Saturday, March 17, 2012

Seasons of Trials

     We had some good times this past week. Jessica's friend A.J. came to visit us while we stayed at my brother-in-law's house in Highland, CA.  On A.J.'s first day with us (Tuesday), I was doing some dishes and looked out the window to see my boys and A.J. standing stone cold still while wearing deathly serious faces and a police officer with an angry face was speaking to them. Being the big chicken I am, I continued washing dishes while watching the drama unfold. I called my husband and told him what I saw and he headed outside and was soon followed by his brother. Apparently my nephew's friend had shot an airsoft gun over the property line and the pellet had hit a kid but didn't hurt him. I don't know if the officer was a novice, but when he walked up to my son James, he pulled his gun out and began talking and waving his gun nervously--THAT'S why the faces I saw were so serious! Once he heard the likely story, the officer calmed down and soon left, and we all had a good story to share.
     I love the everyday stories and being able to share the great times our family has, but for the past 6-8 months, the telling of pithy stories has been difficult because life has been so serious. We have been touched by death, unemployment, betrayal, spiritual warfare, and severe disappointment. We have had so many experiences that cannot be shared because they are too deep and too personal to be lightly retold in a blog or in a quip on Facebook. Our nights are often interuptted by rivers of tears that flow down our faces, into our ears and dampen our pillowcases. As we head through our valley, some of things that have kept us sane are the following:
  • We have searched inward to see what lessons God is trying to teach us.
  • We have soothed our souls with God's Word which never fails and always gives hope.
  • We have prayed individually and sought God's will.
  • We have prayed as a family while holding hands and shedding tears together.
  • We have prayed for other's needs which always keeps our experience in perspective.
  • We have given thanks over and over again for God's many blessings of which we are so undeserving.
  • We have never stopped laughing.
  • We have kept our bodies and minds busy.
  • We have drawn close to some dear men of God who have blessed us with their encouragment and have annointed us with their tears. Dr. Bruce Goddard, Dr. Jeff Owens, and Dr. Steven Crane have been more than friends.
    Two of our pastor friends have said that sometimes God allows us to go through trials to soften our hearts for experiences and situations that are yet to come. Trials come in different shapes and sizes, and trials seem to come in seasons. We are experiencing a season now, and we looking forward to seeing how God will allow us to use what we are learning.

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