Day 33: Shirleen Koenig

Romans 15:13
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”

2023 was a “summer season” for us, as we welcomed a new daughter into our family. It was a time of celebrating and rejoicing in the blessings of God.
One of my absolute favorite worship songs is, The Goodness of God, especially the line, “all my life you have been faithful, all my life you have been so, so good!”  I have had to consider it all joy when encountering various trials, and to know that the joy of the Lord is my strength during dark “winters”, when I was hanging on by a thread. Because of that, enjoying the summer season is all the sweeter and I am so grateful!
One of the hardest things in life is to see those you love going through pain and suffering. As I have watched our adult children go through various trials over the past years, God has always been faithful to keep filling me with hope and trust. It is not easy. It is a noble prayer to pray that your children, however old, would have a deep and abiding relationship with the Lord. It is quite another thing to be ok with what He allows in their lives to answer that very prayer.
During those times I wrestled with God often, questioning what He was doing, grappling with fear and worry. I have learned that God can be trusted. He does indeed know what He is doing! When I look at my own walk with the Lord, times of suffering produced a deep intimacy with God like no other time. I had to ask myself a question; “Don’t I want my kids to also have that deep intimacy with God?” It’s a difficult thing to surrender, but there is absolutely no other way to get through watching those you love go through difficult seasons.
The Lord gave me a clear word awhile back; “Mother on your knees.” That is what He said; very simple, very powerful. The Lord knows better than I do what they need, and on my knees is also the only way for me to survive, casting ALL my cares upon Him because He cares for them AND me. The only way to “abound in hope” is in His presence, with Him directing my prayers, renewing my mind, and receiving His peace.
I HAVE seen His good work in their lives. I HAVE seen Him bring beauty out of some big ash heaps! And yes, I have seen a deep abiding relationship with Him brought about. He is faithful. He is good. Psalm 27:13-14 says, “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.”
"Lord, thank you that You are the God of hope. Thank you for the Holy Spirit who fills us with joy, peace and faith in the midst of suffering. Strengthen our will to surrender and to trust You to work in the lives of those we love, for their good and for Your glory."

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