Thursday, August 8, 2013
I was writing to a friend and felt like God said to share it, so here goes...
I finally got a night to spend answering e-mails. Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. I enjoyed reading your letter, which might sound strange. But to me it is refreshing to hear a christian that is honest and does not portray the perfect christian life. My husband likes to tell a story about a guy...... "Who when he was young, was very charismatic and drew large crowds wherever he went, and everyone wanted him to come and speak. As time went on though he seamed to get into trouble here and there. His ministry began to be unable to support him and he had to take part time jobs to survive. Soon the crowds were smaller. He eventually got into trouble with the law, and ended up in jail. Most would say that it was a shame how he failed, how he must have been making poor choices, how he must have let sin into his life. But this story is about the Apostle Paul. Paul did not let sin into his life. In fact he pressed into God more intently as his life progressed".
My husband and I believe that if you are truly following God with your whole heart you will be blessed, and herein lies the problem in the USA and Canada. We interpret blessed as everything going well, being successful, having material possessions, a great marriage, the perfect family, great finances, God making our lives easier, no trials, etc. Paul was following God hard with everything he had. The blessings Paul received did not look like the blessings we think of as blessings. He was persecuted, rejected, hungry, beat, put in prison unjustly, all the things God promised would happen to him if he followed Christ. But Paul was blessed! Some of the strongest and most faithful christian's I know live here in Haiti. And by our western perspective they do not appear to be blessed. But I know they are sooooo blessed. They have the peace that passes understanding, the faith that moves mountains and the joy of the Lord, real joy. Like the words of the song I was referring to by Matt Redman, whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes. It really doesn't get truer than this and even though some days I get caught up into why does this have to happen to me, I look around and get a really good perspective just outside my front door. I really do appreciate your prayers for me. Sometimes things don't seem fair or just, but I need to be reminded that it is not about me. I need to be reminded that it is about Him and the ones He loves.
I was amazed when I was first married, how selfish and self focused I was. Trying to live with a new spouse tends to bring that out after awhile. Then when I started having children I remember thinking how they brought out even more selfishness and self focus. It seemed that my bad traits were so obvious that I had to acknowledge them. When I adopted the last three I can remember thinking "okay what is God going to teach me this time." With the two latest adoptions we are working on I am now thinking " Here we go again." Just as I am amazed that each child can be so different from each other and be amazed that I can love another one as much as the others, I also am amazed by who and what He uses to continue to refine us. I have walked through a lot of crud in my life, that I would not wish on an enemy, but at the same time I value how it has made me who I am. And I am just old enough to see some of the pieces starting to come together, pieces that answer some of the why's, and the how comes, and the I can't believe you are letting this happen, and the it's not fairs. God is so good even when it does not seem like it. And I am barely learning to start walking like it.
I did find a dress and I am praying for you also. Please don't let the enemy accuse you or oppress you over your thought process. Just give it to God, tell Him your sorry you got off track and move forward. Really as cliche as it sounds, it is the very thing the enemy does not want you to do.
So Blessings to you, many blessings, Chris