Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rebecca's Journey - 98

17 April, 2008

From Rebecca:

These days I have had on my heart those of you who are in difficulty or conflict. Seasons such as these will always come; and I promise you they will go. When we are in the midst of these times, they feel like they will last forever.

As I read Psalm 138, verse 7 and 8 this morning, my heart went out to those who are suffering. It begins, "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me. You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies and Your right hand will save me."

The Psalmist clearly defines the situation. He's in the middle of trouble, with angry enemies out to get him. He also defines His hope and confidence in God to work redemptively in the challenges.

Verse 8: "The Lord will perfect that which concerns me." The dictionary says that "to perfect" means to accomplish, to finish, to fulfill, to bring to an end. It reminds me of Philippians 1:6: "He who begins a good work in you will complete it..." (bring it to an end).

"Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever." Here, the word mercy is "hesed", which is translated loving-kindness, unfailing love, or steadfast covenant love. It's similar to the New Testament word for grace. "Forever" means infinity. Referring to that infinite, everlasting expanse which God has created - the expanse of space and of time indicating the limitless dimensions in which God's sovereignty is displayed. As God is eternal, so is His mercy. It endures forever!

These thoughts come from my New King James Bible. It's strengthening to realize the everlasting nature of His love and kindness. Here we have a "view" from the midst of difficulties. When we feel the pressure, the tension, we need to look up and out toward Him and there we will find confidence in His everlasting love and kindness. He never changes. While we are bouncing around, He is the same.

Love to all,


And a little note from Paul: I leave tomorrow for 2 1/2 weeks. Annie, Mike & Sue will be caring for Rebecca. Please keep us all in your prayers.


Saturday, April 05, 2008

Rebecca's Journey - 97

5 April, 2008

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Genval, our little Belgian town. Spring seems to be well on its way. About a week ago, after the daffodils had bloomed, the forsythia was glorious, and the early fruit-tree blossoms were singing that warm weather was on its way, we had 4 inches of snow. It was quite a sight seeing the daffodils with high peaks of fluffy white stuff perched on each of their heads.

As I think you may know, a friend from college and his wife arrived mid-March to be Rebecca’s care givers for this period. It has been wonderful to renew our friendship, and to have another guy in the house. Mike and Sue have found the demands of Rebecca’s care to be more intense than had been expected. They are weary, and feeling that physically it isn’t doable for them to manage 3 months at this pace. So please be praying with us for God’s provision for someone who could come during the month of May. Our next scheduled care-giver arrives on 5 June. Mike and Sue have graciously and kindly said that they won’t leave us without some additional person. But physical limitations are real things. I’ll be out of the country from 15 April to 4 May. Please be praying for Annie, Mike, and Sue during this time as well.

From Rebecca: April 1st is one of my favorite days. I love the month of April! It comes in cold, as it was this morning, and departs warm in the full essence of spring. It always bears the promise of new life.

I’m sorry that it has been so long since I have written. The weeks have been full, and many of you know that I was quite ill for a long period. I had both bronchial and bladder infections, as well as a dangerously low sodium level. Since my diaphragm is partially paralyzed, the doctor’s greatest concern was that the infection would get into my lungs. (I don’t think Father was as afraid as they were :) He brought us through and I am well again, poised for spring!

I am challenged now to catch up on the activities that should have been done in the past month. And I must be sure that I do them with a peaceful heart. It just happens that in my quiet time, I have come to Hebrews. This morning in chapter four, the writer speaks of rest. “There is a rest prepared for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest (God’s rest) has also ceased from his works as God did from His.” (Hebrews 4:9, 10)

When my faith rises, I am able to see clearly. I realize that all that needs to be done will get done. It will be accomplished in the Father’s time. From this perspective I am able to maintain my quiet heart. I remember one day when it came to me: “If it doesn’t get done today, I’ll do it another day.” Ah, what a relief! I get to do Father’s work at a quiet pace. The Kingdom does not depend on me.

Hebrew 4:16 is one of my favorite verses in all the scripture:

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Come boldly, freely, right up to Him who loves us. He is more desirous to help than we are to ask. O Father, change our minds, change our perception of You, that we might realize how ready You are to meet our needs. When we come to You, we will receive all that we need in the time that we need. What joy! What rest! In his love! Please pray with me that I’ll be able to stay in that place of confidence! That is not always easy, at least for me.

Thank you for your love and faithfulness. We remain yours in Him,

Paul and Rebecca

PS Paul again! Rebecca’s book has been presented to some publishers. Rebecca has received the first refusal. We have writer friends who have said they could paper their walls with letters of refusal. This is to be expected, but still is disappointing. We’ll see what He will do with this manuscript.