Greetings in the name of the Father who is “gentle and lowly” (Matthew 11:29).
He has been so loving to me as I navigate the waters of my reentry in the States. He has held my hand each step of the way. I am grateful that I can trust His word. The most of the last 14 years have been a learning experience for me. He has been with me during each situation – from being on the stand answering pointed questions to helping those who need to hear about Jesus. He “would cross an ocean so I wouldn’t drown” and He “has never been closer than He is right now” (Jireh). He is that for me and for all who want to believe those Truths.
I have learned through my journey to lean into Him and to find my rest in Him. I am not perfect though I fail many times, nevertheless, as “I lie as a broken shell at His feet” He “bend(s) His ear to me,” and “He will hear within my heart faint echoes of the vast waves of His own love that have brought me to where I am happy to stay, even at His feet forever” (C.H. Spurgeon devotional revised and updated by Alistair Begg, April 12).
I continue to try my best to always put my hand in His as I walk through life. I am reminded by His Word that if I would remember all the times He has already shown His love toward me, then I would be less apt to drop His hand. That eight-letter word is apparently used 352 times in Scripture, when “its variants are counted, that number jumps to more than 550” (The Gospel in Words: Word of the Week: ‘Remember’, Deseret News, March 27, 2008).
The word “remember” tells me that Jesus died for me, and that He wants to be with me as He was with those who have gone before me:
- Adam and Eve as they walked in the cool of the garden,
- Abraham as he journeyed into the unknown,
- Naomi as her future looked bleak,
- David in his ups and downs,
- Jonah as he sat east of the city,
- Peter when he not only denied Jesus but wept thereafter,
- Phoebe as she traveled throughout Rome delivering Paul’s letters,
- Philemon as he decided how to treat Onesimus,
- The “women who received back their dead by resurrection,” and
- John as he was exiled on the Isle of Patmos.
I thank you for all your prayers, gifts, and loving mentions of my name. Lately, I have been rereading some of the mail that I received while I was in jail. I have never ceased to be amazed how you’all “visited” me while I was in jail (Matthew 25:31-46). Your penned words, printed poems, colorful photos, and gracious gifts you sent still warm my heart and “remind” me of God’s love. Thank you for following Jesus’ words to visit those in prison (with help and ministering care- amplified version).
I am grateful that you’all continue to pray for me even when I am not in touch with you. I am still acclimating to life in the United States. As of this update, I have been out of jail and back into life in the U.S. for almost 11 months. My desire for those who read the words of this update is that you will, not only find, but daily experience Jesus’ “gently and lowly” heart (Gentle and Lowly, Dane Ortlund).
I will close with the following lyrics:
“I love You Lord
For Your mercy never fails me
All my days
I’ve been held in Your hands
From the moment that I wake up
Until I lay my head
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God
Cause all my life You have been faithful
And all my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
Oh I will sing of the goodness of God
I love Your voice
You have led me through the fire
In the darkest night You are close like no other
I have known You as a Father
I have known You as a Friend
And I have lived in the goodness of God
I give You everything.” (Goodness of God)
In His Service,