Our church family has faced so many difficulties this past year. We've laid our friends and loved ones to rest, watched as foster children were taken away from the only homes they've ever known to only God knows what kind of home life, seen houses and properties hurt during tornadoes, seen friends diagnosed with cancer...and the list goes on.
And yet, last night, the first Sunday night of the new year, was the most touching service I think I have ever been in. It was touching to me because the testimonies were flying from one person to the next around the auditorium, there was a steady flow to the alter, and all because the body of Christ put themselves aside and allowed the Holy Spirit to move.
As I watched a husband and wife sorrow over losing a foster child yet praise the Lord for the opportunity to have her even for a little while, a daughter praise the Lord through her mother's sudden home going, a man whose home nearly destroyed, walk the auditorium praising the Lord, a lady stand and tell her testimony of God's healing on her body sick with cancer, I realized something and that is how thankful I am to be with THESE people.
These people that have faced the most difficult moments in their lives with the faith of a giant.
These people that have looked at death and asked, "Where is thy victory?"
These people that have seen the longest nights without the usual coos of a sleeping child and yet they still stand and say, "God is good."
These people that will raise their hand and claim the words to the song in which they sing, "God will make this trial a blessing, though it brings me to my knees...."
These people are the people I am most thankful for. These people are the ones I look to when facing my own adversities. Not the pious, super-spiritual. But the humble, the meek, the thankful, the praising, the faithful, the loving, the serving, the spirit-filled...the cream of the crop.
For me, these people reaffirm that my God is real and that He is watching over me too!! That He cares about His children and that nothing takes Him by surprise, no matter how much it might surprise us.
Lamentations 3:19-23 "Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me. This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."