Thursday, August 27, 2009

Please Pray

I can recite the answers. And usually can believe them. But when it happens close to you, it's still easy to ask, "Why?" Let me explain.
The other evening I received an e-mail from one of my brothers. You must understand, he's an agnostic at best. Was once a believer. Something has happened, I can't explain what. But he is now bitter, angry, fierce, (I think you get it) when it comes to anything spiritual. He'd just as soon curse at you if you bring up the subject. I have two other brothers. One is a minister, the other a missionary. Difficult things have happened in their lives and their trust and faith in God remains strong. Anyway, back to the e-mail. He wanted to pass on a request for his wife that we pray for her. It was blatantly obvious that he wasn't asking for prayers, but that SHE was asking for prayers.
You see, over five years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She went through all the chemotherapy, the hair loss, the nausea, everything associated with cancer treatments. Recently, she had passed the famed "five-year" mark. Cancer-free. She hadn't been feeling well lately; in fact, a little sluggish. She visited her doctor and he told her it was probably just allergies. No blood test. Not long after that, she saw her brother who, by the way, is a physician. He noticed something wrong. To make a long story short. Blood tests, lab work, etc., she's been diagnosed with acute leukemia. Seems it's a side effect of the treatment she had for breast cancer.
Now do you see? We visited her last night. They are literally destroying her immune system in order to attempt to bring it back again. She'll be in the hospital for two, maybe three weeks, maybe laonger. She requests prayers. He remains interestingly silent. But I'm asking for prayers. You may not know them, but God does. Please let them see His face in the middle of all this. God is so good. JW

Monday, August 10, 2009


You know what? Planning isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Now don't get me wrong. I don't think one should go into life helter skelter with nothing planned or anything like that. I've taken all the courses in graduate school. I remember one of my professors saying that twenty minutes of planning saves an hour of time (I think that's what he said. Maybe I didn't get that in my notes well enough, referenced, and catalogued correctly. I wasn't planning to use that illustration here!).
Although I'm not what many would call a big planner, there's a side of me that's kind of organized. Is that possible? Kind of organized? Anyway, I keep several calendars. I keep one at my desk. I keep one on my computer. I downlowad the one from the computer onto my iPod and my Blackberry. Sometimes I make up a third one.
But do you know what happens? Life. Life isn't on a schedule. Many times it isn't planned and it doesn't go exactly the way you had it mapped out. Let me give you an example.
Last week was my scheduled time for Green Valley Bible Camp. It's a week I look forward to all year long. It's on the calendar and unless the Lord comes again, it is set in concrete as deep as we can put it. This year was different. About an hour and a half on my journey down to camp I received a phone call telling me of the passing of one of dear members. It wasn't unexpected. In fact, I knew it would. Sometimes, and those of you who have dealt with those in hospice know, it isn't always imminent. Instead of spending the entire week at camp, I left Tuesday around noon to make the six and a half hour drive back home. The funeral was Wednesday and I returned after the graveside arriving back at camp at 10:30 Wednesday night.
Did I resent having to do that? No way! It was an honor to come back and preach his service. Did I begrudge having to drive an extra 13 hours? Absolutely not! I got to see my family which was an unexpected serendipity. Am I special for doing that? No, no, no way. Why would I be called special just for living life? That's just the way it is.
The same thing happened to Jesus. He was on His way to heal the ruler's daughter when a woman came up behind Him to touch the edge of His robe. When she was healed, Jesus stopped and said, "Who touched me?" The apostles were incredulous. "All of these people surrounding you and you ask, 'Who touched me?'" He commended the woman for her faith. He didn't deride her for keeping Him from His task. He took a moment and praised her. Now if Jesus can be flexible, why can't we?
Things don't always go the way we want. That's all right. Just continue to remember that it's His agenda and not yours. Have a great day! JW