Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Pressed but not crushed!

April was an extremely busy and stressful month! I was so grateful to see the calendar turn to May! Yet, it seems like just another pile awaited me as I turned the corner! It reminds me of what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians:

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.  We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. . . All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9,15)

Paul says earlier in 2 Corinthians that our suffering brings the shower of God’s comfort that we can then share with others going through the same thing:

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.  He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. (2 Cor 1:3-4)

Our trials are meant to grow us and, therefore, are designed to bring God glory. I have seen such clear examples of this in the past few weeks. Two big events brought it home to me: Jodi’s funeral and my daughter, Emmy’s Choose Joy conference for couples dealing with infertility and considering options, including medical procedures and/or adoption/fostering.

Both events were born of suffering, required much planning and labor, and involved strong emotions of grief and joy. And both brought comfort and healing to many, and certainly brought glory to God.

Thank you to those of you who prayed and sent emails and cards after Jodi died. It’s amazing how a simple thought of sympathy sent over the Internet can comfort! The service was everything Jodi would have wanted, and there were so many precious moments among the family gathered in Denver. We cried, we laughed, we had moments of irreverence (another Frost family trait), and we left with a renewed determination to stay connected. God certainly showed up there in the hands and feet of the many who served the family and who shared their Jodi stories.

Don and I arrived home from Denver just in time to help  Emmy, with her big event, Choose Joy. This was the second annual conference that Emmy put on at our church. So many men and women came, at their own expense, from all over the country to attend. They heard speakers and encouraged one another with their stories. There were LOTS of tears, but also amazing JOY! Needless to say, it was a proud moment for me to watch Emmy taking a very lonely time in her life (seven years in the “desert” of infertility), and turn it into a blessing to others. Just what Christ asks us to do. You can read about it and see photos of my adorable grandchildren on the Blakely side by clicking here.

The really special thing about this conference was the amount of people who helped Emmy put it together. Volunteers and all family members (including all of sister, Molly’s family) worked for hours ahead of the event and on that day to make it perfect. I started crying from the first note of worship music until the end, when one very blessed woman walked away with the raffle prize of $7,000 to start building her family.

It was a week of very late nights (never got to bed before midnight), and long, emotional days. But God’s faithfulness was so clear and His love so present in both events. I’m ready to get back to His Word with the prayer that we will all find comfort and blessing in it! The Book of Hebrews is next!  

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