Dearest Sisters in Christ---
What I'd like to share with you today is a message I've been thinking on over the last several days. I'm calling the letter: Bringing a Good Report.
Four years ago I began writing daily email Bible studies for ladies. Initially, I asked some friends if they'd like to receive the daily email---which (to my surprise & delight) they did. Eventually, I utilized a list-service to send email and keep past studies in an "archive." It was through this daily Bible study that I also began writing a Potpourri message... and eventually began calling it The Welcome Home. A year or so into the writing of the messages and Bible studies, I received a beautiful letter from one of the subscribers who had some questions and shared her story with me. I always appreciate these letters as they allow me to connect
with sisters all over who are striving to know and live out the Gospel of Jesus our LORD.
Several months later, there would be an opportunity for us to talk over the phone. A "meeting" I'll never forget. You see, it was after a very tragic accident with one of her daughters that we would first talk and pray over the phone. Her little daughter was hospitalized for a number of weeks---badly injured in a tractor-mower accident and there was tremendous concern for the condition of her leg and even sparing her life. So, needless to say, many were in prayer and those of you who received this letter or the Bible Study at that time will perhaps remember the little girt named Kinsey for whom I requested prayer numerous times over the months
that followed. It would be fully another year before I met Kelli, the mother of this little one. It was a blessing to our family for her to visit our home---brave of her to fly here never having actually met us! Her visit came at a difficult time in our family as we were caring for our very ill friend here in our home, nonetheless, her visit was an uplifting blessing.
So now... to the bringing of a good report. Last week we had the great privilege of meeting little Kinsey face to face and to finally meet the rest of the family as well. We believe it was a meeting orchestrated by the LORD because we'd likely never have met unless their family had undergone this tremendously heart wrenching trial. I knew then and surely know now that the LORD has everything firmly in His grasp and surely knew of all of these things long before they ever came to pass.
It amazes me tonight to think that their family traveled such a great distance to be here last week, and equally amazing was the fact that the trip coincided with an annual backyard party we have---where many of the people who've been praying for Kinsey over the last two years would be assembled. They marveled to see Kinsey---badly scarred, yet bright and cheerful---and to hear Jim's report of all that God's been doing in the last two years. You see the last two years have taken a tremendous toll on their family---not just because of the accident, nor because of the numerous subsequent surgeries, but because of financial set backs, job loss &
changes, moving a great distance and preparing for another change---God has been doing a marvelous work and it was evident in their conversation, their disposition and their outlook on the future.
Proverbs 15.30 says: "The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat."
There was much rejoicing here when Jim shared last Friday evening with the friends... the testimony of the LORD is sure! Many times when prayer is requested, the prayer is answered and the 'answer' isn't made known to the body and the body of Christ isn't edified---but when there's a bringing of a good report, there's much rejoicing. There was great joy---even though little Kinsey will never ever have a 'normal' leg... even though she'll never have a 'normal' foot to put into a shoe... even though she'll require more surgeries in her life... even though all of these things are true, she has given us all a gift: she's given us the gift of faith and
the gift of hope---faith and hope in the LORD whom she obviously loves.
Maybe you've had a tragic accident in your life or in the life of one of your children. Maybe you've overcome a trial that was at once too difficult to bear and yet the LORD carried you through. Maybe you need to bring a good report to the "brethren" so that the body can rejoice with you. Or, maybe you've had heavy burdens you haven't given over to the LORD and today you see there are others facing overwhelming situations ---but not facing them alone and now you see the uplifting joy and the faith-building a good report brings!
Philippians 4.8 says of a 'good report': "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
I'll always be grateful for this summer, for the good things it brought our way, and I'll always remember the dear friends who journeyed to stay with people they'd never actually met... friends the LORD has used to "Bring a Good Report."