Sometimes we have felt like we are hanging by a thread. A few weeks ago, it felt like that thread started to fray.
There was temptation to panic- to run- to hide…and I clung to those treasured verses…
Every word of God proves true, he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. (Pr. 30:5)
Those who trust in the Lord will not be ashamed. (Romans 10:11)
I trembled and cried. We prayed. For a while, it was hard to admit how desperate we were.
For a while we were silent; we sought God and poured our heart out to him.
Then, God opened doors at a Christmas party that I didn’t want to go to. I didn’t want to go celebrate when my heart felt heavy with the cares of this season and our families struggles.
But my daughter was excited about the party…so I was determined to go and be joyful, to remember all we have to celebrate- to give thanks for those blessings God has given.
When we arrived, a sweet Christian lady approached me and asked how we were doing. And I cracked open…and cried. All that was within came spilling out.
And as I talked and shared, something amazing happened. Women began approaching me and sharing their stories. They asked what we needed; I made a list.
And for almost 2 weeks, several times a day, we had visits from the family of God- and through them God ministered to us. He provided the encouragement that we have desperately been needing.
Affirmation of our obedience, and more learning– as we have been cared for by the family of Christ. The generosity of our brothers and sisters has been overwhelming.
Other churches in the community gave to us. They brought toys and food and gift cards- but most of all they brought love, compassion, and prayers. They brought verses that God has given them in tough seasons- those truths that helped hold them when they felt like they couldn’t hold on.
And my hubby and I held each other and cried. Overwhelmed and humbled by how God miraculously provided above and beyond what we could imagine.
He lavishly poured into our lives all manner of riches.
One of the cards had this verse in it:
1 Peter 5:6-10
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. 8 Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. 10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.
This season has been uncomfortable.
We have experienced the ups and downs of living and never knowing what the next day will bring- and we continue to live in this tension- knowing that our security lies only in Christ.
So many things in our lives continue to be uncertain…where we will live, what job my hubby will get, when he will get it…how we will pay our bills…
And yet, even in the midst of all of this, God has proved to us that he is not unaware. He is not sleeping. He is faithfully walking with us. He is teaching us and stretching us and showing us what’s truly important. So many layers of the unnecessary are stripped away, and we find the gold underneath- those things that remain.
We know what it means to have peace in the storm.
We understand and believe that trusting God is better than worrying about what we will eat and drink and what we will wear (Matthew 6). We have seen God provide all those needs. God has done this, and it is marvelous to see.
We are transformed.
And our children watch and see that we serve a God who gives himself.
We trust him and are not ashamed.
He brings peace and joy that the world can never take away.
Merry Christmas. May the peace of Christ rest upon you. May you and your family experience the amazing, life-transforming power of Emmanuel- God with us!