Much has happened in one year.
In the past year, we thought we might move to South Dakota. But we didn't.
We thought we might move to Mississippi. But we didn't.
We make such plans, don't we? But God orders our steps.
Have you ever made irrational but heart-felt prayers? Ones you fling up to God, simply as a cry for what you long for? Are they ever foolish?
Sometime in the past year, I asked God to let us still be living here, in our town, in our house, at Christmas. At the time, it seemed an impossible request. I didn't see how it could happen. And honestly, of what reasonable value was it? Why Christmas? It was a purely emotional plea.
And in His dear kindness, He gave it to me. We had Christmas, a warm, glorious Christmas together, in our house.
It seems equally unlikely that we'll have another here, next year, and I'm not asking. It's possible I'm past the stage of emotional pleas now. God has led Adam and me down a serpentine path this year of uncertainty, of ministry, of blessing. All of it has been good. Much of it has been frustrating.
I learned this year that Adam is not responsible to provide for this family, or for me. God is. Period. I lay it at His door. It's Adam's job to look for work, and to put his hand to the work God gives him, which he does faithfully. We both look to Him to keep providing it.
God promises to provide for His children as long as they are living and breathing on this Earth. He doesn't promise open doors or open windows, or a way out of trials. He does promise to be with us in the middle of them. And recently I realized what that means: Where God is, there is life, and light, and joy, and power, and hope. So, if God is with me in the middle of my trial, then there's life, light, joy, power, and hope (and many other good things) in that trial, right where I am. When we fail to see that, we fail to see God. I'm reminded of Daniel's three friends in the furnace. God was there with them. Living, conversing, happy, exuberant. What an experience! If they hadn't gone into the furnace, they'd never have seen Him.
May I visit with Jesus in the furnace this year. I'll meet you there.