More From Jami Gustafson

May 24, 2022 by Jami Gustafson (Buryatiya, Russia)

Limbo.  Our family had been in a state of instability for two months already, having moved through five countries in a matter of weeks.  We had left Russia because of the war, not knowing if or when we’d be able to return to our home of almost 16 years.  On one particular morning, we were pulling out our schoolbooks for homeschool, and I sensed that everyone was a little down.  The kids were annoyed with each other, and their irritation was evident.  I had been reading about the value of pouring out our hearts to God, just as the psalmists had.  I knew that we all needed to pause and do this—to turn to God, who knows our hearts better than anyone else and who can bring healing and peace.

I began reading Psalm 136 aloud: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever (NRSVUE).

The psalm continues to share about how amazing God is and shares what God has done, both in the world through creation and personally in the lives of the Israelites.  We got out pens and pencils and wrote out our own psalms.  How good it was to see all of the many, many ways God shows love and care for us: fresh strawberries, new friends and connections with old friends, beautiful variety in languages and cultures, a comfortable place to live, connections with new neighbors, etc.  We shared our psalms with each other and were each truly blessed to reflect upon who God is and what God has done. 

We continued with our homeschooling for the morning, but something had broken in the room.  Where there had been discouragement and difficulty, there was now peace and a lightness in our hearts.  A bit later when I read a missionary story aloud to the kids, one of them laughed out loud and exclaimed, “God is so funny!  He’s so playful!”  I knew that the Lord was near and was so thankful for the way God reminded us of God’s bountiful, faithful love that endures forever!


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