Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Count It All As Joy

Today I wanted to tell you a little about Malachi, a foster child taken in by my sister, Tricia, and her husband, Matthew. He came to our family a few days after Thanksgiving 2006. He is a sweet four-year-old with a sparkling smile. He brings sunshine wherever he goes. Malachi found a place in our hearts easily. This is a bittersweet time for our family, particularly Tricia and Matthew. Malachi will be going home tomorrow to live with his mom. We are so happy that Malachi's mom has overcome the obstacles in her life and is able to care for him. But then, he is part of our family, and it hurts to see him leave. Though we know it is not goodbye, things will change for all of us. Please keep us all in your prayers, especially Tricia and Matthew. They have been wonderful parents to Malachi and have had such faith that foster parenting is what God has called them to do. Tricia says that every time she sees Malachi smile, she knows they have done the right thing. Regardless of the pain she and Matthew may feel at his leaving, she is already counting it all as joy. I pray that God continues to bless them in the path He has chosen for them and pray that God will bless Malachi all the days of his life.

I have to confess, when I woke up this morning, I had no idea what I would write. Letting go is hard for me. My mind kept coming to James 1. I turned to this chapter in my Bible and this is what caught my eye:

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. -- James 1:2-4 (NKJV)
Still, I didn't know what I was going to write, but I kept thinking about counting it all joy. After I put Bailey on the bus, I lingered on the porch and looked at the sun rising in the sky. It was a little overcast and there were a few scattered clouds obscuring the sun. And, I thought how life is like that. Then, I knew God was speaking to me. I was focusing on the hurts in my life, when I should have been focusing on the Son. We get so consumed with those few clouds of problems in our lives, forgetting that behind those clouds the Lord Jesus is waiting to shine in our lives. Its easy to praise God when things are good in our lives, but its in the hard times when we really get to see God work. Sometimes when we focus on the problems, we can't see God moving. And trust me, God has been moving in Malachi's life. I was watching the clouds. Father, please forgive me and help me to count it all joy!

After all, this trial isn't really a trial. It is a time of celebration. This is what we all prayed for. Malachi will be reunited with his family. I can't imagine the rejoicing that will be taking place when he comes home. Maybe, it will resemble a sprinkling of how God feels when we return to Him. God worked a miracle where a few months ago there was despair. God allowed Malachi to enter our lives and we are all better for loving him. Yes, I have learned a lot about God's love through Malachi. Life is hard, but God is so good! Wow!

The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. -- Numbers 6:24-26 (NKJV)

We love you Malachi!

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