April 15, 2023
Refuge in the Storm
One of the biggest hang-ups for people to pursue a life of meaning is overcoming their own issues. We all have them; family, personal, and financial struggles. How can we help someone else if we are struggling to help ourselves? So most of us think, “One day, I’ll get involved and help when ____ is better.” That one day turns into many days, which turns into years. Which turns to decades, which turns to a life missed out on significance.
I’m not saying your concerns are invalid, and your storm is not real. I know it’s real. It is in all of our lives. But so is the calling of God to live a life of significance. That’s real. The God who calms the sea is real. The God who crafted you in your mother’s womb is real. The God who can take your meager offering of five loaves and two fish and bless the multitudes is real and more powerful than you know.
One thing we have found unequivocally true is: The best thing you can do to get through a storm is to help another through their storm. The best way to get through your mess is to help someone else through their mess. The best way to find your way through darkness is to help someone else find their way to light. Proverbs 11:25 (NIV), says,”A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
Our story is about how God helped us overcome many of our storms as we continued to help orphans through theirs. And we pray it’s a story that inspires, challenges, and pushes you to do the same – not to get stuck in your storm, but to use it. Not to get stuck in your pain, but use it.
In 2 Corinthians 1:3-9, this is what Paul is getting at. He says in verse 8, “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.” The situation pressed them to the point that they thought they would die. Yet their perspective in the pain was outward, not inward. Verse 6 says, ‘If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort…”
The question is: Will you let Him use your past, present, and future for His Kingdom purpose? Will you let him use your storm to bring comfort and hope to another? There are too many lost and broken people in the world for you to sit on the sidelines waiting to get better.
There is a direct link between your pain and your purpose and between your purpose and someone else’s pain.
We know life struggles are real. We have a lot of them. Some days are glorious in this work with orphans. Most days are exhausting. Running Christmas camps for orphans traveling throughout Europe sounds idyllic. And it is. But it’s also incredibly wearing, stressful, and hard. It has been scary and stressful every time we faced a decision to step into a new level of surrender and sacrifice – whether hosting eight kids, selling our home, moving to Ukraine, or setting up near a war zone to help to evacuate Ukraine orphan refugees. We have financial and kid issues, marriage struggles, and personal funk. We step out and, at times, are unsure if God will meet us. But alas, we step. We step out while we heal, and we heal because we step. Living for a purpose isn’t clean; it’s messy! So join the club! God is accustomed to working with messed up, scared, broken people. It’s all he has to work with!
If you want to take a small step in helping us today, you can become a monthly financial partner and enable us to continue reaching orphans.
You can find out more info and watch an inspiring video by heading to https://www.legacyrefuge.org/monthly