Gratitude and Growth

 

     Little did I know when I blogged “Trials, Trust, and Wisdom” how close our family was to having a trial of our own just waiting around the corner!  The three weeks been a whirlwind!  An unfortunate work accident in the family and extensive injuries in a loved one, two surgeries, time in ICU and doctors saying a long recovery involving pain and physical therapy wanting nothing more than to be home with his family . There are three children missing their parents, and an expectant mom spending most days and nights in a hospital room or waiting room concerned about his injuries and missing her children. Yet in all of the busyness I have been blown away at God‘s provision and at the outpouring of family, church family, co-workers, wonderful friends both near and far! The love, generosity of everyone, calls, texts, visits and provisions are all so appreciated. In a world where the economy is challenging, prices are soaring, and everyone is busy and dealing with their problems and trials, I have witnessed such generosity, care and compassion!

      I have watched how bravely those most affected have dealt with this trial head on with courage, grace, love and faith.  We have literally felt the prayers of the wonderful people in our lives who have faithfully lifted us up to God’s throne and above all have seen God’s faithfulness to our family! In this time of questions, struggles and unknowns we do well to lean in more heavily than ever, trusting that God is in control of the situation and remember He is the One “who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think —according to the power that works in you— to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”  Ephesians 3:20-21  Second Corinthians 1 has been lived out in front of us during this time! Surely God is the ‘God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our affliction,  so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.’

      A sweet friend reminded our ladies group yesterday morning of a treasured scripture found in Isaiah 43 which reads: “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.  I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.  When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place,  it won’t be a dead end—Because I am God, your personal God,   The Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you:  all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That’s how much you mean to me!  That’s how much I love you!  I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,  trade the creation just for you.’  As I wrote about in the earlier blog, the Word of God never tells us that we won’t have trials, tests, and troubles. It does tell us that not only  does God never leave or forsake us but He is with us during these times!  Nothing that happens to us catches God by surprise!! When we find ourselves in less than pleasant circumstances He is fully aware! The real question to ask ourselves is how we will respond to the circumstances we find ourselves in? Often times, fear or panic is our first response and we come up with a bunch of “what if…”  statements or questions. We do have another option, we can respond in faith, trusting that God is in control and that He has a plan for us and our future is  in place (Jeremiah 29:11) and that in time He will work out all things for our good in the end. (Romans 8:28) God can take the things we see as bad, difficult, impossible and turn it into something that builds our faith and trust and completely changes our life and our attitudes and outlook. We always have a choice and our response or reaction may mean the difference between a better life for what we have endured and learned or a bitter life because of the things we have been “victim” to. 

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