Tuesday, August 22, 2017

From April 2017

Have you ever had “one of those weeks”?  After months of drought in Kenya, I got an email on May 8th saying this: “We have had rain in the past week but yesterday it was so heavy the whole day the floods swept one of the bridges along Kilifi Highway. It also brought down sections of the perimeter wall at both the New Life and Good News schools. Also two cows drowned at the farm.” Wow!  We asked God for rain and we got a flood.

As I prayed over these things, I thought many of us are so focused on life’s valleys (problems) that we tend to miss the joys of this journey we are on. We all have hidden hurts, closed closets, and covered calamities. The book of Psalms is very helpful for our growth in faith.

I believe that Psalm 23 can best be understood in the view of a journey where an individual is wandering full of weary, confused by pathways, moved by mountains of mystery, venturing through life’s valleys, entangled in enemy web of destruction. Faced with fear, yet, looking to feast of food prepared on a table before them. Now I know that David was speaking of the valley of death but I want to broaden that valley to be the valley of tears, trials and heartache. “How do we get through the valley?”    
First I have to accept the reality of the valley.  Whenever you accept that there is a problem you then can begin to resolve the issue at hand. With our spiritual intellect, we know that God has promised “I’ll never leave you or forsake you.” So when we walk through sand, it won’t bury us; Walk through fire, it won’t burn us; Walk through water; it won’t drown us. No matter if its fear or failure; trials or tribulations; troubles or turmoil; stress or strain, we need to admit and accept that we are in one of life’s valleys.

Second, I must praise the Lord in the valley. We need to become more grounded in our faith. Don’t allow frustration to hinder you from walking on through the valley. David made it known he would not fear. Why? “For you are with me!” What a great promise from God. We should be confidence in God and say,” I will walk with confidence through the valley. Notice verse 4: it doesn’t say: “I will walk in the valley” but “I will walk through the valley” David had a destination in sight. There was a set goal to be reached.

A great American preacher J.D. Jakes said this in a sermon:
In the valley: He creates a clear pathway to walk.           
In the valley: He’s my guiding light in darkness.
In the valley: He’s my bright and morning star. 
In the valley: He’s my Rock in a weary land.
In the valley: He’s my shelter in the time of a storm.      
In the valley: He directs and orders my footsteps.

Let me praise God in this valley. We have seen 19 precious people saved and 36 get baptized in the past two months. God has provided donations to cover the cost of the last classroom at our high school, the third floor of the girls’ dormitory and the second floor of the boys’ dormitory. We have 3 groups coming to visit Kenya with us in the summer months. And if that is not enough, we have seen personal spiritual growth in the lives of our sons and ourselves.

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