Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Morning Prayers at Big Woods

               Now, faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not. For by this the ancients obtained a testimony.  By faith we understand that the world was framed by the word of God: that from invisible things visible things might be made.

      While stateside, Missionaries live at the Big Woods Mission. There are houses around the mission base that have beds, dishes, AC, and all we need as we return from a mission post. Here we can rest and be refreshed and wait on the Lord to see where He is leading next, all in the midst of community that loves and supports us. There are requirements about how we are to live as part of our community at the Big Woods Mission. These requirements involve things from work to prayer to stateside ministry. All of which work for and encourage growth in Holiness and help to build a strong community here and provide stable environment for us missionaries on furlough.
           We have been stateside much longer than we had hoped, but the Lord has provide us with work and we have even been able to save a little for our next mission post, but back to the title of this post, Morning Prayers as Big Woods. The other morning as we sat with the community in our morning prayer, singing praise and then praying the Liturgy of the Hours, I began to notice just how many kids there were and how blessed we are as a community. Family Missions Company has just started its annual training of new missionaries, called Intake. This year we have 6 singles and a family with 5 children with one on the way. This means that there are 23 children at morning prayers and more than half are under 10 years old. The kids play quietly (for the most part) on the floor in the center of the room with things like blocks and Legos and it is an amazing sight.
            Later as I continued to reflect on the children I began to think of when Jesus tells us to become like little children.....These kids sit on the floor with toys and play, trusting completely that their parents will take care of their next needs and not really even thinking about their next needs. Their main concern is that the babies in the room don't knock over their amazing stack of blocks and if they do their is a  range of emotions that result.  I began to reflect and ask myself if the things that I let distress and take my peace are really just a stack of blocks and that all the things that really matter, God has complete control of. The answer is yes!
           I want to quote from a book I read pretty consistently, "Abandonment to Divine Providence":

     The more hidden the divine operation beneath an outwardly repulsive appearance, the more visible it is to the eye of faith. The soul, enlightened by faith, judges of things in a very different way to those who, having only the standard of the senses by which to measure them, ignore the inestimable treasure they contain.........

     Oh! what delightful peace we enjoy when we have learnt by faith to find God thus in all His creatures! Then is darkness luminous, and bitterness sweet. Faith, while showing us things as they are, changes their ugliness into beauty, and their malice into virtue. Faith is the mother of sweetness, confidence and joy. It cannot help feeling tenderness and compassion for its enemies by whose means it is so immeasurably enriched.........

     The will of God has nothing but sweetness, favors and treasures for submissive souls; it is impossible to repose too much confidence in it, nor to abandon oneself to it too utterly. It always acts for, and desires that which is most conducive to our perfection, provided we allow it to act. Faith does not doubt. The more unfaithful, uncertain, and rebellious are the senses, the louder faith cries: "all is well, it is the will of God". There is nothing that the eye of faith does not penetrate, nothing that the power of faith does not overcome. It passes through the thick darkness, and, no matter what clouds may gather; it goes straight to the truth, and holding to it firmly will never let it go.

     Our Loving Father is in control of all that really matters and the stack of blocks that we are making is just that, a stack of blocks and we should accept it if the Lord allows someone to knock our stack of blocks.

Know and fix in your heart, that the Lord is God in heavens above as on earth below, and that there is no other. You must keep his statutes and commandments which I enjoin on you today.
Deuteronomy 4:39-40 

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