Sunday, October 21, 2007


(This is a repost of an entry from last April that I posted in another blog I write. We had a reoccurrence of being emotionally put through the cyber-wringer this week and it has done me good to reread this.)

I have this love/hate relationship with email. There are the piles of junk mail and spam that come, many times uncaught by the filters that are in place to save me from seeing the trash before I hit delete. There are the warnings, prayer requests, petitions etc that urge me to "forward this to everyone in my address book". There are daily devotional emails that we subscribed to at one time that always make me feel a twinge of guilt when I have to delete them because I simply don't have time to read them all. Sometimes we see the return address of a friend or family member and with much excitement open it hoping to find a personal note only to find what is basically a piece of "junk mail" that was sent to us and 100 other people at the same time. Occasionally a nice piece of personal mail sneaks into the inbox and brightens our day. This week I experienced some real extremes in the world of cybermail. We received some very surprising and saddening news which caught us completely by surprise. It was shortly followed by another very difficult note full of strong emotion and misunderstandings. I walked away from the computer feeling like I had been punched in the gut.

I have been reading the online writings of several women in various situations but all claiming to have a personal relationship with the Lord. As I read of their trials I also read of their hope in the Lord and was inspired by what seemed to be true vibrant faith in their daily lives. I am glad to see that their trials are drawing them closer to God but it only seemed to magnify the funk I was finding myself in. That's right, this missionary mom has been in a spiritual funk. Life was kind of sailing along in the hum drum routine, but even as I looked at the dreary rainy days that we have been having lately and longed for Spain's typical bright sun, I was longing for the close walk and vibrant faith I have experienced in the past. The thing was, that those memories of intense spiritual hunger and joy of communion with the Lord have typically come as I walked through some real valleys and trials. I wasn't anxious for a medical trial, a financial pinch, a family crisis or any of the myriad of situations I imagined might be used to bring me to my knees. And I certainly wasn't expecting God to use an email.

I did know that whatever the circumstance that might "shake me up", that the answer would be in HIS WORD. And I wasn't mistaken. God's Word, although written thousands of years ago, is still as up to the minute as an "instant message". I'm convinced that it is no "coincidence" that Tim read the second chapter of Philippians to me aloud in bed the other day and that the words reverberated around in my head throughout the day because 25 years ago I took the time to memorize the entire book of Philippians while riding the subway to school each day. It is not "chance" that as I fell behind in my daily Bible reading schedule that I ended up in Jeremiah 1 with highlighted words jumping out at me like "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you", "everywhere I send you, you shall go, all that I command you, you shall speak" and "I am with you to deliver you". Nor did that same Bible reading schedule send my to Psalm 37 "by accident".
Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the LORD, And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him, Do not fret ...
Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
The LORD sustains -- The LORD knows -- The LORD is the One who holds his hand -- The LORD loves justice -- The LORD will not leave him -- He is their strength -- The LORD helps and delivers them .... because they take refuge in Him.

Oh how I needed to read those words again and have them grab hold of my heart anew! What a joy it is to see that once again God's Word is quick and powerful and able to change lives .... even my own.

I'm still feeling a bit under the weather and plan to go get a physical to see if there is any physical reason for my listlessness and general fatigue. But I feel confident that God is at work in me, both to will and to do His good pleasure (italics mine) and that as I draw near to HIM, the spiritual funk will fade. *October update: everything is fine health-wise and I did come out of April's funk. I am confident that this week's events, although hard to go through, will also prove to strengthen my faith and not pull me into a pit, if I remember to keep my focus not on myself but on my Lord.

Oh, and as is so like the Lord in His abundant goodness, today's email contained news of a precious saint's promotion to glory, a fantastic newsy letter of encouragement from the wife of one of our supporting pastors, and a note from a church that is considering taking us on as one of their missionaries. As our European director always says, "GOD IS GOOD EVERYDAY, ALL THE TIME."


Mom for Dad, too said...

So glad that the Lord is faithful and His Word is living and true! Those are some of my very special verses especially Ps 37. We are trusting that God will be glorified in all you do through these days. He and He alone is worthy of our worship and praise. May our hearts all do just that. Love to you all.