I'm going through somewhat of a crisis here at home. It's always difficult when one deals with unexpected news but even more during the Christmas season. I'm trying my best to spend time in prayer and continue on making our home festive for the guys (and Sasha). :)
I appreciated listening to Beth Moore's teaching on Wednesdays With Beth (Life Today, James Robison's show) yesterday. She mentioned just having come through a serious trial and appreciating the fact such times draws us closer to God because we have to cling to Him for answers.
I've been experiencing some health problems (all most likely the result of my not going to the doctor because I am uninsured... the county clinic keeps pushing back my appointment... hopefully I will be able to get in the last week of December), my husband's health was worse this year, I still miss my cat, and yesterday we received the news that our mortgage is going up by hundreds of dollars each month for the next year... a small amount due to property tax increases, mostly because of the part-time work my husband and I did this past year.
Our mortgage is through the government because of his Disability. We tried to fight the decision, explaining that the amount they are raising our mortgage is about what we MADE last year. My husband explained that the amount they are raising our mortgage by is what we use for food. However, we have learned that government rules often make little sense. (Like the fact they took away our insurance when my husband was placed on a medical disability...???).
I am only sharing this because I get so curious when people say they are going through a crisis and then don't share what it is. I know there are those who are in so much worse situations than us. I think so often of my friend who lost her husband and her married son in a fiery car accident a few years ago. I think of the family in our community who lost two of their children when their van was hit by a drunk driver. What a world we live in when Christmas shoppers are gunned down at the mall.
I know there are readers of this blog who are facing their own crisis. I love to receive your e-mails, to be able to pray for you and encourage you that God really is in control. I started reading a book last night, one I had purchased at a recent library sale. It is by Stu Webber called Spirit Warriors, a Soldier Looks at Spiritual Warfare. I have skimmed through a couple of his books before, he writes mostly for men but this book is written for men and women( recommended by Dennis Rainey). It's interesting how this book came to me at such a time as this. God didn't stop the crisis but He did give me a wonderful teacher... a pastor and former soldier who understands what it is like to be in the trenches. I'm only a quarter of the way through it but I have already found great peace (and understanding).
Yes... I have been through similar crisis before. None of us can reach our fifties without having battle scars. (Frankly, in this day and age, I know of some five year olds with such scars!) As Pastor Weber reminds us, we are in the midst of the war of the ages... the Universal war between good and evil. We have an Enemy.
I believe that's why so many of us love a good Story... one where the Hero battles for us and Good overcomes Evil. I am thankful that even though physically I feel so weak at times, I have a very strong King and his might Warrior Angels. I'm thankful that my God can supply all my needs according to His riches in Glory. It is through my weakness that He shows His strength.
It has been difficult this past year at times. My husband's illness affects his emotions and I've had to learn all over again to show mercy and compassion to one who can be challenging to live with during those seasons (as I shared with my friend, Linda... my husband is my ministry). My son is a great young man but is still "in training". I'm certain God feels the same way about me, shaking His head and thinking how challenging I can be and reminding Himself that I am still a pilgrim going through this world... one that is in training for Eternity.
I always have to remember that people are not the enemy. Not my husband, not the people at the USDA, not the appointment desk at the clinic, not the crazy drivers on the By Pass or the cranky cashiers at the store (I TRY not to be!). That's what the enemy of our souls wants us to do, to get upset with each other rather than come together in agreement that God has everything under control.
So please, when you are saying your prayers today, I'd appreciate a prayer for my family. I also can share an answer to prayer! This week we received the title to a beautiful used car, a gift from my son-in-law's parents. We are making the decision this week if we're going to just use this car or try to keep it and our aged Dodge. Regardless... we are so thankful and excited for this gift.
On this side of Eternity, we can never understand the road God allows us to travel. We have His promises to hold closely to us. I truly believe (without a doubt) that it is in the trials of life that we grow into the people He wants us to become. I've decided never to waste a trial. I long ago decided, too, that I must live my life the opposite of what the enemy would expect. So... last night I made a delicious dinner for the guys of slow cooked chuck roast with mushroom gravy, homemade mashed potatoes, mixed veggies, and a Kentucky Derby Pie. Today I may just tweak the Christmas decorations and send out the Christmas cards to my husband's elderly aunts.
Life of beauty... in the midst of the storms...