Monday, February 28, 2011

The fruit of the Spirit is love ..

Becky writes ... 
Today I wanted to share during the testimony time, but I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to express myself clearly and concisely. First of all, thank you again for the message today, Dan. It was a good and timely word. I appreciate your openness before the body and the testimony of how God has been working in and through you and your family during these difficult months. I can’t say that I am currently walking through a valley at the moment, but I have certainly been there a time or two.

 I have been in thought and prayer a lot for you, my brothers and sisters in Christ. Over the past few months, in our family devotions and in my own personal prayers, I felt like a broken record at times, crying out for some of the same sweet families who have been walking through continuous trials - some physically, others mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. 

I must confess I have questioned God at times. “Why, God, are these people - Your people having these struggles? Why is he so sick? Why haven’t You healed her yet? Lord, these people love you; they serve you; they desire to do Your will. Are we in sin? Has Your table been violated?

 He always gently reminds me that He is loving, merciful, and gracious and at the same time righteous, just, and perfect in all His ways. He has to gently remind me of a lot of things it seems - I am so thankful for His patience!

 God loves His people and works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. The last part is the key and what Dan so passionately shared today ...

- His purpose. It is all about Him! 

We are His and we have to trust Him - period. He is worthy of our praise - period. Yes sometimes He wants to get our attention and focus back on Him. He wants to open our eyes to idols and strongholds we have and we should search ourselves, but He always wants to refine us to make us more like His Son. 

Sorry I am not making this too concise and I am rambling about things I know that you already know. What I really wanted to say was how clearly God has already used the trials and valley moments of the people in this body to bring glory to Himself. 

I have been so blessed by praises from your lips in the midst of your trials. The way Dan and Doretta continuously serve others, pray with and for others even when they are physically and emotionally exhausted. They give and give. 

The way Laura Davidson faithfully asks me how I am and where we are in our restoration journey and how she witnesses to people about God’s goodness even when she is struggling. 

Mary Abele, when she stands up and pours out her heart to the congregation and praises God through her husband’s sickness. 

Tracy and Beth’s prayer request for their fathers. Even when they were facing the unknown and asking for prayer, they praised God continuously! 

 Lorie's back again and again.  

I don’t personally know John C's parents, but the testimony of their faith in God and their love and devotion to each other has blessed me so many times just hearing it told through their children and grandchildren.

 Dianne R when she was in the middle of treatments, 

with Nancy’s mom, 

Mark and Scott  and the families they leave behind everytime they face the unknown to take the gospel of Christ to a dying world,

 Micah and his biopsies last year, Kari and the entire family,

 the Lemps, 
Ray and Nita , 
the many job losses, sick babies and miscarriages…. 

I could go on and on but I won’t. 

Each one of you at Antioch blesses me everyday! Your faith makes my faith stronger! 

I do see God in each one of you and I see Him more clearly all the time! Of course my prayer would be for all of you to be healed to perfect health, happiness, and right relationships, 

but it is a fallen world and those things will have to wait until we reach our final destination. 

Until then, it is a pleasure to pray,
 laugh, cry, share, endure, labor with you.

 All praise and glory be unto HIM!

Love & SONshine, 
Becky Mullins

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