Yesterday was a hard day for me. I was discouraged. I was tired. I was burdened. I was overwhelmed and I wanted to go home. We have done so much work here at the house on Trinity Lane....unpacking, cleaning and repairing. We have been meeting people, making new friends and becoming involved in our church and community and still yesterday I wanted to forget it all and go home. Colorado is a beautiful state, their are wonderful people here and the house on Trinity Lane is warm and has gorgeous views out every window.....but, when things got hard all I wanted to do was go home and Colorado wasn't feeling like home!
This week we found out that Ed's cough that he has had since we left New Hampshire was more than allergies or asthma like we had thought. After going for a physical, his doctor sent him for chest x-rays, cat scan and lung function test. The results showed that he has some sort of restrictive lung disease. We do not know all the details yet and will know more after he sees the lung specialist next week. He gets winded and tires easily. Needless to say we did not like this news. I began to feel like God was a million miles away and I was honestly mad at God for not making things easy for us. Really? This had to happen? We have so much to do! We need good health to accomplish the tasks before us! Wasn't it enough that we had given up everything that we loved on the East Coast to move out here to Colorado? Did we miss understand God when He whispered in our ears about moving to Colorado to start a homeless ministry? If we were doing what God wanted us to do why wasn't God making things easy for us instead of harder? Why wasn't God keeping us healthy? Shouldn't God bless us, make things easy for us and take away all of our problems? After all Soaring Wings Ministries and moving to Colorado was His idea!
I know most of you have watched the TV show "Survivor" and sometimes one of the players is voted off after being "blind sided". The voted off player never sees what is coming and is completely surprised when voted off by players that were suppose to be in an alliance. Being blinded sided is the result of broken trust. Anyways, you get the idea, and I told God that I felt blind sided. I have always believed in being honest with God...no sense pretending or denying how we really feel. He knows anyways and a personal relationship, like I have with God, calls for complete honesty. In expressing my honest feelings to God, the tears came. They weren't just tears rolling down my cheeks, they were great big gulping sobs. I felt better after my good cry but still went to bed feeling emotionally exhausted, tired, overwhelmed and abandoned by God.
I woke up early this morning at 5:30 a.m. and immediately turned to the Bible study book "Into The Word" by Anne Graham Lotz. As part of a small group Bible study back in New Hampshire, I had studied the Bible using this book for one year prior to our leaving New Hampshire. This morning I turned to the section on HARDSHIP and began to go over what I had studied over a year ago. I quickly remembered that WE CAN BE COMPLETELY IN GOD'S WILL AND STILL HAVE HARDSHIP. Let me say that again, WE CAN BE COMPLETELY IN GOD'S WILL AND STILL HAVE HARDSHIP. I was immediately comforted by this thought and truth as there was nothing more that I wanted than to be completely in God's will. Even after being a Christian for most of my life, the world and the world's truths still suck me in. The world makes us think that God exists to make our lives easier and that He is there to do what we want Him to do when in reality it is the other way around. God has made us for His glory and we are created to serve and honor Him as our God and Father. I had forgotten this truth and because of that it was causing me to feel discouraged, blind sided, abandoned, overwhelmed and tired.
I began to read the 27th chapter of Acts which tells about Paul's journey to Italy as a prisoner of the Roman government. If ever a man was completely in God's will and enduring hardship at the same time, it was Paul! His commitment in giving everything to the Lord never wavered during all his hardships. As I read the 27th chapter of Acts I wrote down every hardship that Paul endured during this journey to Rome on a sailing vessel.
Now, you would think that because Paul had given his life to God and was doing God's will that things would be easy....not so. This is what happened to Paul as he sailed to Rome, Italy:
WOW! All that happened to Paul as a prisoner and he was completely in God's will! As he was going through this dreadful experience on the ship he was an encourager to the men on the vessel! God spoke to Paul during the storm and told him not to be afraid and Paul shared this encouragement with the men who were keeping him captive. He shared his faith in God to offer the men hope and encouragement. Amazing!!!
So what did I learn from reading this story about Paul. I remembered that God is with us during hard times. I also remembered that we can be completely in God's will and have hardships. My circumstances did not change after praying and reading my Bible this morning but my attitude sure did. I no longer felt blind sided, abandoned, discouraged or thought that I missed God's will by being here in Colorado. I am so grateful that God's word, written so many years ago, is still alive and speaks to me today. I encourage you to take time to read your Bible and draw strength from it. Spend time talking to God...HE HEARS YOU AND HEAR CARES! Remember that whatever you are going through today God is with you. Just as God was with Paul on that ship, He is with Ed and I in Colorado at 499 Trinity Lane and He is with you in whatever hardship you are going through. Please keep Ed and I in your prayers as we seek to do God's will here in Colorado. Pray for health for Ed and guidance for the doctors as he sees the lung specialist next week. Pray for our protection from discouragement. We would love to partner with you in prayer as prayer is powerful and when more people pray it is even more powerful. If you would like for us to pray for you just let us know. All prayer requests will be in strictest confidence and we will not share them with any one except our Lord.
I remain His faithful servant,
Anita Rennells is the author of this blog. She and her husband have moved to Colorado when Ed retired and are in the process of opening a ranch to help homeless young adults.
Soaring Wings Ministries