Dear Ones,
Hope you had a blessed Palm Sunday! We enjoyed the children marching in with palm branches waving, (sometime frantically waving) and an 8 year old girl who sang a lovely solo without any fear. The sun is trying to peak out now but I think rain is predicted for tomorrow, not snow!  This morning  I made stroganoff and went to my exercise class and I am making choc covered raspberries now. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Today we see parents trying to make their kid’s lives happy all the time by placating them, fixing things for them, helping them avoid anything hard or hurtful etc. But is that really best for them? We all experience harsh realities in life and as parents it is important that we help our children face challenges and failures and grow through tough experiences. Otherwise, they have a false view of the world in which they will have to compete and where not all will get to be in first place at the top of the heap.
Jesus never painted the picture that when following Him that life would be easy but rather warned them of what they would have to suffer for His sake. Think of all the hard things Paul went through and it only fueled him to share the Lord with more zeal. When he was in Athens, he was concerned for the Christians in Thessalonica who were suffering persecution and wanted to give them encouragement by having Timothy go there. It says in I Thess. 3:2-3 (NRSV), “and we sent Timothy, our brother and co-worker for God in proclaiming the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you for the sake of your faith, so that no one would be shaken by these persecutions. Indeed, you yourselves know that this is what we are destined for. “
Trials are a part of God’ plan for us and He wants us to become strong through those hard times so that we can stand and not give up. It helps if we learn to face trials when we are young and are surrounded by those that can help us and teach us how to go through them. We find God uses these difficult things to build godly character and patience in all of us; and somehow when we go through those hard times, it helps us to be sensitive and also identify with others when they go through similar situations.
Let us not run from hard times but embrace what the Lord would teach us through them. And if we are parents, let us be there for our kids to help guide them, but not to rescue them out of the situations that God wants to use to build character in their lives.
Challenge for today: Don’t try to escape from suffering but ask the Lord to make you strong through them.
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy