I’ve been reflecting on the past five years lately and wondering what the next five years will bring. Both personally and organizationally, many things have changed in life over the last 60 months. When you think about what has gone on in the world around you during the same period of time, I am sure there are many things you celebrate, there are some experiences that most likely you would like to forget, and there are even those things that have changed or happened where we wonder if the world around us has gone crazy.
Even when it seems society has gone mad – up seems to be down, left seems to be right, and right seems to be wrong – I am certain about two things. The Gospels tell us the thoughts and life instructions of Jesus on relationships. You can find them in Matthew 22:36-39; Mark 12:28-31; and Luke 10:25-28. Simply put, it says we are to love God with everything we are, and we are to love our neighbor as our self. These are a life compass when the storms of life seem to turn things upside-down.
When my family moved to Round Rock and joined Children At Heart Ministries five years ago, a young lady in the youth group dedicated a song to our family in the church which had been our home for the past 19 years. There is never a time when I hear the song on the radio that I do not remember that day. The song is Blessings by Laura Story. Its message was a powerful reminder of God’s love at a pivotal point in the life of our family; it is also a poignant reminder of all that God uses to bring blessings in the lives of all of those that the Children At Heart family serves. I don’t have the space to list all of the lyrics, but here is the chorus:
‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?
What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy?
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?
This past summer’s Olympics taught us a thing or two about life as well. Two distance runners in the 5,000-meter event fell to the ground in the midst of the race. Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand and Abbey D’Agostino of the United States somehow collided and found themselves on the ground. D’Agostino got up but realized Hamblin was still on the ground and stopped to help her. Neither runner was favored to win a medal, but Hamblin suddenly realized there was a hand on her shoulder – it was D’Agostino. The American said to the New Zealander, “Get up, get up, we have to finish this.” These two runners were truly exhibiting the Olympic spirit. They may not have won medals, but they are winners in life.
The similarities are great at Gracewood, Miracle Farm, STARRY, and Texas Baptist Children’s Home! Our staff looks at the children and families we serve and say in the storms of life and with the reflection of God’s love, “Get up, get up, we have to finish this” – many blessings in disguise.