Corrie Ten Boom not only survived the fleas in World War II's holocaust. She reworked her career with her father's business. She found hope from carnage. And she told us to look at the circumstances within the circumstances.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
This confirms to us, in the midst of trouble, God has chosen our path for this very day. And has a purpose.
Jesus said we should always pray and never give up hope. Luke 18.
Today my 25 year old son, Alexander, went to our GP of many years because he has had a bleeding place on his face. And on the way to the doctor, Alexander discovered this bleeding place has been there since 2014. That sounds dire and I was very worried. Turns out it was a Cherry Angioma and no problem.
For the rest of the morning, I discovered I had a very upset stomach, but was wildly happy. If you have healthy children (after the loss of our daughter during birth) you have no basis for whining. And I resolved to realize that the rest of life was merely gravy.
Until the water bill was not adding up for anything and recorded August twice in a year of 13 months and $200 off. I was miffed and realized that August is always fight the water bill month. We even had turned off our sprinklers due to rain. And really, injustice and budgets added to my upset stomach and I was off to being "Quite Upset."
Add to that I missed paying another bill deadline. My glue was not gluing. My statue art form is tilted to one side for months dealing with glues. My other son needs a something taken off his face and he was abrupt. My husband also has a mole on his face that requires attention. I have Cystic Acne flair ups and my over-lip has a pimple. And my husband had skin cancer surgery last year and this mole is where my brother-in-law has had extensive work for skin cancer. Which the brother in law doesn't know we prayed for him a lot.
My mother tried to die having family stay with her and 3 adults could not get her to the hospital - where she was critical for days and days Who knew that Respiratory Collapse happens.. It was very scary and a first in our lives - as now we are the responsible generation. Last week, 5 weeks later, we rode from physical rehab from her Pneumonia in a hired Ambulance to the Pulmonologist for the diagnosis of continued Pneumonia. This week she turned down the x-ray swallow study recommendation for a feeding tube. In fact all 3 family members agreed. And today, if the yo-yo effect never ends, my mom called to tell me twice what she needs for rehab from her home and tell me not to help her decide on her next step. Bossy to the hilt with a diagnosis of Dementia. For example, traveling 6 hours for a month's worth of out of town trips to help her and then to be refused a genuine kiss and hug because she has Dementia. Now I am just about merely the maid. And and and ...her pneumonia crackle in the stethoscope is GONE. Today.
Edward has a form of Dementia, he should be off the rails with his own terminal Diagnosis. He continually amazes me with his ability to take the day and make it cheerful and fun for him. But in the ambulance ride, he had been unhappy in the car twice and now was telling the Ambulance Driver to ignore me and continue to drive in circles. So I realized we had plenty of time to get there and determined to start enjoying doing something very different and just wait until they were tired of driving in circles. And we circled until finally they were all willing to hear me say, "Take that street." And we got there.
And I felt so tense that I worry I am getting Dementia from worry. I drove errands around town, and I promise you I must look worried, because the man at the dry cleaners was oozing sympathy at me. Kindly.
And I finished all my errands, when suddenly I was Overwhelmed. And out of the blue, I started to sob. I just do not remember ever sitting at a traffic light and being embarrassed because my shoulders were shaking.
Finally I had the emotion at hand I needed for the push, push, pull, pull pull day.
The emotion was ... Gratitude.
My brain had time not to solve a problem but to sort.
I was grateful my mother did not pass away in her sleep. My brother and I had time to fight off Hospice 3 times. I had prayed for years for all of us to 'Pop Off To Heaven'. We discovered that even if she is in Dementia, no one was going to 'Pop our Mom off to Heaven' if it did not look like Jesus was really ready for her. And the ensuing guilt of that, well, all people lined up to say "Thank you for finding Life Precious" and "if it wasn't her time, you know that in your soul."
I am profoundly grateful to Jesus for giving me the memory of my brother, husband and me - saving my mom's life. Getting people hoping that day for Life. Grateful to hear her on the phone (except the second time of being the maid today!)
I am profoundly grateful to God for my husband crying for my mother. I will never forget that. I am Grateful that my 20 somethings the Psychologist at my volunteer job gave me the "Dr. Phil" low down on 20 somethings and terminal illness - they basically freak out. But my two sons - showed up for the Grandmother who loved her career and gave way out of date Christmas odd gifts to their age range - while dashing off to go shopping for more - Things.
My brother said, "It's wild, I have more compassion for her now than ever." And he genuinely looked shocked to the core. "How about you?" I agreed and we sipped coffee in stunned amazement.
And in this strange world, people now come up to me to offer Godly prayers. And spiritual advice and just like me - we are all a little stunned to be so bold. And we all leave with the Christ Jesus light of John 1 - glowing brighter.
I have - gratitude. For the beauty and complexity of Jesus in us - that the world tries to wash out - and this Survives, Thrives and is Helped.
And my son. Alexander. Who has a - let's say this LOUD AND PROUD - MY SON ALEXANDER HAS A 3.4 IN HIS MASTER"S PROGRAM AT LSU. Online. Because what he is doing is encouraging his dad that all the years MATTERED. THE Love mattered.
And Alexander sits with me and we discuss this and that - but what is really going on is - he is saying "Thank You."
We serve a gracious God.
Who is Our Father. And He does not always want to give us what we order by the menu. GOD is busy showing us that when you put your back into years of hard work to be with your kids and your spouse - when the chips all start to fall - that love and that time and all those Bible Studies and all that Youth Ministry and all that Friday Poker and Preacher - made A HUGE DIFFERENCE.
Gratitude for my other son - Cal - to Say it loud and PROUD - made a 150 on the LSAT - Not even cracking the book open - he is so sad his dad is so ill. He came over and sat with us for hours this week. We had a rare and enjoyed family meal. Not the grouse with the same old thing, but a fuss and a discussion and a heal - for being real. That Son works really hard to make those around him pleased that he earns a living and makes hard work effort to better his employers.
Gratitude. Profound Gratitude. Alexander had a Cherry Angioma and not skin cancer. At age 25. We found has bled for two years. When you count up - when - did - that - start. Jesus has heard us pray for Alexander and we are so very, very, very Grateful. Even grateful the trouble happened because we got the chance to remember again how precious life is.
Will I remain grateful since I didn't all day long? Yes. This has made a supreme difference.
Reading the Bible made me realize, I am doing my flawed best. And God knows that. And He has said to me in Ephesians 2 - God is God and all my works don't make salvation.
Thank GOD for His Salvation. Today.
Your Steadfast Love is our glory and Joy.
Give us more of Your Holy Spirit to to walk in a manner worthy of You, God, who calls us into Your own kingdom and glory.
And we also thank God constantly for this, that when we received the Word of God, which You made sure we heard from You, Father God, You accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.
Gratitude, for you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as we did from the indignant and the 'religious' who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets.
We confess with sorrow this human indignation drove us down from speaking up Your Hope, Your Love, Your Joy to others in need.
We are sorry, very sorry to displease our Father God and oppose all mankind by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. To proclaim the Kingdom of God is at hand and Strength comes from the Joy of the Lord. That this is meaningful life.
Just like the Prodigal Son, since we were torn away from Father God, brothers and sisters, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see Father God face to face.
For what is our Father's hope or joy or crown of boasting ??? Before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy and Jesus Loves Us.
Thank You, Abba.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Jesus.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You Holy Spirit.
Jesus our Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves! †