Dear Ones,
Hope you are having a peacefilled day. This morning I made cookies for Al and a veggie stir fry and went down for donuts. This afternoon we have Bible study here and we will soon be through the book of John. It’s another beautiful day for a walk on the trail and the wild flowers are so pretty.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  Haven’t we all heard people say that they wished they had the life of someone who outwardly seemed to have a golden life…no big problems or setbacks but just rather a life of ease. It is very unlikely that it is true of another for we only perceive from afar. Life is not all happiness and peace but it is also about sadness and suffering. In fact, there are coffee cups that are imprinted with the words, “Life is hard and then you die!”
   It is true that life can be very hard and right now the people in Ukraine have had their lives turned upside down and have nowhere to call home. There is suffering all over the world and it is the most universal human experience. Just because we know the Lord doesn’t mean we get a pass from sufferings but rather a way to go through them with the Good Shepherd by our side.
   When we walk through the worst times of our lives, we may discover what is most important in our lives, and Who is most important. It can be a time of cleansing as we ask the Lord to remove those things within us that are pulling us down and putting distance between us. We become more aware of God’s grace to us and realize how dependent we are on Him. Even when we fall, we fall into His hands, so even our hard experience can draw us closer.
   God is not absent or removed when the worst happens to us, but rather this can become a time we experience Him in a closer deeper way. We share in His sufferings and know what it means to endure the cross as Jesus did. For all who know the Lord, we have Someone to walk with us through those times and then look forward to an eternity with Him.
  Like Saint Bernard said in 1134, “If sadness were our continual state, who could bear it? If, on the other hand, things always went well, then who would not think little of them?” When we experience both, he said the joys are more appreciated and difficulties more readily endured.
  No matter what happens in our lives, let us say, as with the Psalmist in Ps. 71:14 (Amplified). “But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more.”
   Challenge for today: Ask the Lord to help you hope and rejoice in Him in all of life circumstances.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy