I just got off the phone with my sister Sarah a little while ago. She was calling from Israel to tell me that she was baptized today in the Jordan River, and I wanted to share it with EVERYONE!! It was just a little more than 18 months ago I got down on my knees and prayed intently to God about Sarah. I had tried everything I could to try and have an impact on her life and nothing seemed to work. I told God how afraid I was for her future. I was sure she was headed for a life of misery. As far as I could see, her prospects included pregnancy, alcoholism, drug addiction or even death. I asked God what I should do, and I CLEARLY heard Him tell me to give her up to Him. It wasn't easy, but that was just what I did, and I am amazed...truly amazed...at the changes he has wrought in her life. He has repaid my faith so quickly, so fully, so abundantly....so perfectly...
I could tell you a ton of stories right now about the ways in which God has met this need, the amazing MIRACULOUS ways he has provided thousands of dollars...but instead, I'll just tell you this. Jesus Christ is my Savior, My Master and my King. I have never, ever even dreamed about being loved this perfectly. God has worked in my life, and continues to work in my life, with His perfect blessing and discipline to refine me and bring my life joy and peace. And now, Praise God, Sarah has allowed Him to work that way in her life as well.
There is no other way to live your life which will bring you anywhere near the fulfillment and happiness that living your life according to the Word of God will bring you. Nothing else will satisfy you the way that giving your life to God will satisfy you. It is what we are created for. Getting lost in what THIS life has to offer is folly. We spend a brief moment walking the face of the earth when compared to the eternity we will spend after this life, and the choices we make here will affect us for all eternity.
Jesus had this to say in Matthew 6:20 regarding trying to satisfy yourself with treasures on this earth versus the treasures to be found in Heaven:
Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal
My grandfather used to ascribe to the belief that "He who dies with the most toys, wins", but that isn't true. He who dies with the most toys just leaves the most toys behind.
So today, I am thankful to God for His infinite patience with me. I'm thankful to a mother who kept telling me all of these same things I just shared with you even when I didn't want to hear them. Her words and actions continue to pay dividends not just in my life and Sarah's life, but in so many other lives as well. I can only aspire to be the selfless, faithful and obedient servant that she was.
Today I am also thankful to my church, my family and my friends, and most especially to everyone at Hume Lake who has allowed God to work the miracles that they do. All of you have lifted us up in prayer or pitched in to make this hope we had for Sarah last year into a reality, and you sincerely have my eternal gratitude.
You have stored up treasures in Heaven, but I hope the thought of the change that Sarah has undergone in such a short time, the thought that she was baptized in the very same body of water that Jesus was baptized, is half the treasure to your heart that it is to mine. Because my heart is full today. Our God is a faithful God, a loving God, and a perfect God.
Our God is God, and He keeps His promises.
If you would like to see the pictures and blogs from Sarah's trip you can find them here: http://joshuawilderness.org
If you've got an older teen that is struggling with life, that maybe you don't have any idea what to do with next, I would advise you to check out the other areas of the site as well to find out more about the Joshua Wilderness Institute.
Finally, I've attached a picture of Sarah sitting under a tree studying her Bible in Israel. Who would have thought...
I've prayed for each of you today.
Thanks for listening
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. - John 15:15