Thursday, September 27, 2012

ON THE MENU: FRUITFULNESS OR FORGETFULNESS?


Dear readers, we hope that you will join us at HOPE AT HOME 2012 in just a few weeks, October 5-6 in Atlanta. There is quite a lot of buzz going on as we prepare for your arrival! If you haven't registered yet, you can do so by clicking HERE.

From Susan:
Just the other day I got to see all over again that God is bigger than our worst things.  Three years ago this week our family became homeless when Atlanta's "500 year flood" swelled the 2 foot river in our back yard to 20 feet, leaving half of our 3 story home submerged.  Though I am the eternal optimist, in this case half full is pretty bad!  Even then, though, as our family story attracted various TV crews and newspaper reporters, what those folks typically went away with was those same 3 words of truth, overshadowing the facts:  God Is Bigger.  He is bigger when 8 of our 10 kids become twice-homeless.  He is bigger when we felt our family no longer existed as a unit, as we were parcelled out into 4 different homes for some days.  
Then....visible proofs of our invisible God started their steady and relentless march.  A family we had never met opens up their massive 4 bedroom basement apartment for us to live in.   Every day for a number of weeks, someone uninvited comes knocking:  "here are some clothes for your sons," or "here is some food"  or "here are some games."  The gifts of God through the hands of people became so constant that we began to write them on our calendar as a visible reminder of God's care.  We ourselves were surprised as we realized we were writing something down daily.  We saw, literally, "give us this day our daily bread."  
And God did. And it was good.

Remodeling and Restoration

We have now been back in our beautifully restored home for several months.  Our adoptions are the only reason we had flood insurance, which we purchased 5 days before the flood.  I know it sounds exagerated but its true!  We had 5 kids in college at that time and couldn't afford it, so we had to take out a home equity loan to help pay for education. We had fumed when the bank demanded we purchase flood insurance, as our primary loan had never required it.  The bank staff were immovable in their insistence, and thus, God provided in spite of our opposition.

Fruitfulness or Forgetfulness

So as I sit here as I do most mornings, enjoying the beauty of seeing the light of day replace the darkness of night, I read in Genesis 41 of Joseph's two sons, Ephraim (whose name means "fruitful in the land of my affliction") and Manassas (meaning "forget the pain of the past").  The meaning of their names provides a menu that I can choose from every day:  is my first choice to trust God to make me "fruitful in the land of my affliction,"....even in those worst things, like the lost son and the lost home?  
Or is it only to seek to "forget the pain of the past"?  For me, dear reader, I must choose the former. And today I pray that you will experience the bright light of day replacing any vestiges of night's darkness.  We are, as Luke says, "children of the resurrection." 

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