Sometimes when I look to the future, all that I can see is the darkness of uncertainty. The waves can appear to be overwhelming.
I remind myself that He promises that His mercies are new every morning.
"Why be afraid of anything - when our God is using everything?" - Ann Voskamp
I spent some time at the beach this week with 5 of my children (Roger and Isaiah were on a different trip). It was a good time to rest. To be reminded. To relax and enjoy my children. I love the beach as life just seems slower, gentler, kinder there.
Time for playing games.
Seeing God's handiwork in so many different ways.
Watching my children laugh and have fun with each other. This always delights my mama heart.
God calls me to rest in Him. To look for Him. To draw close to Him.
Cast your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you;
He will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22
It doesn't mean that things won't be hard. They will. It doesn't mean that the burdens of this world won't feel crushing at times. They will. God has not promised a life that is easy or free from trials. Quite the opposite.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.
What He does promise is that *when* we do go through trials that He will be with us.
"The greatest Christians in history seem to say that their sufferings ended up bringing them closest to God - so this is the best thing that could happen, not the worst." Peter Kreeft
I know that this has been true in my life. I've always wanted a deeper faith - but not the trials that produced it. In fact, for much of my life things really seemed easy. My trials were not deep or ones that left scars. I often wondered why others seemed to have so much to deal with and some seemed to walk through life unscathed.
Over the last 5 years or so, I have found myself in valleys like none I've known before. And through it all, I've found Him faithful.
He stands with me. Never leaving. Always close.
He works with me, helping me to take the next step and to do what He has called me to do.
Its not always easy and I often find myself wrestling with God. Especially when He calls me to something that just was not part of my plan. To walk a path I did not want to be on. To be obedient, even when it isn't what I want to do.
"The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." Exodus 14:14
That isn't always easy especially in a culture that rewards us when we are busy and active and self-reliant. I guess that is the point though. I need to let down my guard and trust God. Rest in Him.
It isn't that its all hard work either. When I rest, it is there that I can experience His joy. His peace. His rest. These are all amazing blessings and things that I want in my life. I want to know Him more.
I'm thankful for this sweet time at the beach. Time to rest and enjoy my children. To delight in their laughter. To make sweet memories even in the midst of challenges.
And as another example of how God is in the details, our sermon this morning at church was on resting in God. I'm listening.
We have seen some answers to prayers already, but there is still quite a journey ahead of us. We appreciate your continued prayers as God brings us to mind.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
For any of you that may be interested in reading more about Christopher's summer and praying for him as he heads off on a missions trip, you can keep up with him at his blog here.
In His Love