Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving for All Things

Southwest Airlines went all out last night in the Ronald McDonald kitchen and supplied all of the families with a delicious home cooked turkey dinner with all of the side dishes we all love on this holiday. The canned drinks and cups were supplied by the airline, and about twenty employees worked together to bless each and every family here. We all said "thank you" to them, but truly, our hearts were overflowing with Thanksgiving and words just didn't seem enough. For a brief time it just seemed like we were family, and we had gathered to celebrate. I would guess there were over a hundred people at dinner and the food never ran out.  I am daily reminded that God is supplying the needs here in many remarkable ways. It may never make the headline news, but if it did, we might all feel better about the world. Good news is as nourishing for the soul as good food is for the body.

In other family news, Kathryn has applied for a "dream job" and we are praying that if this is a gift from God, she will know soon. Paul Burton is waiting to hear whether he will be accepted in VCU's Nurse Anesthetist program for next fall, and Qavah continues to improve. No one has talked about her going home, or even going to the McDonald House, but I think if she continues to improve, we may hear some talk about that next week. As each of our children are in a position to wait on the Lord, we have a lot in common with each other. Our faith is being built. And I think I speak for all of us when I say our desire is to continue serving the Lord right where we are until he moves us on.

I feel especially thankful tonight for the opportunity to witness great things in this hospital. Several children have gone home healthy after their bone marrow transplants.  Many children on this floor were healthy enough to leave for the holiday weekend too. In a recent conversation, we "moms of 9b" agreed that we had no idea last Thanksgiving how much our lives were about to change, and how much more our gratitude would increase as a result. Thanks be to God for all of His perfect gifts.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Does Being a Christian Mean an Easy Life?

Abdul has completed his forty days of fasting and prayer in Nigeria. We miss him as our hospital chaplain, but we also know that he is following God's call on his life. He will remain in Africa for a couple more months. Just as he had finished his commitment to the Lord I got a call from his wife. She has been working and caring for the four children while Abdul is away.  She told me she had been placed on leave by her employer and was being investigated for a complaint of abusing someone. We began to pray in earnest for the facts to reveal that this was untrue. I never believed for a minute that she would do such a thing, but I know that Satan is the accuser of the brethren, and we prayed that this serious accusation would be addressed and have a good outcome for her.

After an investigation, it was discovered that Abdul's wife couldn't possibly have committed the offense, and she was given a new post nearer to her home, pay for her enforced one week vacation, and an apology for all she had been through. This is a true story of real people who follow the Lord, committed to doing His will, and who hold fast to the belief that God is in control in all circumstances. We are praising God for the good outcome, but also recognize that in this world, we all will have troubles of every kind. And many times these things happen to the most committed Christians. Thanks be to God for His protection when we are under attack.

We have had similar things happen to us in the past few months. One day the spiritual battle we were in was so obvious I burst out singing a church bus song that I hadn't thought of in a while. It goes like this, "One, two, three, the devil's after me. Four, five six, he's always throwing sticks....." I learned it as a child, and  it seemed appropriate that I would recall it. Just the fact that we are in this world we will have troubles. But the battle for our minds, and the attempt to discourage us is Satan's game of choice I think. But we don't have to play along, because we are more than conquerors if we are armed and ready for the attacks. The song concludes, "seven, eight, nine, he misses all the time, hallelujah, hallelujah, Amen!"

We have overcome many battles on many fronts recently; praise be to God our refuge and our strength! To add to our joy, we just learned that Colin and Jennifer are blessing us with a new grandchild in May. According to God's word, no weapon coming against us can prosper, and with the promise of new life, the blessings continue to flow. We have so much to be thankful for and I recognize that every day is another season for Thanksgiving.

Jesus said, "I have said these things to you, that you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble.  But take heart, I have overcome the world."   John 16:33