June 24, 2010

This week's Edgewood Update

Every week... well, almost every week... I try to send out an e-mail update to the members of Edgewood that have signed up to be a part of the list.  I would like to share this week's update with you.


I have seen God's hand of providence as He steered us towards the Book of James.  Many at Edgewood have been enduring trials these last few weeks and that is the exact topic that James begins with.  The original recipients of that letter were also enduring trials.  But, as we learned last week from verse 12, enduring in our faith holds great promise for today, tomorrow, and for eternity!
In 1967 Joni Eareckson Tada was in a diving accident that left her as a quadriplegic in a wheelchair.  You may have heard her on the radio, as the host of her own show, which I believe is called Joni and Friends.  If you didn't know, she is also a singer, an artist, an author, and an advocate for disabled persons.  (Go to http://www.joniearecksontadastory.com/ for her full story and the struggles she has had.)  I am mentioning Joni Eareckson Tada because of her amazing example of endurance in trials, but I also wanted to share a quote.  You see, she was recently diagnosed with cancer, and even though she is hopeful in what the doctors are going to do, I wanted you to hear the bigger hope in her response:  “I’ve often said that our afflictions come from the hand of our all-wise and sovereign God, who loves us and wants what is best for us. So, although cancer is something new, I am content to receive from God whatever He deems fit for me,” she said. “Yes, it’s alarming, but rest assured that Ken (her husband) and I are utterly convinced that God is going to use this to stretch our faith, brighten our hope and strengthen our witness to others.”
Amazing.
I am looking forward to seeing all of you this coming Sunday!
Keeping at it,
Matt Harmless

What I allude to in that update are the trials that many of the individuals in our church have been facing.  We have many in our little church that are facing the loss of loved ones, cancer in the family, marriage challenges, the imminent loss of loved ones, broken cars, surgery, finances, the need for employment, family members who are without Christ, you name it!  But I see God building endurance in these people, and it is exciting!