As we all know (if you're still reading my blog), I have been writing a lot about some of the things that are happening in my life right now, some struggles. And, I know that I am not the only one. Some of my dear friends are going through some very painful struggles of their own right now, and those are just the ones I know about. I would surmise that many more of my friends and acquaintances are struggling with things; things that I am not privy to. And, that's OK. I understand that sharing our struggles with others, or posting it on the internet, is not for everyone. The point is, though, that people are hurting, and it's difficult to watch people you care about and love hurt. And, maybe it's just me, but I think that when you see such suffering, it is easy to start to question God. Why is He allowing this? What possible good can come from it? Why is He not answering my prayers?
And, not that God owes me any explanation for why He does what He does or any confirmation of His holiness and goodness, God is faithful to answer our questions. He is faithful to help us work out whatever it is that we need to work out with Him. And, that is what God has done for me over the last few days.
On Saturday, I took my grandmother to the women's tea at my church. During the tea, four women from the African women's choir sang to us. You see, our church opens up its facilities each week to a pastor from Africa. Pastor Bomett leads approximately 100 African emigrants in worship each week. The women who sang were some of those African emigrants. What was amazing about these women was not the beautiful songs they sang, although they were definitely beautiful, but instead, it was their love for Jesus. Let me just tell you, these women glowed; their love for Jesus radiated from them. When they sang, they were praising Jesus with everything inside of them.
And, what was most amazing was these women's love of Jesus, despite what they had been through in their lives. These women were from Rwanda, Burundi, and the Congo. They had been captured, beaten and abused during the genocidal conflicts that have ravaged that region of the world. Some of them had been forced to watch their spouses and children be murdered by enemy soldiers. They had traveled from refugee camp to refugee camp, not knowing if they would make it to the next camp. And, now, here they were in West Des Moines, Iowa. These women speak very little English, which makes it difficult for them to find work so that they can support their families. But, despite all of that, these women love Jesus. And, we were told that they know Jesus protected and saved them from harm when they were in Africa.
How amazing. I cried when I heard them sing on Saturday, I cried again when I heard them sing on Sunday, and I am on the verge of tears again, just writing about these wonderful women. What amazing examples of faith. And, what a wonderful reminder that God does protect us, in His own way, and according to His plan. And, not to diminish what I or anyone else I know is going through, but what a reality check and a reminder of how blessed I am. Praise God!
God not only reminded me of His protection of His people, but He also reminded me twice that He does answer my prayers. First, I have been praying for my friend's house to sell. I knew they were on a deadline to get their house sold, and PTL, it sold last week! I am so happy because I know how much they wanted to move (even if it means that they now have to pack!!).
And, finally, just this morning, God reminded me that He hears my prayers. Over the last few months I have been praying for several women I have "met" out here in blog world, and some of the women I have been praying for have been struggling with fertility issues. Even though I have never met these women in person, I have felt very led to pray for them. In fact, I feel so led to pray for them, I almost feel like some kind of stalker. I think about them often, and if I forget to pray for them, I dream about them. Seriously. (I feel very compelled to tell you all that these were not bad dreams. Just weird. Like we were skiing and stuff.) Anyway, suffice it to say that these women have become very dear to me over the last few months. (And, they all just seem so sweet and funny, and, well, just people you would want to be friends with.) So, as I was checking blogs this morning, I realized that one of the women I have been praying for had posted yesterday that she is pregnant!!!!!! Needless to say, I am extremely excited for her. It has been an honor and privilege to pray for her. But, most of all, I am so humbled. I am humbled and amazed that God answers prayers!!!
And, I don't know about you, but that gives me the hope to keep on keepin' on. It gives me the hope to keep praying for all my friends, family, and myself. And, hope is priceless. I love each of you who reads my blog. I hope you have a wonderful Monday!