This month I have been trying to have an attitude of gratitude. It really does help one to focus on God when we are thankful for the small things in life that bring pleasure and beauty into our lives. At the same time, there are sometimes really hard things that happen and if we are thanking God for the gifts he gives us to see him in the small things, then we also should be thanking him for the gifts he gives us in the big things. Yes, even in the hard things. I am learning that it is all a matter of perspective - do we see God's grace even in the horrible, evil things that happen. It is there. How will we react to the hard things. Will we give him thanks for even those things that bring us pain? Will we allow him to work in us and through us to eventually be able to give thanks? Hard questions to be pondering.
This week a I heard of a YWAM missionary family that had one of those hard, evil things happen. A father was murdered. A mother was traumatized and abused. Children lost a father and a sense of security. I did not know this family, but they lived and worked here in Kenya. I came to Nairobi yesterday and went to church this morning. I didn't know this was the church they attended regularly. What was the response of the congregation and this family? We worshipped and praised God for being merciful and giving grace. Sometimes through tears, yes, but we worshipped God. We gave thanks for a life given in service to him. We prayed for a grieving and hurting family. We affirmed that no matter what Satan meant it for, God was there. He was in it all and He is good. He gives grace and mercy and we gave thanks.
It is a matter of perspective. Do we look at the world with the right lenses? Do we look through God's lens and his heart or do we look through the eyes of the world? Is it easy to give thanks for these hard things? NO. No, it is not easy, but His word says to give thanks in all things. All things - not just the easy things but the hard things too. I don't know this family, but I wept this morning because of the pain they must be feeling. I also wept to see the family of God be the family of God. To lift their voices in praise even in the midst of grief. To sing out that God is good and worthy of praise even when this family might not have been able to do it themselves. God was glorified today and I saw his word being lived out in that congregation. "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, Blessed be the name of the Lord!"
Please pray for this family - the Kremers. Pray for the things they will face in the coming days, weeks and months. They have lost a husband / father and their sense of security. They will also be going back to their sending country - so in a sense they have lost a home. Pray that they would feel their heavenly Father's loving arms wrapped around them...that they will know his peace...that they will know that their security is found in him...that he is their home. Pray for the mother...that in her trauma she will be able to see what she needs and what her family needs...that she will be able to ask for it and that God will provide those who can help her and help her family. The Lord knows the needs. Thanks!