This past month has been a tasking and trying month. While it started off wonderfully, as the weeks progressed it got exceptionally more difficult. I had the opportunity to meet with the saints in Madrid, IA, Mattoon, IL and Rantoul, IL. Each of these churches currently supports my efforts in the Grinnell area. And for this, I cannot thank them or God enough. I also had the opportunity to see my parents, my siblings, my grandmother and other distant family members I haven’t seen in a really really long time. I was in the clouds so to speak due to this wonderful time with God’s family and my family.
However, as I said, things turned for the worse. We had 2 different viral infections make their way through my house. My youngest had 2 healthy days in the entire month of March. She was so sick she actually lost 4 lbs. (Keep in mind she is only 2). I was sick with one of these virus’ for 8 days. My wife was sick for 3 weeks. By the time we were healthy we needed a break just to feel good again. I always cracked a tooth this month and had to have it pulled. What was supposed to be a quick 45 minute procedure turned into a 3 hour adventure of pain and suffering. (Almost a week later and my jaw is still sore). But this was not the worst of it. I good friend was told that he had inoperable cancer. It shook me to my core. While I haven’t seen him in a few years, I love him, his wife, and their children dearly. At the same time, my aunt fell and ended up hospitalized for 4 days. Just 2 days after her release she was back in the hospital and the family was called in to say their good-byes. The doctor was ready to give her mediation to make her comfortable and let her go. I know some people may not be close to family, but my family is not like most families. We were always doing things with my extended family. We did road trips, spent weekends together, two summers I spent working with my uncles, etc. I knew my Aunt Barb well. Well enough that a couple of years ago she asked me to officiate her funeral. And now, I was faced with the reality of having to do a funeral for another person I deeply loved. As the old saying goes, when it rains it pours. I began fervently praying. I asked the church here in Grinnell to pray. My children mentioned her in prayers. And I know that her kids, my cousins, they were praying.
And something amazing happened. She got better. The doctors through in the towel. My aunt, my family, my church family, and my God didn’t. Is she going to ever be the same? No. No she won’t. He heart is so weak right now. The doctors told her that she would not likely survive any kind of surgery (75% chance she would die in surgery). But, now they are convinced that with medication she could live another 2-5 years. That is the power of prayer. I remember specifically saying I felt that I was at the end of my rope. I remember praying that I wasn’t ready for this trial. I prayed that God would grant her more time. More time to prepare herself, for her family to prepare themselves. And God said yes. In the end, I don’t know how much more time she will have. The doctors were already wrong once before. What I do know is that God answers prayers.
He is not some clock winder that wound up the clock some 2000 years ago and is now waiting for the end to come. He is active in our lives. He cares for me. He care for you. And this gives me the strength to keep going. Last week I wasn’t ready for another trial. This week, whatever God send my way I have been encouraged to remember I am not alone.