“But, brothers and sisters, when we were orphaned by being separated from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. For we wanted to come to you – certainly I, Paul, did, again and again – but Satan blocked our way. For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.” 1 Thessalonians 2:17-20
It is easy, at times, to wish we were back home in Springfield. We miss the familiar: friends at church, parents, knowing which way to go to get to practically anything in town, our favorite stores and restaurants… everything that was day-to-day life. Here, we search for familiar things, and we’ve found several: Walmart Neighborhood Market, McDonald’s, Applebee’s, Hobby Lobby, and Barnes and Noble. And we’re finding new places that we really like: Central Market (a foodie’s paradise!), Bennigan’s, Taco Cabana, and the Panadaria just down the street (Mexican bakery). But the problem is that they are new, and not old and familiar.
It’s easy to let worry set in: we need jobs; Jessi’s knee is hurt (more about that in a bit); will Guy be able to handle the Greek class – and other future classes – okay. And yet Scripture provides a very clear command regarding worry: DON’T!
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes…So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”….Matthew 6:25-33
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
We attended a Hymn Sing last night at Travis Avenue Baptist Church here in Fort Worth. We’ve been attending there for the last couple of weeks. I am very glad that we went. So many wonderful hymns, such as “God Will Take Care of You”, “Blessed Assurance”, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand”, and many others. I was reminded that God brought us down here for a purpose. He is the Great Provider. Therefore, I need to trust Him that He will keep His word and provide for us. He didn’t bring us down here to starve us or make us homeless. We need to trust Him and be faithful to follow where He leads us.
He brought to my mind this morning about the Children of Israel when they were on their way to Canaan, freed from captivity in Egypt. There were at least 6 references to their grumblings: “Return us to Egypt! We don’t like it here! We have no food! We have no water! We have no meat! We hate this manna! Waa, waa, waa!” (Jessi’s paraphrase) Look it up for yourself: Exodus 16:3; Numbers 11:4-6, 20; Numbers 14:2-3; Numbers 20: 4-5; or Deuteronomy 6:20-22. And there’s a few other times I didn’t write down the reference. Yet each and every time, God provided. Yes, sometimes He provided and punished at the same time, yet God was faithful to His people. Will He not also be faithful to us?
Now, for a little bit of news. Jessi’s knee is still troubling her. We had a neighbor who suggested seeing the doctor at the Campus Clinic, so we went Thursday. He did a thorough exam, and thinks that I may have torn the meniscus in my knee. He changed my anti-inflammatory medication and suggested buying a knee brace that has the hinges on both sides of the knee. He said that nothing would continue to degenerate or get worse to the point that I needed to have the MRIs post-haste, that waiting for the current scheduled appointment on June 27 would be fine. We went and bought the brace, I put it on, and I am able to walk without crutches now! I do take one crutch with me for support when we’re going out or will be walking a lot, but otherwise I’m pretty much mobile on my own two feet. It’s wonderful! I am aware that, if I do have a torn meniscus, I will probably need surgery to repair the tear. I’m not scared of this or particularly worried – I just want to get it done so that I can have healing time before starting classes in the Fall.
Jessi does have a job of sorts. A Methodist Church in Duncanville, TX (a suburb of Dallas) was needing a pianist for Sunday mornings only. The pastor and his wife actually live close to us, so are picking us up and bringing us back. It is a very small congregation: we had about 10-12 people, including us, all elderly. This will provide us with some extra income, but not enough to live on.
Guy starts Greek a week from today. We’re still waiting for one textbook to come in, but we’re working on learning the alphabet and some of the vowel and accent structure. He is nervous about the class, so please pray for him about that. Jessi is busy as usual with various crafting projects. I am wanting to eventually have the apartment all nice and homey, especially since we’re going to be here for a few years. I’m working on doilies and such for various tables, and plan to post pictures as I get things done. I’m also hoping that we can do some straightening up this week and start posting some of those before-and-after shots of our new home.
We are also starting to take advantage of the recreation center on campus, the RAC. It stands for Recreation-Aerobics Center, but I think someone didn’t (or maybe they did!) think when they decided to name it, or at least to acronym it: RAC reminds me of the medieval torture device, the rack! We’ve enjoyed the pool so far, and with being careful, even I can enjoy it and do some swimming. We’re hoping to be in a little better shape physically when we are able to return to Springfield for a visit.
* Employment for both of us
* Healing for Jessi’s knee; MRI appointments; quick access to surgeon/surgery if necessary
* Understanding and retention for Guy as he goes through classes
* Advising appointment for Jessi in a couple of weeks – pray that a lot of classes transferred and I can be able to finish my degree in 3 years
* Patience and peace from worry for both of us, that we can be calm and assured that God will provide as He promises in His Word