Dear Fellow Pilgrims:
To all of you we say, “Greetings in the name of our Heavenly Father God, Our Savior, Jesus, our Comforter Holy Spirit.” Each of us has a story to tell about His mercy, His forgiveness, His comfort, His love for all who reach out to Him with faith. We know His mercy by the mercy He has shown us. We know His forgiveness by His faithfully forgiving us in the numberless times we have had to humble our hearts before Him in repentance. We know His comfort in His daily sustenance and care especially in the times that life is painful and confusing. We know His love in the selfless gift He gave us freely when we heard Him cry, “It is finished!” on the cross.
All our struggles, all our doubts, all our fears, all our weakness, all our frustration, all our human frailty is echoed in the lives of everyone that He has brought into our life. Some share our faith in His salvation. Some do not. Some are an encouragement to our faith in Christ. Some are a challenge to our faith in Him.
How we long to share the story of our walk with our Lord and Savior. How we long to tell of His love for all mankind. We deeply desire to point all our kindred, indeed every soul we meet, to the loving sacrifice of Christ on their behalf on the cross. Not as often as we would like do we get an open invitation to share our story of God’s saving grace in our life. At all times, the Lord is inviting us to keep our eyes on Him; keep our ears tuned to His whisper in our heart; and let nothing in this world come between us and our Savior. May we be reminded of His words,
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the Vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the Vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing“ (John 15:4-5).
You can take this to the bank! In our desire to be a blessing in the lives of others on Christ’s behalf our lives must be enveloped by Him. As the old chorus goes: “Oh, The Lord knows the way through the wilderness! All we have to do is follow!” He may not ask us to talk a lot. He may want us to model His unselfishness and His care for others without a lot of preaching.
It is like He gives us a piece to a big, complex puzzle laid out on the table in front of us. Everyone in the room is pouring over all the pieces to the puzzle trying to work it out. He wants us to let Him show us where our piece goes. Where we can contribute to the peace in the room, the loving atmosphere in the room, the comfort to the hurting in the room, the awareness of Jesus in the room. He made the whole universe, including the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Let Him show us His glory in the puzzle in the room!
It may be in the local church, it may be at home, it may be on the job, it may be in the common area of a care facility, it may be in a bed in a room at the end of a long hall in a nursing home. It may be in the circumstances you find yourself as you pursue your calling in nursing home ministry. Whatever our specific circumstances God alone knows how we can best affect His creation as His child in the situation in which we find ourselves. By caring prayer for others, by kindness, by patience, by self-denial, by humility and gentleness…even by our words, we can bear Him much fruit as we learn to abide in Him! …as we let Him love others in our little world through us!
We thank each of you for the kindness and the love you have shown to us and those we minister to with your donations and your prayers. God sees your heart. May He richly reward you out of the bounty of His Grace!
In the Love of Christ,