Above: glimpses of Serve-a-Thon through the years (2014, 2017, 2019)
Back when my husband and I were dating, it didn't take me too long to learn that he had a slight tendency to lose track of his keys. Apparently I was not the first person to learn about this tendency - his family was also rather aware of it, specifically his mom. One story in particular stands out in my memory.
It happened when we were in college. Phil was working part-time at the church we both attended, and one summer - I believe it was during a VBS he was helping to run - his mom came down for a day or two to help out. I wasn't there at the time, but at some point during the week, his keys went missing. So what do you when you can't find your keys, you've looked everywhere you can think of to look, and you really need to find them? Well, for Phil and the people he was working with, they decided the best thing to do was to pray.
So, they sat down - Phil, his mom and our good friend Kathy - and his mom began to pray. The first thing she said was, "Lord, we've been through this so many times..." And actually, that's as much of the story as I know. When Kathy relayed to me what had happened, the part she remembered was that opening phrase, and that is what has stayed with me for years.
"Lord, we've been through this so many times..."
Maybe for you it's not losing your keys, but do you have something that you feel like you've been through "so many times"? Even as we look at some of the hard things happening in the world around us, it can be easy to want to say those same words, "Lord, we've been through this so many times..."
It's a little like the opening of Psalm 13, when the writer asks, "How long, O Lord?" Why do we have to keep going through the same thing over and over again? How long is this going to last?
It strikes me that although we may be going through what feels like the same thing time and time again, we also have the assurance that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. His love doesn't change. He keeps loving us, even when we keep making the same mistakes, or facing the same troubles, or going through the same difficulties.
Better yet, He is also continually making new things happen. Somehow He is a God who is constant and doesn't change but at the same time is very much in the business of doing something new within and around us. We may be saying, God, why am I going through this again? but perhaps He is saying, Let me show you something new about Me this time.
God's mercies are new every morning. Every single morning. Over and over again. So many times. We may never understand why He allows us to go through hard times - especially when it feels like we've already been through so many hard times - but I wonder if we can learn to look for the new things He wants to show us about Himself along the way. I wonder if going through something "so many times" has a way of strengthening our faith more so than if we only ever went through it once.
As we continue to look ahead to Serve-a-Thon day this spring, let's keep our eyes open to what new things God may be wanting to do in and through us. Some of us have done Serve-a-Thon many times, others will be doing it for the first time. In years to come, when we look back on the many times we've done Serve-a-Thon, I hope we will see more than just something we've been through multiple times. I hope we will also see God's unchanging faithfulness, doing and showing us new things, over and over again. So many times.
Pray with me...
... Father, for all who are weary or tired from whatever they are going through, please renew their strength
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
... Lord, show us what new things You want to do through this year's Serve-a-Thon
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
... God, thank You that no matter how many difficulties we face, You promise to be faithful
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:5
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for Alliance Christian School District! Lord willing, I plan to publish a new blog post weekly on Wednesdays throughout the school year. Feel free to subscribe (at the bottom of this page) if you'd like to be notified each time a new blog post has been published. We also have a prayer team that is always open for new pray-ers to join. If you'd like to learn more, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Carrie Warner, ACSD Prayer Team Coordinator
Soli Deo Gloria To God alone be the glory