The friends I know who are living though hard times right now; they really love the Lord, and as I watch them I see them walk away from their problems with great spiritual riches. I seem them blessed by the loving care of our Father.
I've also been thinking of some stories of great hope I have read these days. I like to read a blog of a mother of 15, well the 15th is on the way. She tells the story of how her husband was out of work for two years, in which time they got pregnant with their 15th, and God always provided. She also tells another story of how when they were a family of 11 they all happily lived in a house under a 1,000 square feet, and she home schooled at the same time. As Americans we often need reminders of the simplicity of contentment. You can read her stories here and here.
I mentioned a while back that I had been reading The Trapp Family Singers. I was reading it when I found out I was pregnant, and was at the time rather freaked out by how much baby things cost and the fact that The Man didn't have any regular work at the time. Then I read chapter VI in that book, which talks about how after they had escaped Europe to America after Austria was taken by Hitler they were refused renewal work visas, much to their surprise. So, their family of 12 (nine children, one priest, and two parents) used the last of their money to buy passage back to Europe, and managed to get a few concerts booked, but that's all they knew. Maria says, "From the day in March when we left on the Nornamdie to that day in October when we set foot on American soil again we learned a lesson, the greatest of them all. In Bible English it is called:" Be not solicitous," and translated into everyday language, it means: "Do not worry"...And this half year was set apart for teaching us this lesson, that we should never forget it in the future. There we were, a group of twelve people and a little baby who, for the next seven months had no home, and except for six concerts which would provide for three weeks' living, did not know the answer to the question: what shall we eat, what shall we drink? The political horizon was filled with dark clouds; the outbreak of the war seemed imminent, the atmosphere in Europe was full of suspicion and mistrust; we didn't know a soul in the Scandinavian countries, not any of the languages; the permission to stay was carefully restricted by every country to the time necessary to give our concerts...It would have been easy for God to show us the plan for this period, as He had it all fixed up, how there would be enough concerts, enough money, extensions of our stay, helpful people, generous invitations, new friends, and new love. But then we again would not have learned that most valuable lesson, so He left us in the dark, and gave us only one thing at a time. We always spent the cent before the last before we got a new engagement. "
"And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience."
May you be in good soil. Blessings!c