We have developed a weekly prayer guide . . . Read it by clicking the image below and to the left

26 March, 2016

Pondering so many things . . .

"Pondering so many things, so many emotions, so many life events. Remembering the birth of our firstborn and all the joy she is in our lives; melancholy with family in the reality of missing our sister; celebrating the advent of our granddaughter; longing for the reality of heaven; leaning hard into Jesus, knowing he is enough; grateful we are part of the Family of God and appreciating their care in our lives. Pondering so many things…"

The words above were penned on March 26, 2012, a day after our daughter’s birthday, several days after the sudden death of Jeff’s sister, a little over two months before our grandaughter’s birth and in the midst of being overwhelmed with God’s good provision for our transition into Uganda. I was pondering so many things.

And I still am. Dad Stanfield is celebrating Easter in heaven this year. The father of Ugandan friends and colleagues is having his first Easter in heaven also. Will our two fathers ever find out their sons love each other and work together so our Father’s Kingdom is proclaimed here on earth?

 These four years later we celebrate our grandson reaching his one-year birthday. How is it that God has chosen to bless us with these two dear grandchildren? Who am I that I should know such love?

Palm Sunday I joined many Ugandan children and adults waving palm branches and singing praise to our King of Kings, tears dripping from my eyes as we expressed our love in worship of our Lord. My heart was overflowing with God’s grace and Christ’s sacrifice for me. Then, as we left the church a few hours later I felt bothered with the heat, annoyed at the bugs and frustrated by the people and animals in the roadways delaying our travel toward home.

Palm Sunday service in Jinja
 I ponder, whom did I love and worship then? Whom was I serving with those attitudes? If I had cried out, “Hosanna!” in those moments, like the fickle crowd in Jerusalem, would I have been seeking a savior to make life easier and more convenient for me? I ponder how my heart can be full of love and worship for Christ alone in one moment and shortly thereafter include self-worship.

And I ponder Love, offering grace, in exactly those moments when my, “Hosanna!” is so broken and my “Hallelujah” so self-serving. The Way, Truth and Life comes to me, extending grace, bringing forgiveness. I fall on my heart knees and I remember the message of the cross.

I ponder again the first four chapters of First Corinthians, where I first discovered that the word of the cross is foolishness in this world but in God’s kingdom it is power. As I read and ponder I realize all over again that I belong to Christ! I do want others to regard me as a servant of Christ and a steward of the mysteries of God. And more than anything, more than wanting ease in travel or comfort for me I want to be a steward that is found trustworthy. I want to reflect Christ accurately. I want God Himself to be able to trust me.

I ponder. I confess and I find forgiveness and grace, wrapped in unending loving kindness. I lean hard into Jesus, experiencing He is enough. I am grateful to be part of the Family of God that helps me follow The Way and The Truth as I ponder and learn.

And today, my “Hallelujah, He is risen!” knows no bounds. My heart is full of gratitude, knowing my very life is dependent on His resurrection power, the power of God.



Di Murphy said...

Thank you, dear friend. I identify with your pondering and find hope as your thoughts unfold. Even though we were not able to be together much in your extended time at home, I feel a kinship with you in a very special way. Blessings on your Easter celebrations.

Janie B said...

I, as well as most of us, have found myself in the same place and I am so very thankful for Christ's truly amazing grace!
Thank you for being honest and vulnerable. Much love!!