Yesterday I watched as my sister was baptized. While I'm sad that my daughter's Godmother has left our church, I know that each and every one of us has to follow our own journey to God.
As she breaks away from the nest - studying nursing at college, falling in love, paying bills and living life - I rejoice that she has grown closer to God and made HIM the priority in life.
37 people stood on the stage and gave their testimonies. Some were so broken and bruised when they came to God that they said they had nothing to lose. He was their last hope. From suicide attempts to drugs to prostitution, these people made the choice to set aside their ways and become born again. No matter what our faith, what our beliefs are, to see people put their hope, trust, and life into our Lord is a beautiful thing.
It is this post this morning, by Scribbles & Crumbs, which I feel as though I could have written word for word (though not quite as eloquently).
God can take our pain and use it for His glory. I often try to think of the analogy of a mother giving birth. It's hard, it hurts; but it is so worth it in the end. I look at each of my children and think - yes, I would totally go through that pain again for each of you. I imagine this is what Heaven is like - we look back on the struggles of life and think this reward is worth that. I would go through that again to get to here.
I love God more now then I did 5 years ago. Does that sound weird after seeing some of the greatest suffering in those 5 years? I could blame God for the pain that my loved ones suffered, that the ones still here suffer. But God brought them HOME. No doubt that there are evils in this world. God may allow things to happen, but that doesn't mean that He makes them happen. Free will is still a thing. The presence of the devil is still real. God is always good, even when bad things happen.
That doesn't mean it's easy. As a matter of fact, sometimes the hardest thing is still giving glory to God when everything around you is crumbling. It is a choice - sometimes one that needs to be made daily, hourly, by the minute.
As the praise song goes: "Sometimes blessings come through raindrops, sometimes healing comes through tears."
Other times those blessings come as a bright burst of yellow flowers, still blooming on my porch in November (all you Iowa peeps know this is no small feat for this little plant!).
A hug from a friend.
A funny saying from my child.
A knowing glance from my husband when we know we are thinking the same thing at the same time.
Blessings are everywhere. God is everywhere.