Sunday, March 30, 2008

Pure Joy

Last year I was asked to speak at the first Spanish Women's Retreat at church. After praying and also asking Andrew I agreed to do it. Little did I know how much work it would be! It made me realize how much time I have to study or read some more 'if' I really make the time :) Also, it reminded me of how much I need to learn. My times spent studying were wonderful and priceless. Of course, the last couple of days before the Retreat were pretty hectic. Trying to leave things done around the house, like food to eat and laundry, and of course last minute notes I had to finish, being the procrastinator that I am (God's helped me to get better, but it's still a bit of a struggle). I went to sleep late and woke up early the next morning to find a rash! I had broken out and had a bunch of itchy, round bumps all over my elbows and some on both my knees. I have NEVER had anything like this happen to me. I ended up crying out of frustration. My hair and nails were done, I had my list of things to pack, my bag with all my paper stuff/Bile was ready...I thought I had taken care of everything and now this...something unexpected. Then, as I prayed that God would help me get through this, I felt Him remind me of the verse in James that saids "Consider it pure joy, when you face trials of many kinds." Then I took a deep breathe, gave it over to God in prayer. I was at peace about the whole situation. I know it might seem small (and it really it now that I think about it), but at the moment it was devastating, uncomfortable, I hadn't planned for it. I think we can all relate to feeling this way. What? Are you kidding me? I never expected this to happen to us? As if we were exempt from what Jesus tells us over and over about in the Bible. The truth is we live in a fallen world in need of a Savior. It won't be perfect like Heaven, but He is faithful to hear us when we call. He's promised to give us "peace that surpasses all understanding" Phil. 4:7 Javier asked me "mom are you going even though you are so itchy?" I said "regardless of how I feel, these women still have to hear about Jesus". He replied with a smile, "I knew you were going to say that"...then he prayed for me, it was gone my the next day. This past weekend five girls showed up to the cabin and we had a wonderful time in the Word of God and fellowship. The Lord revealed sin and encouraged us to grow in maturity. God changed us all and we are better for it. Totally worth the 'little' trial that seemed to 'big' at the time. And yes, it produced character in me :)

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