Thank you for praying for us during this Cor Deo reunion weekend! It’s been a really special time. We had a big crowd of people at our house on Friday night and then a great day on Saturday, with meetings, fellowship and meals together. The participants spent time sharing with each other, studying God’s Word and doing some study of Jonathan Edwards’ writings on the Holy Spirit. The Lord even worked it out that George Verwer (founder of OM) was able to come and speak to the group for awhile. I spent quite a bit of the day taking care of little ones (with help from my girls) but got to enjoy some sweet fellowship too. These times are a tremendous encouragement to Peter and me, as we get to hear from people how their time with Cor Deo has made a difference in their lives and ministries. We thank God for how He is working the lives of these brothers and sisters in Christ. It feels so encouraging to know that what we are giving our lives to is making a difference.
My cold is still making me feel pretty uncomfortable and wiped out and I had trouble sleeping on Friday night because of it. Despite the lack of sleep, I really felt God gave me the strength I needed on Saturday. However, I had another rough night last night, and really struggled today physically and emotionally. I still really enjoyed the time with friends but just felt like I was battling to keep my eyes open and keep my body going. I often have little patches where I worry a lot about what people think of me (fear of man!) and today was also one of those days. I arrived back from the social gathering this evening pretty wiped out and feeling down. I could’ve used a long chat with Peter but even though we got to chat a little, he was preparing to preach tonight and then eventually went out. Then I needed to have a difficult conversation with one of our children which I found frustrating, I had a fussy baby, and one of our children accidentally broke our food processor in the middle of making peanut butter (which we were out of and is a staple around here!). That was followed by two children being exceedingly silly and disobedient and when correcting them, one responded by getting even more silly and the other one extremely upset. Result = one mummy feeling like she couldn’t go on.
I share all this because I want to tell you how tenderly our Father ministered to me. As I was tucking in the silly child and the upset and whining/crying child, I picked up an old little children’s book called, “Little Pillows” by Frances Ridley Havergal. (It’s called Little Pillows as it gives the child a Scripture to “rest” on as they go to sleep.) I sometimes read one of the little bedtime devotionals to the children as I tuck them in. Anyway, I opened the book to where we’d last left off and the title was “He Giveth More Grace,” based on James 4:6. I read it to them and a memory came into my mind . . . Mariah was 2 years old and in hospital with a broken femur. I was still nursing Joel and going back and forth to the hospital every day. It was an exhausting and very emotional for me to see Mariah going through so much. A sweet friend helped me in many practical ways during that time and one day she brought over a framed picture with the words to a song on it and set it up on our mantle piece so I could look at it often. I will have to check with her to be sure, but I am almost certain the song was, “He Giveth More Grace.” I remember how incredibly touched I was by the words.
- He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
- When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
- His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.
Anyway, as this song came into my mind, I quickly went in the other room, found a youtube video with the song being sung and called Mariah and Joel out of their beds to come listen. We sang it through a few times and their little hearts seemed to calm down as they tried to learn the song and sing along. My eyes welled up with tears at one point, just thinking about how amazing God is, that He would allow us to be on that very page in the Little Pillow book tonight. When I felt my strength was gone, He gave me more grace. He never stops giving and giving and giving. Wonderful to think that the same God that helped me six years ago when I was struggling and has been helping me ever since, is still tenderly giving me enough grace for tonight. Mariah and Joel both wanted to sing the song again as I tucked them in. And when Kaylah woke up crying out of a sound sleep a few seconds later, I felt as if I had the strength to go and care for her. He is so merciful and gracious.