Friday, May 20, 2011

Remembering and Giving Him Praise

Last year at this time I posted about "Paint chips, Puffs & Praise" over here. I'm amazed at how that seems like such a long time ago in some ways. God has poured out so much healing in our lives. It's so good to go back and REMEMBER. Remembering all the times of God's faithfulness builds out faith for the current issues we face. My heart fills up with PRAISE as I think about how faithful and good the Lord has been to our family. As we prepare for our oldest son's graduation it's good to pause and think of all the things the Lord has brought us through. Just a year ago life seemed pretty rough and ragged. While we're still recovering financially from the losses surrounding our life in ND, we have many rich blessings to praise Him for!!! Below is the entry of just one year ago. Be encouraged, if you are facing your own trials. You never know what God is in the process of doing ... and how much things might change in just one year.

(Originally written May, 2011)

Finally the rain stopped awhile so I could get back to scraping the paint off the porch on this big 'ole house we're trying to make home. The children were all busy playing out back and it allowed just enough time for the flood gates to open once again. Something about working on this house reminded me of "the other house" that we still are waiting on closure for. Perhaps it was remembering all the long, hard months we worked on "the other house" to make into home ... knowing how it seemed to be all in vain now, that really hit deep once again. If I allowed myself I could believe any one of the crazy lies that flash through my head on a given day.

As I willed my mind to think on truth I went back to recount all the times I could think of in the past few years that God has shown Himself sooooo faithful. Quickly the Lord brought to mind waiting in a surgery prep room as I signed papers for a procedure that was so against everything I wanted. Doing so gave us a fighting chance on escaping a full-blown illness of cancer. I remembered how I had wrestled through the journey and how God has shown Himself as the God of all Comfort to me. Even when I felt so empty, He was there. He would NEVER ask me to face something without Him. By His precious grace we'd later have the privilege of bringing home TWO orphans.

While I kept scraping the porch and wiping the tears with Puffs, my mind traveled to another hospital room. This time it was when God spared my amazing middle son's life from a deadly sledding accident. I don't know HOW many times the doctors told us in that week stay just "how close" he was and all the "ifs". But instead this guy now towers over me and is so solidly standing on a firm foundation with a heart for many to know the Lord. Oh what PRAISE fills my heart.

That memory of course brought me to a more recent "close call" with my oldest, which you can read about here. Again, God spared that son's life. Lord, your MERCY is more than I can even comprehend.

Many of you have faced your own hardships.
  • Trusting God for finances for your adoption.
  • A medical diagnosis.
  • The indescribable loss of a loved one.
  • A lost job during the crumbling economy.
  • The fear of the unknown.
  • A broken marriage, by a spouse who got up and walked away.
  • The loss of a dream.
No matter what we face there is someONE there if we will choose to look to Him. We have to choose to look to Him though. He never forces Himself on us. He not only knows our name and the number of hairs on our head, but He knows every detail of what we're going through. He even knows the things we can't voice out loud.


3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion
and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those
in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

HELLO!!! .... there is PURPOSE in what He allows in our lives.

5For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ
our comfort overflows. 6If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation;
if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance
of the same sufferings we suffer.
7And our hope for you is FIRM, because we KNOW that just as you share in our sufferings,
so ALSO you share in our comfort.
2 Corinthians 1:3-7

I deserve NOTHING, yet He cares enough about me to SHARE in everything going on in my life!

I continued scraping all that paint away, leaving a trail of wet Puffs behind me. I must choose to REST in HIM knowing that all the chapters of our story have not been written yet. It is NOT up to me to make that house sell. It is NOT up to me what the future brings. It IS up to me to TRUST HIM, to WALK WITH HIM, to LOOK TO HIM.

God isn't "good" because the house sold. GOD IS GOOD because He's THERE on the front porch in the midst of paint chips, wet Puffs and a host of unknowns. HE is the very REASON there is PRAISE.

Maybe you're in the midst of your own storm. He knows every tear you've shed. HE wants to be your comfort.

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