Thursday, January 29, 2009

Out of Barrenness..... Hope

I never expected to have the opportunity before me, at least not right now. I am returning to Haiti in 3 weeks. I have been there twice before, flying into Port au Prince and then flying to Pignon. This time I will be going to northeast Haiti with His Hands for Haiti.
When I was first asked the end of December, I thought I wouldn't be able to go, but I made a list of all the reasons why I didn't think I could, and by this past Monday night, the Lord had cleared the way.... all except finances. I was not even listing that as a reason why because I have seen God provide in the past and I have no doubt that He will do it again.
The difference is that I need it in 2 weeks!

When I went before, one things really struck me. The hope that the Haitian Christians have. Their land is so poor. Their homes are sometimes only shacks They may not have enough food to eat or many clothes to wear. But, they have hope. Hope in Jesus and eternal life.

The picture above is a scrapbook page I made, with a photo of beautiful pink blossoms on a tree (hard to see since it is a photo of a photo) between 2 very poor homes. It spoke hope to me, and it was a lesson I brought home with me.

What is your hope in? Who is your hope in? My hope is in the Lord.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

January Musings

Happy 2009. May you be blessed this year. When you think of being blessed, do you think of only good things coming your way? That would be nice, wouldn't it?

I will be teaching a ladies Bible study on James beginning this week.
As I was preparing for the first lesson, I thought, "I really don't have any trials in my life right now other than my mother and her health issues." Little did I know..... within days, I was being tested. Was it an attack of the enemy? Was it a physical/chemical imbalance/ emotional issue??? It doesn't really matter. The fact is, I was thrown into depression and tears. Frustrated with myself, I thought, "How can I be joyful when depressed????"

After visiting my doctor who has seen me for a couple of years, he said I am affected by
Seasonal Affective Disorder, as well as other stressors in my life . I never would have believed it, but when I took a look at the symptoms, I had to agree. So, armed with God's Word and, as much as I hate to, with meds, I am now ready to face James!

Count it all joy. That's a hard one, isn't it? We want to ask, "Why? Why me? Why now?" But being a Christian doesn't give us an exemption from pain, suffering, trials, etc. If we didn't face challenges, our faith wouldn't grow. Our relationship with God wouldn't grow and change. We would remain baby Christians, having tantrums when faced with difficulties leading to anger and bitterness.

If we accept those challenges and trials, and allow God to develop patience and endurance in us, we will be better prepared to to face future difficulties. As a former pastor used to say, "It's good for your character!"

So, I hope you will be blessed as you face whatever this new year brings, by finding joy and growing in your walk with the Lord.

Although I have not felt like doing many of the things I generally enjoy, I have recently done some knitting and sewing. Check out my projects here:
Stamp Stitch Scrap for JOY

Blessings 2 U ~ J-ME