Encouragement in the Midst

I have to just take the time today to praise God!

It’s been a rough couple of weeks personally, but I love our Lord so much and how He gives us encouragement!  How He hurts when we hurt, how He takes us under His wing and nurses us back to where we need to be, how He carries us through our valleys and brings us out on the other side, planting our feet on a rock and walking with us every step of the way.  How WONDERFUL of a God He is and how THANKFUL I am that He is MY Jesus!

My husband stepped into the pretty big shoes of Senior Pastor about 6 months ago.  It had been a rough 9/10 months before hand and God taught us SO.MUCH. during that time.  Those rough couple of months were what helped to prepare us for where we are today.  God brought us through that time and gave us the most wonderful church family.  A smaller church family than we were used to, but one that is so warm, inviting, loving, friendly, sincere, are you getting the picture?  We just love these people!  The past 6 months we have taken some time to just get to know these sweet individuals, trying to have as many of them as possible in our home to help cultivate friendships.  We hadn’t seen much growth in our church but that was okay. We are just getting our feet wet and were praising the Lord for the 3 souls we have seen saved since coming!

In the month of April we began to see some new visitors come.  Oh we were delighted!  My husband and I prayed and prayed that we would see them return and you know what?  They did!  Not only that they brought co-workers of their with them!  We felt like doing a little happy dance to the Lord for this encouragement!  And then we lost our baby. WHAM!  It’s amazing how you can be on a mountain top and then find yourself on a slippery slope to the valley, isn’t it?  Satan delights in seeing us fail.  In seeing us discouraged.  In seeing us do and be anything other than what God wants us to do/be!

That next Sunday though our church was more full than it has ever been since our arrival.  Here we go, beginning to climb back up the mountain.  The Sunday after that we saw even more visitors and they came back for Sunday evening!  My heart is honestly so thrilled at what God is doing!  I don’t know what God has planned here for us and our church and I heard someone say something the other day that really is so true.  They said that they were thankful God didn’t reveal the future to them all at once because if He did, in their humanness they would be awfully fearful and probably not want to do the things God wanted them to do.  I am pretty sure I agree!  If we could see the big picture and every event that would take place in our future I would probably fear and worry and not want to be as obedient to God as He wants me to be.  However, in His loving kindness He chose to only let us see the present and maybe sometimes a glimmer of our future.  He knew we would not be able to handle all of the events of the future at once!

If I had known what events would take place in the past few years of our lives head of time, I would have struggled to obey and follow God’s leading.  There have been so many wonderful things that have taken place but also so many heartaches as well.  Yet, because God hasn’t revealed the entire future to us we oftentimes simply follow God’s leading because that is what we are supposed to do.  He ends up taking care of all of the details and allows heartaches to come as well as provides just the encouragement we need.

It is thrilling to see the Lord adding to His ministry.  I don’t know if our church will ever become a “mega-church” and whether it does or not, here we are for the long haul and we will just keep praising the Lord for the seeds He allows us to plant, for the watering He allows us to do, and will watch as He gives the increase!  How thankful I am for my Jesus!  How thankful I am that I can trust Him!  He is unchanging and therefore He is always good!  What a tremendous blessing!  Yes, there have been some discouraging days, but who doesn’t have them?  There is still SO much to praise Him for!

When the storms roll in, that is the perfect time to start counting your blessings!Image

 

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