It has been hard to get back to this blog. We have had a pretty steady stream of people calling and visiting. This has been good - we've needed it - but we do get weary. I would recount evidences of God's grace through His people, but I can't count that high. God is good, and He does use His people.
My thoughts have been swirling and sometimes I don't know what to think or pray. Several times I've been on my knees and I've said, "Lord, you know ... and you have set many other people praying, so I'll leave it to you and them." Other times, I've been able to pray for a few key people quite fervently (beginning with my family). Some people have commented on our strength, but Juanita and I have never been more conscious of our weakness and fragility. We are weak, but He is strong.
There have been many evidences of God's prior work of preparation. Some may be offended that I would even talk like this, but a God that does not know the future or who is not sovereign is no comfort at all.
I don't have time or energy to list many of God's gracious providences right now, but let me list just three:
- C.J Mahaney's message on Psalm 42 (we chose Psalm 42 as a text for the Scripture reading at Emily's funeral and Ephesians 2:8-9, Emily's favorite verses, as the message text). C.J.'s message is one that we have copied and given out as its central idea of talking to yourself (God's promises / character / the Gospel) vs. listening to yourself (doubt, self-talk, etc.) is so helpful. When certain tracks start playing in my mind I, by God's grace, can say, "Trust in God."
- At bedtime, I've been reading J.I. Packer's Knowing God - it is one of those "should have read it a long time ago" books. I've been loving it, but the chapter I was reading on the 27th was "The Heart of the Gospel." I will be posting a quote from a section on peace from that chapter soon.
- Music. Sovereign Grace music, songs and hymns at the funeral and at church on Sunday. What a gift these lyrics have been - particularly in the middle of the night.
I will briefly list family, our church family, cards, emails and blog comments, the book Valley of Vision by Arthur Bennett, Spurgeon's Morning and Evening - not to mention God's Word - as sources of comfort and strength that God has been using. I hope to blog more on these things sometime, but we're really taking things one day at a time - moment to moment, even.
Thanks for your continued prayers. Life is difficult these days, but God is still carrying us.