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Sacrifice of Praise

I (Julie) just have had very little energy to write the past few weeks.  It seems like even the ant hills are mountains right now.  I'm just overwhelmed with the rats, the fleas, the cold, the sickness, the lack of energy and the amount of work around us.  Yesterday was especially heavy.

I went to visit the sick at the public health center, like I do every other Tuesday and when I asked to pray with a dying man who couldn't speak, he began to moan and scream.  It was obvious something in the prayer was perturbing his spirit and my co-worker began to intercede as I prayed.  The room smelled like death, but I cried out for this man's soul.  If you think about it today, could you lift up Renius and his relationship with the Almighty. 

Then, as we left the center, we saw a woman from town, a sister of my close friend.  As I greeted her, she excitedly told me she was pregnant.  She is not married and many times she has asked me to pray for her boyfriend, who is a womanizer.  I was trying to fake my excitement as I asked her about her due date and how she was feeling, but inside I was crumbling.  I drove home holding back the tears and asking God to give me strength and the trust to keep waiting for our own children we've been longing for so many years to arrive in our arms. 

More issues continued to mount in the afternoon and during the night I couldn't sleep because of the pain from the fleas I had dug out from my feet and the nagging cough I cannot seem to shake. 

This morning I woke up struggling to get out of bed.  Yet, I knew I needed to hear from God.  Before sunrise my devotional really spoke to me.  Hebrews 13:15 says, "Through Jesus, therefore let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise."   It is at times like these where worship is not easy for me, praise does not roll off my tongue and self-pity is right on my doorstep.  I can get focused on our issues, the daily struggles of living life on the mission field where lack seems to be our middle name.  I cry out to God for direction and answers and forget to worship the Lord in the midst of the trials and the pain.

It takes faith to worship even though the circumstances have not changed, even though you ache over a loved one, your body is wracked with pain, you have no money and you are bombarded on all sides.  I pray today that God gives me the ability to see past my situations and to rest in my Father's arms and give Him the praise He deserves.  I pray that I will honor God with my lips and my heart, even if the cost is high and the feelings are not quite there.  Regardless of what comes my way today, I choose to praise you, my Savior and my God.

Comments

  1. Julie,
    I am praying for you and your family as you are the Father's heart, love, and hands to the people of Paraguay. My heart goes out to you in the midst of your pain and please know that I love you and your family and can't wait to see you guys again. October seems so far away!
    Blessings,
    Mike Potter

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  2. Hi Jules -

    I rarely commment on any blog, but I can't help but let you know that I will pray for you in these discouraging and trying days. We all go through those seasons, and I most certainly can relate. Hang in there, my friend, and keep your eyes on the Lord. I have a friend that was recently diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer and has lost her whole stomach. She posted an awesome saying on her blog one day. It said this: Our values determine our evaluations. If we value comfort more than character, then trials will upset us. If we value the material and physical more than the spiritual, we will not be able to 'count it all joy!' If we live only for the present and forget the future, trials will make us bitter, not better." (Warren Wiersbe) I'm still wrestling with the reality of living that one out, but thought it was so powerful! You have had a very challenging stretch and my heart goes out to you. Thank you for sacrificing so much for the sake of the Gospel. Press on, one day, one hour at a time. Thanks for being faithful!

    Love,
    Kristin Sedy

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, Julie, I hate to hear you are going through such rough times. But I love to hear that you are keeping the right perspective and CHOOSING to praise in all things. I know that you know that God is right there, but my prayer is that He shows Himself strong for y'all and that you FEEL Him wrap around you and go to bat for your family. Fuerza, Amiga!

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