hardship

Serve The Servants // Micah

ICUs are challenging places. They house the vulnerable, who apart from professional service, cannot survive. Between my father being hit by a truck, me breaking my neck and our two children starting as premies, my wife and I have spent our fair share of time in critical care units.

As my bride sat with our daughter in the heaviness of the NICU last Saturday, something beautiful happened. An army of loving people ascended on the unit, wearing red shirts with “Serve Team” across their chests. They brought diapers, baby clothes, mommy essentials, refreshments and much more. They loved on worn-out mothers, many having children on the brink of death. In all they did, they valiantly shared and showed the love of Christ to needy people.

My wife was moved by their love for her, but floored by the platform this gave her as an insider. While she took care of our daughter, she had been serving other moms. She had been buying devotionals and consoling women who were losing their babies. She’d grown weary having spent hours walking alongside a mom who birthed early under hardship and feared abuse on return if her child survived. But joy flooded in at the hands of this groups service and it prompted chatter, “maybe these people are different,” “maybe I can find hope.” 

The heavy hearts that had filled a space, were lifted, and even my ever-resilient sweetheart got the shot in the arm she needed. As they left, Audrey pulled one of the visitors aside and said, “I will handle follow up from the inside." How beautiful indeed when lovers of Jesus, who actively reach the hurting, take time to serve the servants.

Luke 12:37 “The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat!”

Proverbs 11:25 “The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”

- Micah McElveen

Power in Sufficiency // Audrey

God often reveals to us His power, the miraculous that makes us stand in awe & adrenaline rush with complete amazement. Healing, mountains moved, dreams & visions, chains broken after years of slavery, deliverance, and what seemed like unreachable souls coming to faith in Christ. Power! It can strike undeniably.

What sometimes isn’t as easy for me to see, however, is the merciful work of Christ teaching me about His sufficiency. Which, is just, if not, more a display of His power. This seems to happen in the less “glorious”, the day to day, sometimes painful & grueling of times. When I ask for what I believe may be a touch of His power & the Lord chooses to answer in a more powerful but maybe less desirable way. Instead of removing the weakness, pain or hardship; He may choose to leave it in our lives in order that through our weakness/pain/hardship, His strength would be made perfect. That we, may then have to lean desperately close into Him, drawing ever so near to Him as He promises to draw near to us. And in that, something most powerful happens, a deeper Knowing of our Creator, intimacy so deep its unexplainable.

As we trust in His sufficiency day to day & through it all, we enter into a transformation that forms us more & more into His very image! From one degree of glory to another. Is there anything more powerful than that?! Us, dust of the earth, broken vessels...being transformed into the perfect image of Christ Himself! As we walk through this life, we must remember, oftentimes the refining process can only happen through life’s fire. In the end, our faith will be refined and purified as something way more precious than gold. And His power through that, Im convinced, is more powerful than our eyes can fathom seeing this side of eternity. 

(2 Corinthians 3:17-18) "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."

(Ephesians 1:18-19) "having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might"

(1 Peter 1:6-7) "In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 

(2 Corinthians 12:9) "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

- Audrey McElveen