The Pals family has gone through some rough weeks recently.  I hesitate to use the word “trials,” because doing so might make you think we’ve gone through especially difficult circumstances.  Though we have been busy, sick and often sleep deprived, the main difficulties we’ve faced have been internal.

Sometimes circumstances alone are enough to qualify as trials; other times we only experience circumstances as trials because we walk through them as sinful people.  In these cases, our hearts are our trials.  We have corrupted, often self-centered desires or expectations that are not being met.  And so, we throw adult versions of hissy fits, usually placing blame on people or things other than ourselves.  Picture a toddler who screams at his mom, because she won’t let him play with a sharp knife.  That’s the kind of trial I’m referring to.

I share this, because I want you to know how to pray for us, especially me (Jamison).  I don’t want to fall in the trap of using busyness as an excuse for wickedness.  We are choosing to be busy during this season for the sake of Christ.  What I desire is not more rest (we’ve had opportunities to rest every week), but a particular kind of rest.  I want the kind of rest that reorients my heart toward loving God and loving others.

When we experience trials of various kinds, a natural reaction is to pursue some kind of complex solution.  A common temptation in the Christian life is to look for something new, something novel that you haven’t tried before.  I have found the exact opposite approach to be the most powerful.

“The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.”  -Psalm 19:7a.

Praise God for his Word!  The Bible is an awesome book.  This is not a new revelation; it is an old, time-tested one.  Returning to it has revived my soul.  God’s Word is perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, true, righteous altogether, more desirable than Gold and sweeter than honey.  It revives the soul, makes wise the simple, rejoices the heart, enlightens the eyes and endures forever.  In short, God’s word is exactly what we need.  In the midst of a busy season of support raising, we ask that you pray for God to breathe life into us through the Bible.  You could even use Psalm 19 as a prayer guide for us.

Going back to the first sentence of this post, we’ve had some rough weeks.  Lately, we’ve also had some very sweet days.  God’s Word, applied by the power of the Holy Spirit, really does do what it says it does.  It revives the soul.  Happy are those who hear it and keep it (Luke 11:28).  Pray especially for our children, that–as they grow–they would “set their hearts to study the law of the Lord and to do it and to teach it” (Ezra 7:10) among those who do not yet know Him.

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