Fixing my eyes on Jesus

Dear Friends and Family,

It is hard to believe how many months have slipped by since I updated my blog. It is now the middle of February, cold and snowing. This is our winter break because there are no programs going on at the ranch right now but God is still at work, He never sleeps and He is teaching me and those who serve at Strong Tower that He is in and at work in EVERYTHING and He does not take winter breaks. Winter is always challenging with the extreme temps, mud and water lines freezing then add in a serious eye injury to one of our horses. When I found out the seriousness of this injury my first reaction was to tuck-tail and run, to get away and to not look back. I have walked down this path before with an eye injury and it was brutal…the time commitment, the medicine schedule and the extra energy for the weeks and weeks of treatment is absolutely daunting (and no guarantee of restored sight). But Jesus’ words take hold in my heart, “do not grow weary and lose heart”…“do not grow weary and lose heart.” My initial reaction to this eye injury, metaphorically speaking, represents how so many people I encounter feel about their lives, their families, their jobs and their marriages…they just want to run and not look back at the amount of work it is going to take to fix what is broken, with no guarantees that what was will ever be again. There is no hope. What God is showing me along this journey of Gideon’s eye injury is all about hope; hope to believe in people, hope to trust in His ability to move hearts, to heal hearts, to restore hearts. He has given me peace because I don’t have to “fix” anything…He is in control and always working things out for good. I just have to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith! When my eyes shifted from fixating on the injury to focusing on Jesus, that is when something changed, when I looked to Him instead of the tasks ahead that is when the strength came, when I considered what Jesus endured for me that is when the perseverance came to finish this race. Jesus never guaranteed us an easy walk, but He gives us HOPE because of His amazing grace and He gives us each other to lean on in hard times. The outpouring of support and care that came from Gideon’s injury is such a testimony to God’s faithfulness and one I am certain He is very pleased with because it came from His Church…His People…His Body which we are all a part. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:13).

Hardships are discipline preparing us to produce a harvest of righteousness and peace. I believe with all my heart that God is preparing the soil during these winter months for what is to come this spring and summer. He knows each child and adult by name who will be stepping foot on Strong Tower Ranch’s property, He knows their story, their hurts, their hearts and He is preparing us to be the guardians of His precious ones. Thank you all for your continual love, prayer and support for our mission of sharing the love, hope and truth of Jesus.