not guarantee the successes of Wall Street, (as we can see in the news today) Riches are like the chaff of a tree that blows away in in the Wind. But the Riches of Christ are not blown away, they are real and tangible and they do not wither.
The Riches of Christ can be had by all....
Isaiah 55 says "Come, EVERYONE who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come and buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread and your labor for that wich does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear to me, hear that your sould may live; ............. Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near, let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thorughts, let him return to the Lord that He may have compassion on him and to our God for He will ABUNANTLY pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts either are your ways, my ways declares the Lord. ..........
“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis
― C. S. Lewis
I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)