Blog from Kristy Engel….

Philippians 4:7 says, “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

When I sat down to write this newsletter, I really wanted it to be positive and encouraging. I think I eventually get to that, but let’s be honest…life around us is hard.

For some it has always been hard and for others, this is something new. As I look at our world, I see suffering upon suffering. For more than 20 months, I have worked with the pandemic. I learn as much as I can and then try to share that knowledge or live differently because of what I’ve learned. I hear from my friends around the world how they are struggling and in pain. Then when new disasters strike (like hurricanes and earthquakes), my heart breaks again for so many who lose all sense of security. And if you add in political unrest? Well, my friend, that sometimes is what pushes me into deep grief.

God created me to feel and see the pain in others. I just cannot ignore it. It is not necessarily the gift I would have chosen, but it is one that has helped me serve in some of the most desperate of situations with compassion. And I am grateful for that.

The most recent earthquake in Haiti has once again stretched my reserves for feeling the suffering of others. The videos of destroyed homes, children going hungry, and injuries left untreated, remind me that we don’t all face the same struggles. Life is much more difficult for some.

So, what do we do when faced with all this pain and chaos in the news?

We choose love.

We choose to give and serve and minister in every way that we can. We choose to use our gifts (finances, time, energy, etc.) to help those around us see that suffering is not all that exists. We choose to smile, lend a hand, say a kind word. We choose love.

I wish love always came easy. Sometimes it’s difficult to show love but that doesn’t mean we have an excuse to act in any other way. Jesus calls us to be light to the world. Not only when it’s easy…always.

We have a daily opportunity to put more love into the world instead of adding to the pain. And we have a fountain of love that refills our soul when we are running low. Let’s not pretend that this fountain of love from God ever runs dry. It is overflowing (always!) and we need to do more to fill the lives around us with never-ending love.