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Lori Gonzalez

 

An underlying theme of the Old Testament, that I recognized while attending Life Pacific College, was how habitual the Lord was in the protection and provision of his people.  At the time I was unaware that this knowledge, although small in comparison to the countless illuminating biblical facts I learned, was precisely what I would need to face the 18 months following my graduation.  The knowledge of the Lord’s protection and provision, underscores Pastor Scott’s point in last week’s sermon – God has always offered mercy.  The Lord’s great mercy afforded him the opportunity to protect and provide for the Israelites 2000 years ago and continues to be available to our generation.

Pastor Scott’s baby giraffe illustration was a perfect example that—mercy isn’t always fair.  In the wild, as in real life, bad things can and often do happen.  Allow me to share a difficult point in time for our family.  It was the fall of 2008 when numerous losses tested our faith.  The first was the loss of Steve’s job and with that, the loss of our family health insurance.  One month later, we faced the death of Steve’s dad and just eight months after that we lost our dream home.  Only three short months passed and my mom went to join my dad in heaven.  Those series of devastating events could have ruined our family.  Instead, due to God’s infinite wisdom each time we were knocked down the Lord prodded us to stand.  At times, that prodding was not welcomed.  It was far easier for each of us to stay down in defeat.  Why would anyone want to get back up after so much loss?  However, the mercy of God caused him to continue the often painful prodding in order to get us back on our feet. We were weak, but with the help of our Lord we managed to stand and are still standing today.

Did you catch Pastor Scott’s dream for Lifehouse as he shared his last point–mercy is life giving?  “While we obviously no longer have cities of refuge, it is my belief and my dream that the church would rise up and take over that role.”  What is your reaction to this dream of our Pastor?  My reaction is that of gratitude because to Steve and me that is exactly what Lifehouse is for us.  Lifehouse has been and continues to be a place of hope, love, and mercy.  While the Lord was the one to prod me to stand, I firmly believe that he is using Lifehouse to help hold me up.

Lori Gonzalez

Joshua: City of Refuge 2/24/2013

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