Sunday, January 4, 2009

Intentionally Praying

As mentioned earlier, I want to be more intentional this year, and one way I want to be more intentional is in my prayer life.  So, with that said, I'm asking you to join me in praying for Tony and Lisa Amstutz, friends from church.  Lisa and I serve together in the 11:11 cafe on Sunday mornings before our contemporary service begins.  She is a fabulous mother and homeschool teacher to her children (ok, maybe only Chloe so far, but I'm sure Carson and Camilla will soon follow).  She sews beautifully and is couponer-extraordinaire, among her many other talents.  Tony faithfully serves each Sunday by showing up EARLY (like, 6:00 AM) to help set-up for the already mentioned 11:11 service.  He then heads upstairs to sing in our 8:30 service choir, then joins Lisa as they teach our singles/somewhat newly professional/some college-aged folks' Sunday School class, then goes back upstairs to sing in the 11:00 service, and then after all that, heads home with his family.  Whew!  Lisa co-hosted our annual Birthday Party for Jesus this past Christmas season, and it was a success, as always! 

Tony and Lisa are some of the most genuinely kind people I think I've ever met.  They ALWAYS have a smile, and go out of their way to speak, even when they see me outside church (even in line at the consignment sale :) )  

They don't know that I'm posting here, and would probably fuss at me for all the words above, but I would ask that you please join me in praying for this precious couple.  For reasons only God knows, and though we shouldn't, we find ourselves questioning, the baby Lisa was 3+ months along carrying is now in the arms of Jesus.  Please join me in praying for comfort, for peace, and for a calmness of spirit for Tony, Lisa, Chloe, Carson, and Camilla.  Questions?  Yes.  That God will answer?  In His time, I believe so, yes.  It may not be until they reach Heaven themselves, but I believe with all my heart that yes, their questions, their hurts, will all be answered.  But for now, we are left.  Left to wonder.  Left to hurt.  But, most of all, left to pray.  I, for one, am hoping God uses this trial for His good- to complete whatever work He started.  Our Sunday School class began a study of the book of James this morning, and my mind constantly drew back to Tony and Lisa as I thought about James' mention of considering it joy to face trials of many kinds.  Tony and Lisa, if you're reading, know that we hurt with you in this trial, and even though you might not be able to now, I consider it a joy on your behalf.  Why?  Because we have a faith in Jesus that lets, no, beckons me to believe that this trial will work out for the good of those THAT LET IT.  Sure, we can go through trials and come out somewhat bruised and battered, but otherwise unchanged.  Or, we can go through trials, come out on the other end, battle scars and all, and show the world that because of the healing hands of Jesus, we are better people for it.  

Thank you, sweet friends, for praying for Tony and Lisa and their family.  And, thank you, Tony and Lisa, for living out your faith to those around you.  It is an honor to pray with and for you now.  

Sweet Jesus, hold this family tight in Your arms.  Thank You for holding that precious baby now.  Thank You for holding us up when we feel like trials are unfair or too hard to bear.  Only You, Jesus know how truly unbearable trials can be, because only You were able to withstand the weight of the cross You were given to bear.  Thank You for holding the weight for us now as we lay our hurts, our disappointments, and our questions, at Your feet.  Please see them as the offerings they are intended to be, and continue to complete the work You started in each of us, so that, in Your timing, we are made complete.  Our offerings are Yours, Lord.  

Mary Beth

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