It has been beautiful almost everyday and then rained almost every evening, and everything on the compound is BEAUTIFUL! It is hot and muggy in between, but we've been surprised how well we're all handling the heat...we must finally be acclimating!
Our dear friends, Elisa and James, left Friday morning. We enjoyed many sweet moments with them, and our last ten days were filled with much laughter, many great conversations of the past, present and future, joyful times of music, games and movies and some blessed times of prayer. I don't know when we'll see them next (they live in Georgia), but we are SO grateful for this time. We feel especially "under attack" lately within our own minds: burdened with different frustrations and worries, exhausted from the school year, Matt's masters, mission work and being new parents, and a little overwhelmed by all of the travel, details, speaking and appointments the next 6 weeks hold. I know God brought Elisa and James at the perfect time to lift us up, carry the burdens with us, pray for us, and bless us with laughter. Thank you for your prayers as well!
The Word of the Lord, however, has been the most beautiful thing in our lives these past days; anchoring us, directing us, inspiring us and renewing our minds and our spirits. I don't know what we would do without the Bible! This past week, this passage drew us out of our "small picture" mentality and refreshed us with the "big picture." I know it's a long passage, but let it's imagery and peace and promise wash over you as you read.
"This is the fast which I choose for you:
to loosen the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the bands of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
to divide your bread with the hungry
to bring the homeless poor into your house
and to cover the naked.
Then your light will break out like the dawn,
and your recovery will speedily spring forth;
and your righteousness will go before you;
the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call,
and the Lord will answer;
You will cry,
He will say, "Here I am."
If you remove the yoke from your midst,
and if you give yourself to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light will rise in darkness
And the Lord will continually guide you
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and give strength to your bones;
You will be like a watered garden
A spring of water whose waters don't fail.
And you will be called repairer of the breach,
The restorer of the streets." Isaiah 58
That is WHY we are here, WHY you are there, WHY we are HERE on Earth: to be repairers of the breach between God and His people...to let the oppressed go free...to divide our bread with the hungry...to satisfy the NEED the afflicted have for Christ.
And when we call, He'll answer. That simple. And when we follow Him, He will "continually guide" us, making us well-watered gardens in scorched places.
Praise the Lord...We remember again that He is truly ALL that we need, and that All of the things that seem like "such a big deal" are not such a big deal after all. May He continually guide you today, and satisfy your desires, and give strength to your bones!