I love children. I love to be around them and watch them play. I started this project to bring some happiness to children who perhaps could not run outside and play. Sometimes a new project brings more than you ever thought - more feelings, deeper understanding, unexpected friendships, a closer relationship with God, an aching heart. Isn't this how God always works?
When we trust in Him and follow His paths for us, we may not know what lies ahead or why our we are going this way, but we can stand tall knowing that God is with us.
This road - the Isaiah 43:1 Project - has brought me more sadness, more heartache -- more lumps in my throat than I've had in a long time! Should I continue on? How do nurses and ministers do this every day? I cannot shake the tears, the sadness for these families. But I will stay on this path, God's path for me.
My dad is a Presbyterian minister. He deals with sadness and grief every single day. Is this why he is so quiet at night when he finally comes home? Is this why his load is so heavy? Yes. I feel it too. So I take a few weeks off from posting on this blog. A woman sends me an e-mail requesting prayer for Ben. I visit his site, get the huge lump in my throat, pray for him and go on with my days. Then I check in on Ben's site last night...and he has passed away. That day. Yesterday. God sent me there. Oh, I am heartbroken! She told me Ben needed prayers and did not need a huge care package of personalized gifts at that time, but oh, I wish I had done more for Ben. Will you please pray for his family with me? Read more at www.pirateben.blogspot.com.
I also received an e-mail this week requesting prayers for the sweetest little girl, Anjali. Her mom is keeping a journal for Anjali at Caring Bridge. She is a Christian and knows God is with them, but her little girl is suffering and there is nothing she can do about it. Can you even imagine? She needs our prayers right now. Please read Anjali's journal and pray for her and her family. I will be putting together a care package group for her as well. I hope you will join me.
Through the tears and the questions, here are a few Bible verses I want to share with you that bring me some understanding and comfort - to help us all continue on, through the pain that this earthly life can bring:
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit
Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Lamentations 3:31-33 For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.
Matthew 11:25-30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
John 14:1-4 Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
Revelation 21:4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
Mark 10:14-16 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
Thank you for taking this journey with me!