Thank you to all of you who prayed for me after receiving my last email.  I have been struggling so much and God did a precious thing for me this morning.

I skipped church last night even though I knew it would be discouraging to others not to have music and for me not to be there encouraging them in other ways.  I just wanted to hide away with my hurting heart.

This morning, Carlos came into the office and was glowing.  He said he had to teach me what the bible study was last night.  They are using one of Beth Moore’s bible studies on the fruit of the spirit and last night’s lesson (amazingly) was on “when you have lost your joy.”   Carlos had me look up I Kings 19 and read verses 5-8.  Elijah had just won an incredible victory displaying the power of God almighty, but then ran from the queen (who was just human) in fear for his life.  He was discouraged and desperate.  God met him with His merciful heart and encouragement.  When I read out loud the verses, I just started crying to see the tender mercy of our Father when we are in such a state of mind — he said, “rise up and eat for the JOURNEY IS TOO DIFFICULT FOR YOU.”   I knew he was saying the same to me.  I have to have his nourishment in my life to make it.  And he is gentle and not critical of where I am right now.  He just wants to feed me and prepare me to get up and
keep going.

The study said that we have to be careful when we are giving out more than we are taking in from the Word of God as our sustenance.  That is certainly true of me and I need more time in His Word to keep going.  His presence is where there is fullness of joy, as he promises in the Psalms.

Then Carlos showed me the vereses following in I Kings 19 — Elijah went and hid in a cave (like me in my bed last night) and God said, “What are you doing in there?”  I love that part — God has so much prepared for us here and we just need to seek him and know that we are not the only ones suffering for the kingdom of Christ and HE IS ENOUGH to sustain us through whatever journey he takes us on.

I pray for all of you who are discouraged following him right now as well.  It is clear that Elijah thought he was the only one, but there are many of us in the same hard journey right now and we just need to seek His presence and find his joy there and not try to do this in our own strength.

Keep praying for me and I will for all of you.  I thought of a story that Pastor Wade told us one day that helps me sometimes.

He said that years back, President Teddy Roosevelt was returning from a safari in Africa.  On the same ship returning from Africa was an old missionary who had suffered and served the Lord Jesus for years in Africa and was finally returning.  In the harbor at New York were bands and thousands of people, shouting and cheering for President Roosevelt.  The old missionary looked around and the one person who was to meet him at the port had failed to show up to greet him.  He complained to God that night in his lonely hotel room.  “This isn’t fair, Lord, how the President comes back from just a 2 week safari in Africa and has bands and people waiting for him and cheering him on, and I have been serving you for years without complaint in Africa and not one person was there to meet ME when I returned home.”  He heard a sweet soft voice say to him, “You’re not HOME yet.”

I pray encouragement on all of you too who are in the battle and feel lonely and beaten down — we aren’t home yet.!!!

Love you all,