Not long ago I was looking around the sanctuary on a Sunday morning, really noticing the people...(I know, I know, I should probably have been listening to the preacher, or worshiping, or whatever everyone else was doing at the moment.) But, anyway, at this moment, I was noticing the people. The dear people at my church whom I am happy to call my church family. And as my eyes scanned the pews, I saw with new eyes some families that were experiencing marital troubles. One going through a divorce because of some difficult circumstances. The kids in that family sitting there too. I saw a lovely mom of a teen-age son who has seen some very rough times in her life, including being a single parent for many years, and recently having lost her dad to cancer. I noticed teens who come to church without their parents, and I'm not sure why the parents don't come too. I saw a dad who is struggling with very very hard family issues. People who have lost loved ones--some having lost children. People who have sons serving in the military. People who are struggling with daily pain. People who have been through so much...I was amazed when I really let it sink in as my eyes traveled around the room. But what struck me the most as I was thinking about all of this, was that these people sitting together on that Sunday morning, thankful to be there, worshiping together..... They were smiling. Even laughing. They were enjoying the day. Genuinely happy.
And God spoke to my heart again about how good He is. That regardless of what circumstances we are going through, it does not mean that God is not there, or that He is not good. He is with us through the pain. I still remember clearly when we were going through our trial with Sarah the very real experience of peace He provided us--right in the middle of the storm. And oh, how bright the sun shines when the storm is over and we realize He truly never did leave us alone.
And even if the "storm" we are going through may never fully be over until we finally reach Home, even then...just knowing and trusting Him brings such peace that passes understanding.
It's interesting that when I sat down to write this post, it was going to be about the beautiful snow we've finally been enjoying! So, I will leave you with some pictures that really do illustrate the awesome love of God. The perfect winter's day...it just doesn't get much more beautiful. Such a wonderful gift! He is so good to us.
View from our front yard
...Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.--Isa. 1:18