Saturday, May 29, 2010

Let the Healing Begin!

Sam is home from the hospital. Let the healing begin.

Anyone who has had surgery knows that physical healing takes time. The healing can be painful and the waiting can be irksome. But they are necessary parts of recovery.

Similarly, anyone who has experienced an emotional blow knows that the road to recovery travels through a healing period. And it can seem like a long and winding road at times. We want to hurry the process, take shortcuts, cut corners. But true healing follows a predetermined path through denial, bargaining, anger, depression, and acceptance before we can successfully climb out of the pit of despair.

If you are still struggling with depression over an emotional blow you experienced long ago, it's possible you missed a step in your path to healing. Perhaps you need to go back and complete the process. Talk with a Christian counselor, join a support group, and take it to the Lord in prayer.

Help is out there. Let the healing begin!

Friday, May 28, 2010

More Lessons from Sam

Over the past 24 hours we've wrung our hands, helplessly watching our precious Sam struggle with the after-effects of surgery:
  • Pain
  • Possible infection
  • Confusion
  • Fear.
His doctors and family hover, taking all the necessary precautions to assure his well-being both physically and emotionally. But he still suffers.

And that's today's lesson! The take-home for me and you is this:

When God deems it necessary to perform surgery on our hearts, He provides all the covering we need physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He does what He does for our good . . . but there will still be pain involved. Pain is part of the healing process. But take heart--He will never allow us to be tested beyond what we can endure without giving us a means of escape.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Acceptance Seems Easier for Some than for Others

The first thing we noticed when we saw Sam in his hospital bed post-surgery is that, as usual, he was accepting of his situation. In his eight years, he has endured four or five surgeries--all aimed at making his daily life easier and more comfortable.

But Sammie doesn't understand the whys and the wherefores. He simply trusts the love of his mom and dad, and takes everything in stride.

How wonderful it would be if we could trust our heavenly Father in the same way. He knows things we can never know--or understand--and He loves us with an everlasting love. If God allows something to intrude on our lives, then there's got to be a good reason for it. And He will carry us through the event.

Lord, help me to learn this lesson once and for all. Help me learn from Sam.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Personal Prayer Request

Yesterday I wrote that God sometimes blesses us in unexpected ways by giving us things we've never even thought to ask for, much less want--such as special needs. What I didn't tell you is that God has showered blessings on our family because of our 8-year-old grandchild. Sam has special needs, including Down syndrome and autism and all the attending difficulties.

Today, I'm asking you to pray for Sam who will be having surgery this morning to repair his knee. Basically, the surgeon will cut the ligaments on either side of his knee, rotate the kneecap into place and then shorten the ligaments so they'll do a better job of keeping the kneecap in place. A second surgeon will place longer tubes in his ears so that he can hear better.

Please pray the doctors will be alert and discerning, that they'll get the job done, and that Sam will come out of his anesthesia without difficulty. Pray also for his 6-8 week recovery period, that he'll endure the cast and wheelchair and that he'll come out of this with improved mobility. Pray for strength for his mommy and daddy and that we'll all see God at work in this sweet little boy's life.

Thank you and may God bless you, too.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Unexpected Blessings

Sometimes God blesses us in unexpected ways by giving us things we've never even thought to ask for, much less want. Such is true of special needs.

Usually people like to feel special--set apart in a way that society honors, like being especially intelligent or especially good at athletics. But when it comes to being different in a way that society disses, like being especially unintelligent or especially bad at athletics or especially needy, then we have to work hard to drum up any kind of enthusiasm.

Why should that be? After all:
  • God created mankind in the garden and proclaimed him very good!  He didn't say that some people were very good and some were not.  
  • In Psalm 139:14 we read that man is fearfully and wonderfully made. Scripture doesn't say that some people are wonderfully made and some are not. 
  • In Exodus God acknowledges that some people are mute or deaf or blind. And He takes credit/blame for that. In fact, in the gospel of John, Jesus said that the man born blind from birth was made just that way so that the works of God would be made manifest in him.
We who read our Bibles know these verses yet sometimes revert to the world's thinking when it comes to people with "special needs." Looking out for them (Philippians 2:4) is one thing, but pitying them disrespects God's handiwork and misses what He is doing through them.

We need to get over the notion that a child born with any kind of anomaly is undesirable. We say "I don't care if it's a boy or girl, so long as it's healthy." Shouldn't we rather say, "I don't care if it's a boy or girl so long as God gets glory from my child's life?" Healthy or not, we are each to live our lives in such a way that others will see our good works and glorify the Father who is in heaven.

There is much we don't understand as we look through the glass darkly.  But one thing is sure: we are all fearfully and wonderfully made, made in His image, and waiting for the Lord's return. At that time we will understand and appreciate all His blessings, even the unexpected ones.

"Beloved, now are we the children of God,
and it doth not yet appear what we shall be,
but we know that, when he shall appear,
we shall be like him;
for we shall see him as he is."
~I John 3:2

Monday, May 24, 2010

Iron Sharpens Iron

In conversation with a dear friend this morning, I was reminded of the proverb:
"As iron sharpens iron,
so one man sharpens another."
~ Proverbs 27:17

Dull tools are of little worth and the cause of much frustration. In the old days--before the Ginsu knife--people frequented cutlery stores to get their knives sharpened. Iron tools are further compromised by rust which collects on blades like carbuncles on a sunken ship.The iron must be scraped away before it causes further corrosion.

Like tools, we people can lose our edge and effectiveness when we refuse to venture beyond our comfort zone. To correct this situation, God could take us on home. But more often than not, he introduces us to someone who sharpens us (sometimes even rubbing us the wrong way!) by causing us to think outside the box.

The best results occur when people discuss issues within the safety net of true friendship. True friends feel free to express their opinions, even contrary ones, knowing that they will be heard and that truth will emerge through the discussion. That's how I felt with my friend this morning.

Do you have a friend who sharpens you?