Today, as I was writing an email to three dear friends of mine, I realized how much the Lord is blessing us lately. These blessings are not the kind of blessings that the world recognizes since they aren't things that you can see or touch, but they are things that touch our hearts, which are the best kind of blessings. God is growing us, stretching us, humbling us, pushing us, challenging us, and generally keeping us on our toes. Alas(yes, I really did use the word alas. Nothing else seemed to fit), it is rewarding, isn't it? To be able to look back and see the path we've traveled in spite of all the pain and frustration is sometimes like looking at a television, as if it isn't really us that we look back and see because we have changed so much and learned so much.
I'm not sure where God is taking us, but He never promised to show us the future, just the step that He desires for us to take right now. As we obey in spite of not having the ability to know what lies ahead, our faith in Him is strengthened step by step, day by day. Obedience isn't always easy, but it is always rewarding.
We still don't know how we're going to make it financially as Eric builds his business, but we know God is going to make sure all our needs are provided. Right now, we're memorizing I Thessalonians 3:16-18 which says, "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Along with this we're studying Family Way #9 (Our 24 Family Ways is a great family devotional)which says, "We are thankful to God for whatever we have whether it is a little or a lot." Good stuff, isn't it?
The thing is that even in these times when we aren't splurging on anything and find ourselves struggling to know where our daily living expenses are coming from, I don't feel like we have a little. I look around, and I see a lot. Toys for the kids, a piano which I have not forgotten was free to us and in great shape, a cozy living room, a big house, family nearby, friendships that are growing, opportunities to minister to our neighbor girls, and much, much more.
Even more than things and relationships, God is growing us as a family. He is teaching Eric and me so much right now and rocking our world in some ways. The very way that we look at church and ministry is changing, and I'm not sure what the Lord is going to do with us now that He has planted this new vision. He has placed a longing in our hearts to give our kids a family life that will leave a legacy of love, thus blessing not just our children but generations to come. It's amazing. It's overwhelming if we think that we have to do it on our own, perfectly orchestrating our every move. Thank Jesus for grace for we need it and the forgiveness that our children offer us when we miss the mark and for the fact that they are learning to admit when they are wrong and to seek forgiveness.
Yeah. They're learning that because we mess up so much, but isn't that the way it works? We want them to see Jesus in us. I see all the areas in which I need to grow and change, so I hope they can find Jesus in there somewhere. I see Jesus in them, so I know they're getting it somewhere!
How is God growing and stretching you right now? In difficult circumstances, is He showing you that you are his pride and joy? Giving you blessings in the dark corridors of life? Watch for Him, and He will. I promise!