Gratitude Life Challange


As many of you may know, my father is slowly sinking out of this world. He shared with me that he had a vision of climbing Jacob’s ladder into heaven with the Lord waiting for him at the top. I think he is about on the last rung and expect him to move on this weekend.  (Is it OK to feel some depression?)Just to add to the stress, I am being worked up for possible cancer but they think there is a more likely benign explanation for my symptoms. (Is it OK to feel a bit anxious?) Lois is being worked up for retinal detachment due to her diabetes.(Is it OK to feel concern for her and for what this holds for both of our futures)

Of course it is OK to feel uncomfortable, while worshiping God by thanking him for these uncomfortable things.  I do not morn as the heathen do but I do morn. I have cares, I just learn to cast them on him. I went to a relative’s funeral a few years ago where the deceased was young and left two small children and a wife. She was running around acting as though a good Christian doesn’t grieve under such circumstances. I wondered if she really loved her husband. Even God weeps  and longs after us when we are feel hurt or we are neglecting him.

Strength is not found in the lack of feelings but in feeling powerfully and not being damaged by the feelings but being driven closer to God and one another. The first thing I should do when I am hurting is thank  God for the pain and let it direct me to what I am to do about the situation and then to rely on him and others.

It helps to look for God’s hand in turning the hardships into blessings. I have not had a month unscheduled in 40 years but God arraigned to have me off for a month starting exactly one week before I would need to be there to help with my dad. Then he helped me heal rapidly enough that I could tolerate car travel and go down and sit with my father for the last three weeks. What a blessing he has been to me and what a joy to have this time to get to know him better before he passes into glory.

It has helped me deepen my understanding of the brevity of life and the importance of redeeming each moment. Dad was singing a hymn as a hospice nurse was helping him. She commented that she liked the hymn Amazing Grace. Dad asked her if she knew the story. She didn’t and so he shared it with her and we bought her the movie Amazing Grace and pray it will lead her to the Lord. As he knew he was dying he found peace with it and sought to be good to the last drop.

May God bring blessing to you and others out of all your share of life’s stresses. Verle

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