Aches and Praise Four Hundred & Fifty Six

June 5, 2020
Dear friends, 

We could all use some encouragement these days, right? With protests over senseless, brutal murders and awful injustices erupting across the United States of America, we are reminded that many people live in fear of being mistreated and worse. While taking groceries to my parents on Wednesday evening, I arrived to see my mother climbing the stairs to the front door. While looking for a parking spot, I wondered why she was outside because she has had back pain for many years and unable to walk great distances like she used to. I soon found out that my father had fallen and hit his head in front of their house.

As the evening progressed, I realized how much I have for which to be grateful. After talking with my brother-in-law, sister and Karen, I phoned 911 and a few minutes later, two paramedics arrived and attended to my father. When my mother asked if there was a charge for their visit, one of the paramedics answered: “No, just your thanks.” What an encouragement it was to see two men serving the public in such a friendly and efficient manner. After they took Dad to a nearby hospital, tests were done and he was discharged in the morning.

My childhood and early adult years were spent in the house where my parents have lived for 60 years. In answering one of the questions of the paramedics, my mother referred to having been married to Dad for more than 70 years. I am grateful that they have lived long enough for Karen and me to develop a new kind of relationship with them than when we were young adults. Playing golf with Dad in his 90s is a memory that I and my son, Ryan, treasure. Karen is enjoying reading the Bible and Christian books with Mom on the phone.

When we read the stories of Jonathan and David in the Bible, we see a friendship that was uncommon and unwavering. When David questioned why Jonathan’s father, Saul, was seeking to kill him, his best friend reassured him that he would not die. The Lord had chosen David to replace Saul as king of Israel and Jonathan believed that God would keep David safe until then. In his Study Bible, Dr. David Jeremiah writes: “David was about 16 when Samuel poured the oil on his head, and he did not become king until he was 30. In the intervening years, he did two things: First, he went back to tending his sheep. Second, he had to keep running away from Saul, who never stopped trying to kill him. It may not sound exactly like the anointed life, but that was David’s experience for 14 years. Still, one thing was significantly different in David’s life: when Samuel poured the oil on his head, the Bible records that ‘the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward’ (1 Samuel 16:13) … God was with David in a special way from that day forward. And the best news is that God is with us in that same way, for we have been given His Spirit.”

Karen and I have been watching mystery movies lately and it is a challenge to find all the clues to identify the murderer. In a similar vein, I want to end this blog by asking if you noticed something unusual in my account of delivering groceries to my parents this week. It is the day of the week: Wednesday. I usually go my parents on Thursday or a later day in the week, but on Wednesday afternoon, I felt that I should go that evening. Was someone praying for me at that time? Did the Holy Spirit prompt me to go? I believe the answer to both questions is “Yes.”

May we be encouraged that the Lord wants us to trust Him with every part of our lives and rest in the assurance that God keeps His promises.

Scripture for the weekend: “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32 (NKJV)

Thought for the weekend: “British preacher and composer George Matheson was right when he called Jonathan a ‘rainbow in a storm.’ Jonathan leaves behind a beautiful example of what true friendship should be: honest, loving, sacrificing, seeking the welfare of others, and always bringing hope and encouragement when the situation is difficult. Jonathan never received a crown on earth, but he certainly received one in heaven. ‘Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life’ (Rev. 2:10)”. – Warren W. Wiersbe (from “The Wiersbe Bible Commentary”)

By His grace,