I’ve been following the Facebook posts of a grandmother named Maia, actually she just became a grandmother for the first time last week, a beautiful granddaughter born in a war-ravaged city in Ukraine.

This woman, a world traveler and photographer, chronicles their family journey with faith and courage.  Today I was inspired by their choices to live, to buy flowers, to hold on to hope, even with the reality that life is extremely fragile.  She also talked about this war whose greatest weapon is fear, and how they will not give in to a spirit of fear.

The immediate reaction is that I don’t think I could be that strong, to stand tall and brave in the face of daily threats, and the reality of so much suffering all around them.  And then I’m reminded of a story of Corrie ten Boom who, with her family, sheltered dozens of Jews in the height of World War Two.  Her elderly father was a wise man and their family was close knit.  She asked him once what she would do in the face of real danger, and he asked her a simple question.

When we get to the train station, when do I give you your ticket, he asked her.  And the obvious answer was just before, just when she needed it.  And so it is with our loving Heavenly Father, who gives us what we need, just at the right time.  So we don’t need to worry.  God will provide strength and courage in our time of need.

I’ve been drawing verses that depict joy, which hopefully will be in a joy-themed calendar for 2023.  Joy is something we can choose, even if we don’t always feel it.  The gift is there are moments of joy, even in the worst of circumstances.  This precious grandmother from Ukraine talked of buying flowers, a brightness and gift of joy, even in the midst of war.  She will not let her life be defined by the evil of another.  She determines to do ordinary things, to choose life.  She posted a picture of her new grand baby today, rejoicing in the miracle of new life.

So we continue to pray for Ukraine, and other countries torn apart by war.  We give thanks for our precious life, and the blessings we often take for granted.  And we look for joy, in the most unexpected places.




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