During my devotional time I have begun reading Max Lucado's book, When God Whispers Your Name. It's a great book filled with lessons written by a master of the English language. Max Lucado expresses in word what most of us are thinking. To that end, today the entry was entitled, "Late Night Good News" and we all just LOVE last night news, right? Doom and gloom is the prevalent forecast topped with rain, floods or a possible hurricane. Anyway, the end of this selection was a dose of good sense and I am passing it along. If you wonder where God is and why hasn't He upset the current direction of today's society, don't think for one minute this stuff is flying under His radar. Our Lord is alive and well. As Max so eloquently expresses:
"The engineer has not abandoned the train. Nuclear war is no threat to God. Yo-yo economies don't intimidate the heavens. Immoral leaders have never derailed the plan.
God keeps his promise.
See for yourself. In the manger. He's there.
See for yourself. In the tomb. He's gone.
Max Lucado, copyright 1994, Word Publishing,
When God Whispers Your Name
Father God, may we continue to worship You and trust You are in complete control. From the moment of creation until the day You call us home, our El Roi, our Jehovah-shammah holds the whole wide world in Your hands. Amen!
Well, it's about 1:45 a.m. and I'm sitting at my computer unable to fall asleep. Maybe it has to do with catching a quick nap earlier this evening, but I think probably my lack of shut eye comes from an earlier conversation, or lack of one, with my mom.
As I have written before on this blog, mom is 97 and has increasing dementia. She lives in a nursing home six hours south of my home in Pittsburgh. When the initial decision was made where to move mom when she could no longer take care of herself in assisted living, the family chose to leave her in Virginia where I was raised and my siblings and their families are located. We also considered possible visits from church members along with extended family members.
Fast forward to four years later. Mom is still residing in a nursing home, she is totally blind, she is unable to walk or move around on her own and the dementia is slowly taking more of her memory. It's impossible to describe how this disease has slowly taken my mom and how hard I've tried to make this journey easier for her. I guess there is only so much you can do when you live six hours away and can only make monthly trips. Sitting in the nursing home now consists of basically watching her sleep until about 4 in the afternoon when she wakes up. At that point, we might have a better chance of a favorable visit.
I've commented often how my Mama can pray and I've video taped her doing so. Her communion with the Lord Jesus has not been erased by this disease. She might forget who I am, but she still knows Jesus. I pray that will be my legacy as well. The point of this blog is not to pile on sympathy, but to ask that you remember all those caregivers and family members who are dealing with loved ones living through various health conditions. God is mighty. God sees what is happening. God understands our pain and sorrow. He hears my mother's wailing and crying as a lost child not knowing where she is at times. I can't explain why this is happening, but I know from God's Word that weeping only lasts for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Mama's joy will come and she will forever leave behind the shackles of pain, blindness, immobility and confusion. What a day that will be! Until then, God grant us the ability to pray, to care, and to extend to our loved ones the help and assistance they need.
God bless, my friends....I think I'll head back to bed!
And My God Shall Supply All Your Need According To His Riches In Glory By Christ Jesus.
Life's little irritants...now that's a lesson in itself! Usually we think of irritants as a situation that occurs caused by another person. For instance, you have two items and go to the fast check out line at Giant Eagle. The sign posted near the checkout line reads, "Ten items or less" and the person in front of you has twenty items. You know this because you stood there and counted each one and you begin taking loud deep breaths and tapping your foot just in case the disobedient customer needs a signal that you aren't happy you have to wait.
My personal irritant of late happens to be a cowlick that has begun showing up in the back of my head! Yep, along with aching muscles and increasing wrinkles, now I have a cowlick? My hair stylist was told on my recent trip for a trim and she is implementing solutions; however, this troubling occurrence, daily needing my full attention, is all consuming. In fact, at a Pony League World Series game last week I took a break from watching the game to glance over the crowd at the heads of female attendees. You know, checking out to see if perhaps they had the same awful dilemma. It was like a game of "I Spy" and sure enough there were women with the same hair condition.
The next morning as I walked into the bathroom and started my daily procedure of covering over my cowlick, it was as if the Holy Spirit had enough. His audible voice seemed to be ringing in my head, "You know, Cookie, at least you have hair." And there it was. The incredible simple lesson overriding my first place, self-imposed race of desire. Suddenly all the women currently dealing with cancer or still in the throes of the after effects of chemo came rushing to the forefront of my mind. And I honestly felt very, very foolish.
Then, as if to enhance my personal lesson, the Holy Spirit continued to teach, "It's been 16 years since your adventure with breast cancer, Cookie. Sixteen years...with hair." It made my irritant seem extremely small in comparison and I thought, "Thank you, Lord, for you goodness and mercy and please forgive my selfish groanings. By the way, and not as an afterthought, thank you for the sixteen years I've been able to experience the joys given with my family."
Have a wonderful weekend, my friends. And if you encounter an irritant, just consider all the upsides and be thankful for what you have; especially if you're standing in the express aisle at the grocery store behind someone who has forgotten to look at the number of items sign! They just might be needing a smile or patience to get them through their day!
Blessings! It's not too early to begin to be thankful!