In the middle of the day, a couple of days ago, I started to have a conversation with a friend of mine about our journey as a family throughout the rebuilding of our home. It brought me to a place that was extremely familiar because I had been here numerous times before, mainly in the past year. Overwhelmed.
However, it hasn’t all been overwhelmed with stress, hard decisions, or uncontrollable realities, but I have been overwhelmed with Jesus’ love for me. Not just me, but me, my wife, my daughter and every person that I come in contact with. Each time I remember that in these moments in my life, I have this weird contentment with where we are as a family. It wasn’t because I got lazy, my wife was happy, or anything, but strictly that God has granted me peace about the things I can’t control. It still doesn’t make one hundred percent sense to me even as I am writing this, but I have peace. An overwhelming peace that really does surpass all of my understanding of what is happening right now in my life. Philippians 4:4-7 says, “4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Have I been perfect in rejoicing in the Lord always? No. Have I had peace this whole time? No. Have a I been in prayer constantly? Not always. BUT, Jesus. Jesus has continued to show me his love for me through scripture that I read, through people in my life, and through the rare times that I am silent with nothing going on around me and I just think about all that he has already done. Those moments in my life has cause me to rejoice in The Lord, have peace about our situation, turn me to prayer making my needs know to God. There have been so many times where I have thought, “I wish this was as easy as praying and it being done”. Then I spend time in prayer, and I receive this overwhelming peace that really just allows me to rest in what God is already doing.
Time and time again, God is reminding me that this brick and mortar home of ours is not what’s important. I am ok with that right now. Tomorrow I will probably struggle with that truth. It’s these truth’s that are overwhelming to me. Not overwhelmingly frustrating, but overwhelmingly humbling. God continues to remind me “THIS HOME IS NOT MY FOCUS. These people around you are my focus. The people you come in contact with, that you can share my love with, that need me more than you need your house.” Just brings me to a place of gratefulness of what God is doing in our life as a family. Let me just list out a few of the things that God has done:
1) Got us out of our home safely and to our family during the storm. Alive.
2) Provided a place for us to stay during the remainder of the storm.
3) Provided financially through the generosity of those around us.
4) Provided a home for us to live in for the past 5 months with Ray, Christy, and Laney Ankrom.
5) Provided a vehicle for me.
6) 700+ people have come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior
7) Provided favor with Samaritans Purse to help fix our home.
8) Provided numerous opportunities for me to speak with my neighbors about Jesus.
9) He continues to sustain my marriage.
10) He has allowed this to be a connection point for me to continue to share what God is doing in me and our life as a family with my dad.
That is just a short list. Above all of these things, God has provided us with hope that doesn’t rest in the value of the things of this earth. Colossians 3:2 “2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” He has provided us with peace in Him that surpasses all understanding. For this, I am forever grateful and thankful.
There is no other name in my life, that deserves the honor, glory, and praise for where we are as a family and what is happening in my life. Jesus is GREATER! Period. To God be all of the glory, praise, and honor.