When life gets tough remember this.

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“When is the devil being beaten? Well, not when we feel great and confident, when it looks like wonderful things are happening… No. The devil is being defeated when we are feeling attacked and under the gun, when we feel weak and helpless and do not know what to do, when we are not sure how to respond, when in our perplexities and sense of weakness we come before the Lord and plead with him for strength to go on one more day, and for grace to help us stand.” —Ray Stedman

Boy oh boy I can really attest to this one! That’s when the big victories are won! A particular instance comes to mind. We’d been private teaching in east Taiwan, a tropical paradise. All needs were met for our little family and life was easy.
Then came an urgent call for my husband to take up a post in the south. Long story, but basically having passed on all classes and given notice to leave our beautiful house within the week, the whole thing fell through at the last minute. We couldn’t go back, couldn’t go forward, we tried everything to no avail. My husband collapsed under the strain and sank into deep depression. It was all left on my shoulders along with four kids. I recall lying on my back in total mental exhaustion saying “Jesus,I can’t do this. Help us!”
The phone rang. Amazingly a friend of my husband heard be were moving and asked was there any way we could baby sit his apartment and cover his classes while he was away in the US. Within five minutes we had a place to stay, a steady income and 6 weeks to find our feet in Taipei (which we did).
This has happened so many times that I tend to give a sigh of relief when faced with desperate impossibilities. I know that’s when I’m finally out of the way and God can take over.

Pain and Wonder.

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It didn’t feel much like Christmas to Mary when she journeyed to Bethlehem, she could only focus on the pain, and worry if they would make it in time. No, the wonderful feeling came much later, first at the birth, and when shepherds came and her faith was rewarded. Even then all was not perfect, the stable was drafty, the floor hard, and she still ached a little and was tired from the labour, but that was all a part of it. Had she had Jesus comfortably at home it would not have been the same. Like many things, problems, sickness, the extra efforts needed are part of what will make it wonderful! Rest after labour, peace after tribulation is all the more sweet!