About a month ago the pastor at my church gave a sermon on finding God in difficult times and how He helps us through trials and is there in our pain. At the end Pastor Dane told the story about Steven Curtis Chapman's youngest daughter Maria getting run over (and killed) by his 17-year-old son Will back in May, the night before Will was to graduate highschool. And Pastor Dane said that when Will ran over Maria, he ran and grabbed his sister and held her and screamed for his parents for help. And since they live in the country, a helicopter came to airlift Maria to Vanderbilt. And as Steven went to get into the helicopter with Maria, knowing she was probably going to die because of the severity of her injuries, he called out, "Will! Your father loves you!" And when asked about it later, he said, "I didn't want to lose two children that night." And when Will was asked how he has gotten through this most difficult time, he said through the love and support of his parents and family. And Pastor Dane said it's like that with God. In the midst of our most difficult times, He's calling out to us, "Your Father loves you!"
I watched this movie, about Jim Elliott, Nate Saint, and the others who gave their lives witnessing to the Waodani people in Ecaudor in the 1950's. I know the story well; I've known it since I was little. But for some reason, while watching this movie, something struck me differently...at one point, Nate Saint's little boy asks him if he will defend himself if the Waodani attack. And he says something like, "No, we can't. The Waodani aren't ready to meet the Lord. We are." And just like that, these five brave missionaries gave their lives, not fighting back when the Waodani attacked them, even though they had guns with them. Because they were ready to meet Christ, and they knew that their attackers were not. Given the same opportunity, I don't know if I could do the same. I can only hope so.
Yesterday and Sunday, the Santa Ana winds were blowing hard. When I walked out my front door yesterday afternoon, I discovered that a bunch of branches had blown off my palm tree and knocked my tomato plant completely over. Then, in the evening, when I was watching TV, the station (and every other channel) suddenly went out. So I decided to go up and check my email instead. Or not...my internet was down too. Oh well, at least the power didn't go out.
I remember as a child of maybe 10 or so, filling a shoebox with Christmas gifts for a child in war-torn Bosnia, to be delivered by an organization called Samaritan's Purse through an effort they called "Operation Christmas Child". My three siblings and I each carefully selected toys, crayons, mittens, and scarves, wrapped our shoebox tops and bottoms separately, and then each wrote a letter to the child we were sending the gifts to. My child wrote back to me, and I corresponded with this girl for the next couple years. During my first year at college in Santa Barbara, I was again given the opportunity to fill shoeboxes with Christmas goodies, and I took great joy in filling two shoeboxes, one for a little girl and one for a little boy, to be shipped I don't know where this time. This year, the Lockwood family, a missionary family in Mexico that I follow by blog, will be passing out Christmas shoeboxes to the children in the town where they serve. They are hoping to be able to pass out ~200 boxes, bringing joy to each child and an opportunity to share the source of true joy, Jesus Christ. I have already made a couple of boxes to send, and have had so much fun doing it! Here is a link to the instructions they have posted if anyone is interested in making one!
I am a full time first year medical student at Loma Linda University. I enjoy serving in the nursery at my church, playing with my two kitties Butterscotch and Caramel, and visiting and spending time with my family. Most importantly, I want to glorify God in all I say and do and be content living my life exactly the way He has planned it. :)
"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6