Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Grace and Praise

When life goes wrong from our perspective, we don't always remember that God has a plan and that in all things we are to give thanks. From my perspective, the way I want things to go, life has not gone well over the last couple of months. When you look at all that has taken place in our lives over the past 11 weeks it is amazing that we are all still sane! Amazing that is from a human perspective. If we look at it from the view point of Heaven's Eyes, it is a picture of grace.

Just to give you the quick run down: May brought Mark's diagnosis of borderline diabetes and hypertension, my gall bladder surgery, adjustment to new Thyroid medication. June - Andrew in the hospital with blood clots in his lung, Angie in the hospital for premature labor, sick with a cold, Dad's death, Angie's bout with gall bladder issues. July - Wedding cake on the 5th, quick trip to Indiana to be with family, fell at the hotel and hurt my arm, Andrea goes to Virginia to help Angie out, Chancellors death, trip to Ohio for his funeral, Mark had kidney stones removed by outpatient surgery, JohnDavid (grandson) spent the night in the hospital, Dad's memorial service - back to Indiana, Angie back for a night in the hospital. Still waiting for Baby Luke to arrive, and we still have a couple days left in July.

How did we get through it all? The grace of God. There is no way we could have gotten through this summer on our own. Many faithful saints have been on their knees on our behalf. God has heard their prayers and answered them. There were several times that I depended on the strength of the Lord and He was faithful to hold me up. When we are weak He is strong. I know I say that often but it is so true. Our strength is limited, His is not. When our strength is gone, He is there to sustain us. Always. We do our best to endure the trials on our own and when we finally realize we have nothing left with which to persevere, we humble ourselves and ask for His help. Just three words, Help me, Lord.

2 Corinthians 12:9,10 - And He has said unto me. "My grace is sufficient for you for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

I am sure it sounds strange to say but I am thankful for this time of trial and distress. It draws me closer to Him. Is there any thing better than to be drawn to the God who loves you? Makes me remember that it is His power and grace that sustains me. Praising the Lord and truly being thankful for the trials keeps things in perspective. Our eyes focus on God and His strength, Christ and His suffering on our behalf instead of our own pain. It reminds us how blessed we really are. In an effort to bring a smile to my face a friend said to me, "Look on the bright side, you are not covered in boils that you have to scrape with a rock." And oh, how true that is. Even if everything was gone. All our loved ones were gone and we had absolutely nothing, we still have Christ! How wonderful!

Psalm 13:5,6 - But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord because He has dealt bountifully with me.

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