Sunday, November 28, 2010
The last part of this verse from a familiar hymn, came to me in March of this year as Michael lay in a hospital bed at KU Medical Center. I am thankful that Jesus brought it to my mind. Yet, I do not fully understand how allowing Michael to suffer like this is "well." In this life we will never fully understand that. It is beyond our comprehension.
Perhaps some of the "well" is that a family member who had estranged herself from Michael, came to the hospital that very week and mended the fence. Perhaps it is "well" when a gentleman who Michael barely knew came to the hospital and told him that he had been doing some serious thinking about his soul in light of what Michael was going through. Perhaps, it is "well" when you see how God provided for all of Michaels' lost income during his times of being unable to work. Perhaps it is "well" when you know that their neighbors came and offered their ranch home for Michael and Shawna to move into while they found a more suitable home. And, perhaps it is "well" that through all of this, God is leading Michael through this valley for a reason. I believe that someday he may have a ministry that would never have been possible had his life followed a more "normal" path.
"All the way my Savior leads me, oh the fullness of His love. Perfect rest to me is promised in my Father's house above. When my spirit clothed immortal, wings its flight to realms of day, this my song through endless ages, Jesus led me all the way." Fanny Crosby
I will give thanks unto Jehovah with my whole heart;
I will show forth all thy marvelous works.
I will be glad and exult in thee;
I will sing praise to thy name, O thou Most High.
I know that the official Thanksgiving day is past, but I believe that any day is a good day to give thanks to God.
This year of 2010 has been a difficult year for the Wright family. My brother Michael's cancer, my Aunt Charlotte passing away unexpectedly, and another family member going through a very difficult time has all contributed to sadness and tears. Yet, through all of this, God has been faithful again and again.
I give thanks for God's provision in my own life...for the privilege of owning several Bibles without fear of imprisonment...for health...for friends and family...for allowing me to go on two vacations this year, one to Michigan and one to Ohio and Indiana...for church families...for education and talents...for freedom here in America and there is so much more! I have much more than so many in this world even at my lowest point.
Being a part of such a wonderful family, the Wright family, has brought many blessings to me. A regular part of my life is visiting my Uncle Kenny, wife Darlene and their children on Sunday nights after church. Thanksgiving day found me spending time at my cousin Kristina's house with her family and others. And, there have been other fun times with my family, and our Christmas gathering coming up on December 18. We'll be going to see Christmas lights together and then enjoy a carry in meal.
God has worked it out for me to live in my Grandma's basement apartment for more than 7 years. This fall, we did some painting in the kitchen, dining area and living room. One of the last things was putting a new laminate floor into the kitchen and dining area! It's like having a new place! For all of that I am grateful.
Of course, I am just scratching the surface of all that I have to be thankful for, but this is a good start!
A wonderful Holiday season to all!
Monday, November 1, 2010
Truly amazing! Our nature as humans is to often think more "logically" or to see the dark side of those things which are imperfect, painful and ugly. It is hard to understand why God allows sufferings of such magnitudes in our lives. Right now, my little cousin is suffering with serious vision problems. She has tested at the legally blind level. And, of course, my brother, Michael, has been suffering for more than seven months with the realities of cancer, leg amputation, and horrible phantom pain.
We know that since sin entered the world in the Garden of Eden, everything is affected by sin and is cursed (Genesis 3:1-19). We know that all of creation is groaning as it awaits for redemption (Romans 8:19-22). Yet, we also know that God is in control of everything and could keep believers and innocent people from suffering. Yet, He chooses not to. This is so hard to understand. We really can't explain why some suffer and others do not. We must leave that in the hands of a sovereign and loving God who always does what is right. Hosea 14:9 tells us "...The ways of the Lord are right..."
So, we are left with placing our trust in God, no matter what. One of His purposes for allowing suffering is clear in the passage from John 9. He allows suffering at times so that His power and work may be displayed! In Isaiah 61:3, we see that God has provided for those who grieve an opportunity to be "for the display of His splendor." It seems this was the purpose for the blind man in John 9. It truly was an opportunity for God's splendor and work to be displayed as this fellow gave honor to Jesus for healing him.
While he may not see it so clearly, my brother Michael has certainly been a display of the splendor of God and a showcase for His work. So many have been blessed as they see Michael trusting in God, no matter what. What a challenge for all of us...allowing Him to show Himself in our lives through our pain and suffering...