|enjoying the view from the Castlewood State Park|
Something sideswiped this little guy and when we found him he was lying flat on his back - all six of his little black legs helplessly swiping air as he desperately tried to get back on his feet again. He looked pretty vulnerable and pathetic as it was obvious there was no way he was going to resume his life without some supernatural intervention.
Enter me and my stick. It didn't take long for me to turn him over but I wonder how long it took him to realize how weak he was and that he needed help.
Sometimes the greatest gift in getting sideswiped in life and finding ourselves flat on our backs is coming to the golden realization of how weak we truly are and how strong He is. It's a simple truth many of us learned to sing at a young age "...they are weak but He is strong..." but it often takes a lifetime to truly learn and when you do learn it you can say with all sincerity, "Yes, Jesus loves me." without really understanding why.
Joni Eareckson Tada once said, "The harder life becomes the more I lean on God and the more I lean on God....the stronger I discover Him to be." Amen. Is this not the great reward of the hardships we endure in life? Discovering how weak we are but in turn - how strong He is? You cannot understand the gospel of grace until you've found yourself in a place so low that you are forced to look up.
I write all of this because reflecting upon this past year I've realized that I've spent most of it on my back. Hopeless, helpless and desperately trying to get back on my feet on my own strength - even after Kim's remission. How pathetic I must have looked. I closed myself off from the world save but a few incredibly faithful friends (love you!) battling my own version of a mid-life crisis. Too proud to publicize my struggles and too stubborn to change. But I now realize the greatest joy does not come from overcoming the obstacle or enduring the hardship - but seeing Jesus who is "mighty to save" at the end of it all (Zeph 3:17). The revelation is the reward. When the three Hebrew boys were thrown into the fiery furnace the greatest reward was not avoiding death but seeing Life - Jesus in their very presence.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. -Isaiah 43:2I also write this because Kim met someone for the first time today named Monica who was registering her kids for school and I'm humbly asking for your prayers. Monica is a pastor's wife and was happy to meet Kim in person because apparently she had followed this blog as she battled thyroid cancer last year and prayed for us even though she never met us. Well, Monica just recently found out that she has Stage IV breast cancer which has spread to her liver and spine and she told Kim she is beginning treatment tomorrow. Please lift her up if you would. Monica is on her back and she and her family could use some help. Pray for God's healing hand and pray that she would discover the strength of God in her greatest moments of weakness for when we are weak...He is strong.
In the strong name of Jesus.
Peter & Kim
p.s. in case you're wondering due to the long overdue update Kim and the kids are doing great. Apologies for my long writing sabbatical.