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“We may be frankly bewildered at things that happen to us, but God knows exactly what he is doing, and what he is after, in his handling of our affairs. Always, and in everything, he is wise: we shall see that hereafter, even where we never saw it here. (Job in heaven knows the full reason why he was afflicted, though he never knew it in this life.) Meanwhile, we ought not to hesitate to trust his wisdom, even when he leaves us in the dark…on the one hand he is able to uphold us and make us more than conquerors in all our troubles and distresses, so on the other hand we must not be surprised if he calls us to follow in his steps, and to let ourselves be prepared for the service of others by painful experiences, which are quite undeserved. “He knows the way he taketh” even if for the moment, we do not.” -J.I. Packer

“Our fears are due to our failure to stir up–failure to think, failure to take ourselves in hand. You find yourself looking to the future and then you begin to imagine things and you say: ‘I wonder what is going to happen?’ And then, your imagination runs away with you. You are gripped by the thing…this thing overwhelms you and down you go. Now the first thing you have to do is to take a firm grip of yourself, to pull yourself up, to stir up yourself, to take yourself in hand and to speak to yourself.”

“Talk to yourself out loud, if you have to” a pastor once advised me in the midst of one of my particularly intense battles with fear. So if you ever catch me muttering to myself, you’ll know why.

And what exactly should we say to ourselves?

“Faith reminds itself of what the Scripture calls ‘the exceeding great and precious promises’ says Lloyd Jones. “Faith says: ‘I cannot believe that He who has brought me so far is going to let me down at this point. It is impossible, it would be inconsistent with the character of God.’ So faith, having refused to be controlled by circumstances [or feelings!], reminds itself of what it believes and what it knows.” -Dr. Lloyd Jones

Tell your soul–out loud if you have to–what it believes and what it knows.

“Reader, if God has given you His only begotten Son, beware of doubting His kindness and love, in any painful providence of your daily life! Never allow yourself to think hard thoughts of God. Never suppose that He can give you anything which is not really for your good. Remember the words of Paul: ‘He who spared not His own Son—but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things’ (Romans 8:32).

See in every sorrow and trouble of your earthly pilgrimage the hand of Him who gave Christ to die for your sins! That hand can never smite you except in love! He who gave His only begotten Son for you, will never withhold anything from you which is really for your good. Lean back on this thought and be content. Say to yourself in the darkest hour of trial, ‘This also is ordered by Him who gave Christ to die for my sins. It cannot be wrong. It is done in love. It must be well.’”
-J.C. Ryle

How encouraging are these thoughts? Thank you to my new blog friend, Erin, who sent them my way :) I thought they were too good just to leave in the “comments” section of this blog!

Change of Scenery: Finale

Okay, yes, I got a little camera-happy when we left town…but I mean…I have been blacked out for most of the summer. You can’t blame a girl for wanting to capture every minute of life!!

We stopped by Starkville on our journey home.

Look who we found?

We grabbed lunch with Joel’s brother and sister and I got a great tour of campus.

Next stop? Tuscaloosa, Alabama!!

We got to see our sweet friends, the Karls, who lost their home in the tornado. See her sweet post about our visit. Love her.

It was crazy to see how much devastation there still is.

But, praise the Lord that our friends are alive and that God has provided them with a new home!

We brought our work clothes because we wanted to help them get settled in. Joel & Justin were hard at work doing manly chores…

So fratty.

While Alana & I were doing womanly chores…

Clearly, huge progress was made!! Praise the Lord for our sweet friends! We are praying for their ministry at the University of Alabama this year! We know God will work mightily amidst the devastation.