December 24, 2020
Well, today is Christmas Eve. It is now evening, and I am still here. Aside from weeping in my heart for Kathie who, besides the pain and discomfort she has had almost constantly experienced in recent months, is being forced to be without me for the third Christmas in a row.
We both know God’s timing is best, and He is with us each and every step in this journey. From a human perspective alone, I know there are many glimmers of hope. But with God all things are possible. He is able to work miracles as much today as He was 2000 years ago. We have seen this many times in our own lives! As believers we are to expect such tribulations and count it all joy to suffer for Him.
And it is during these times, as shown in Psalm 66 and many other places in the Scriptures, we are to reflect on the many miracles God has already done for us, both personally, and as God’s people. This provides the hope we need! As the psalmist says, “Come and see the works of God, Who is awesome in His deeds toward the sons of men” (v. 5). There is so much for us to rejoice in (v. 6).
I know I have reiterated this Psalm before, but it bears repeating every time we find ourselves discouraged; “Bless our God, oh peoples, and sound His praise abroad, Who keeps us in life, and does not allow our feet to slip. For You have tried us, oh God, You have refined us as silver is refined. You did bring us into the prison (net), You did lay an oppressive burden upon our loins. You did make men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water; yet You did bring us out into a place of abundance . . . . Come and hear, all who fear God. And I will tell of what He has done for my soul. I cried to Him with my mouth, and He was extolled with my tongue. If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear. But certainly, God has heard; He has given heed to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, Who has not turned away from my prayer, nor His lovingkindness from me” (Ps. 66:8-12; 16-20). In Him is all my confidence!
In Him belongs all glory and praise! A blessed Christmas to you!
Received from Philip yesterday:
Do you remember Jimmy Valez, the big Puerto Rican fellow who was so friendly and always asked about you? He is a believer and very committed. Just as sweet as can be.
Well, I just found out that he got compassionate release, but probably doesn’t even know about it as he has been in the hospital on a ventilator. Please pray for him and get others to pray for him. Let’s expect a miracle. I want to try to find what his contact information will be so you can check on him and tell him we were praying when he is home. I don’t know if I will be able to or not.
Also, I heard we had another death from COVID here. That makes number 6 that we know of. Who knows how many there really are.
I have some very sad but yet very glorious news. Jimmy Valez is now with Jesus. He left this life for eternal glory yesterday. I rejoice for him but I am very sad for his family. I only vaguely remember meeting them when I was with you. They had just finished getting their picture made, if I recollect correctly. I never ever saw Jimmy without him asking about you, and he prayed for both of us regularly. He was a true sanctified saint.
I thought you would be interested in knowing about Jimmy. Please shift your prayers to his family. This prison will be far worse off now that he is gone.
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