BLESS THE LORD, O MY SOUL

"Each little part of our life,
Or burdens hard to bear,
God knows about them all,
And surely he does care.

The little sparrow does not fall,
Unnoticed by his loving gaze,
How much more he cares for us,
And knowingly plans our days.

He knows the winding path,
He calls on us to trod,
But never ever will we be,
Forsaken by our God.

His ways are far beyond ours,
He knows what is for our good,
So even if we don’t understand,
Let’s trust him as we should.

Because he cares for us,
We need never fear,
His love surrounds our lives,
And he is always near.

He’s near to bless and guide,
He’s near to hold our hand,
And when his purpose is fulfilled,
He’ll bring us home to Gloryland."

-Miriam Chupp


There is a story told in a book called, “Coals of Fire” about an old Mennonite Minister named Peter. He lived during a time when the Anabaptists were heavily persecuted. Many people in his Swiss town did not understand why he and his people believed it was wrong to go to war. One night, a few young men thought they would pay a visit to Peter’s house. They decided to vandalize the old man’s house, and see just how loving he truly was after that. They climbed up on his roof and started destroying his thatch. After sometime, Peter awoke because of the strange noise coming from his roof. He carefully made his way through his house and out his front door. When he discovered what was going on he called to his wife, “ Mother, workmen have come to us; you had better prepare a meal.” His wife was startled but she understood, and before long a meal was waiting on the table. Opening his front door once more, Peter called to the boys on the roof, “You have worked long and hard, surely you are hungry. Now come in to us and eat.” The men awkwardly came into the room, and a heartfelt prayer was given by the old man. The men where so ashamed that they could not eat, and hurriedly left the room. After they left, sounds could be heard on the roof once again. But this time they were putting the thatch back on!

This story is a beautiful example to me of how God can use trials to become a blessing in disguise when we allow God to break our self-will. The question I can’t help but ask myself is, “Am I truly allowing God to break and purge me? Or am I acting like a small child, throwing a fit and fighting through this entire process.”

A few night’s ago we got robbed for the very first time. A very large water tank, that we used to collect rain water for wash and what not, was stolen from our yard. This tank cost us about $100.00 American dollars, which translates over to about 18,000 Kenyan shillings. This is no laughing matter, if those men would have been caught in our village, they would have been torched. What a horrible thought! If they knew that was a possible outcome, I can’t help but wonder, what else would they try to steal? We would have never dreamed that someone would actually try and steal a tank full of water, or that people would be planning to come into our yard two nights in a row to empty the water out of the tank so they could just carry it off. The tank was located right next to my children’s window, praise the Lord for the loud bark of the Carrier’s dog that alerted us to the situation. I truly wish I could relay an amazing story like the one I shared of Peter. But alas, there was no remarkable outcome in our story, except the sad realization of how naive we can be.

Our family forgives the thiefs for the crime that they committed, and we continue to pray for their repentance and salvation. Pray with us. 

Since this incident, we have taken down the little dog run that Charlton made for Lilly (a puppy we got that died of parvo). That is where the robbers hung out to prevent coming in contact with the Carrier’s dog. We have also repaired, and reinforced the back fence where the robbers entered. The windows made here have bars on them, so I do take some comfort in that. And a siren was installed in the house before we moved in. The siren is a tool used for the good of the offender, because it allows them a minute or two head start to escape before the locals get a hold of them. As mentioned before, if caught, one could be killed for stealing.

We are trying to put our trust in God, and not dwell on problems that we face. We want to take courage, and be comforted in the love of Christ Jesus. The flesh at times may want to linger and focus on the bad, and we need be stripped of all that.

Brokeness is a process of cracking away our hard outer shell. God has definitely been stretching and purging me. 

“May my life eventually become a demonstration that it is possible to allow God to break my outer shell in order that brokenness can really become a blessing.” -Anna Byler

John 12:24,

Natasha

Where the tank use to be!

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