Three years ago last week we found out the remaining litter that we rescued had parvo,  which included Gibbs, the pup Christopher picked to be his.

Those were some hard days.

We had done everything right – vet visits, two set of vaccinations, dewormed- we did everything we were supposed to do and yet parvo still found it’s way in to our home. I couldn’t understand why. Why? – when we were responsible and did the right thing – Why would this happen? I had moments of sorrow, anger, fear, heartache, and even rage. Why would God let this happen?

We lost one through that journey – it still breaks my heart. He took his final breaths in my arms.

He’s buried in my back yard.

Man that was hard.

As I scrolled through my facebook memory pictures during the last week the Lord whispered, “Joseph”.

I was reminded in that moment that just because we do and say the right things doesn’t mean we don’t face troubles or trials.

I was reminded that even in obedience and responsibility bad things still happen.

I was reminded of the heartbreak that Joseph faced when his own brothers sold him in to slavery.

I was reminded of the confusion he must have felt when he was thrown in to jail for a crime he didn’t commit.

Then I was reminded of Joseph’s steadfastness and how in due season God raised him up above all others.

The scriptures are clear that we will face hardships and trials in this world. But it is also clear that we can have peace because He overcame the world.

A few weeks ago I was questioning God “Why?” He would have me do something, but now I am thanking Him for giving me a season of taking in – a season of establishing (please, let’s just be real here – LEARNING about) “margins” – a season of personal growth – but had I not been obedient a few weeks ago – my load would be more than heavy right now – I would be drowning.

I don’t know what it is you are facing today, maybe you are making all the right choices, doing what you know you are supposed to be doing, saying the right things, but you seem to be getting nowhere – you are going in circles. Can I just encourage you, my friend, stay focused on the Cross. Walk in obedience to what the Lord has called you to do – even when you don’t understand – you know His heart. You know He will never leave you nor forsake you. You know He will never guide you to harm. You know you are the apple of His eye. You know what He has started in you, He will be faithful to complete.

In due season, He will raise you up. I kept hearing You Raise Me Up throughout this post. I am sure you have heard it before, but just sit a little while with the Lord and sing this back to Him. Ask Him to move on your behalf. Ask Him to direct your path. Ask Him to be glorified in your life. Ask Him to remove whatever obstacles (even good things can be obstacles if they interfere with the Lord’s will for your life) are keeping you from being focused on Him and Him alone.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time, casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. I Peter 5: 6-8

Lord thank you for loving us so much you want more of us. Thank you for guiding us. Help us on this journey to stay focused on you and less on the world and even ourselves and our own plans. Guide us. Purify us. Raise us up to be more like you. We trust you in this process – even when it’s hard. Amen.