Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Rebecca's Journey - 86

17 April, 2007

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Genval!

Sharon Henry has been here for several weeks taking care of Rebecca since Jessica's return to the States. Sharon is such a gift from God to all of us. And we're so grateful for all that Jessica did during her time here.

From Rebecca: I've awakened these past days singing the hymn, "Great is Thy Faithfulness". Several mornings ago I began my quiet time reading from Isaiah. In the commentaries for chapter 2, I came to this: "Learning to abound requires never forgetting that we have been abased, and remembering that God is the only factor who has made the difference."

In reading this, I began to "remember". Paul and I have walked with the Lord for almost 45 years. I went back and reveled in God's faithfulness.
But according to this note, I began to remember also great seasons of testing. Season after season we have seen relational testing followed by great lasting friendships; very difficult pregnancies followed by the joy of our two "little boys"; testings in our health always followed by increased fruitfulness and blessing. My recent accident has been a good example of this.

And then I remembered John 15, Jesus' picture of the vine and the branches.
"Every branch that bears fruit,
He prunes that it might bear more fruit."
I wish all of you could see the vineyards in France, and the healthy old vines there. In the autumn, the gardener comes and begins to prune. Oh no! Surely he's cut too much away! But the gardener knows what he's doing. And it is on the very branch that he's pruned that the new growth returns, and increased fruit is born. Where the vine is pruned, there is abundance of fruit.

We are the branches, and we belong to the Gardener. As we yield ourselves to Him, we can trust Him to direct the seasons for ever increasing our blessing and fruitfulness. Great is His faithfulness!

Paul again: I leave on Friday for two and a half weeks of travel. Please keep Rebecca and the team here, as well as me, in your prayers.

Love from us both,

Paul & Rebecca