Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Burning Fire, Difficult Blessings-- God looks at the Heart and I am deeply thankful

Yesterday found me and my loved ones immersed in an overflow of gratitude.
Sunday evening my dear sweet sis and her hubby received a phone call with the awful news that the family business (her husband works with his dad at the father's auto repair shop) had been struck by lightning and was burning... a furious fire...
She asked us to pray.
We prayed.
We called friends and family and asked them to pray.
They prayed.

Monday, I spent the day with a rag and a can of lubricant and helped clean tools... my brother-in-law's tools that he was able to pull out of the building after the fire was put out. The water and foam used to put out the fire had already begun to affect some of the tools... rust was apparent already.
My sister, his sister, his brother, a couple of friends... each with a rag and a plot of space, grabbing and cleaning one tool after another, tedious work in most circumstances.
Not these though...
Not these thankful circumstances.
We cleaned and we chatting and sometimes I just listened as my sister and her husband spoke of their gratitude, their thankfulness for all God had blessed them with... they'd only lost things.
Things can be replaced.
"I don't care if we lose the house and have to live in a trailer as long as I have you and [our daughter]," my brother-in-law said to my sister after waking up the day after while snuggling their 10 mo. old daughter.
His tools, that business... is their family's livelihood but it does not define their family.
I listened as my brother-in-law spoke of God's provision, His watch care...
I listened as he spoke of the future... lining up repair jobs for next week at the garage of a client... A man who offered his extra bay and hoist in his garage for him to work out of until they rebuild.
I watched steps of faith being taken in broad daylight.
I watched a man follow hard after God even when he doesn't understand, doesn't get it.
I watched him stand firm.
I watched him offer praise.
and my heart soaked it in because I was seeing God at work
and it was amazing and wonderful
and exciting and moving.
I have watched this man God chose for my sister, this man who has always been a good man, this man who was not a Christian when they married... this man I was unsure of because he didn't share my sister's faith and  all out love for God... this man I prayed for in earnest for years to be saved... who was saved almost two years ago...
I watched as he grew in God and walked in step with God. I watched God work in him and through him and my heart squeezed hard at the difficult blessings being poured out yesterday
Poured out and soaked up like parched dirt during a hard storm... there was so much we couldn't soak it all up and so it overflowed over us all...

Today I am thankful.
I am thankful for my brother-in-law and his inthismoment testimony.
Thankful for difficult blessings poured out.
Thankful for friends and family praying because we simply asked and they heard our hearts.
Thankful for my sister and her grace under pressure.
For their pastor and his prayer with them at 10 o'clock at night... holding faith high.
Thankful that others heard praises spoken to God in the midst of trying circumstances... no blaming, no railing-- but praising.
For the salvaging of tools... a livelihood
For hands with rags and elbow grease bringing restoration
For God's hand and great heart restoring, kindling sparking, growing Grace and Hope
For steps of faith measured, marked and taken... one step at a time moving forward
For a forward focus brought on by backdrop of faith and mercy
I am thankful for hard prayers
beautiful uplifting scripture
Sunshine after rain
That God is in the details.
He measures a man by his heart.

Lord I offer you my most humble thanks for these incredible gifts...


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