Sunday, July 01, 2007


Tragedy was left hanging in the air with my last post. But after our world gets shaken up, the pieces settle and life goes on. Here is an update on those friends.

The homeschooling mom with cancer? She recovered so quickly she amazed all the doctors. Her disease had not spread as far as was predicted. But she is now faced with tough decisions about her treatment plan. She is home with her family, getting stronger every day, and the church responded with love and tangible help.

My friend with the spot on her lung? After numerous tests and doctor consultations it was ruled insignificant. But she faced her fears and came to the conclusion that God is on his throne and in control of her life and she would accept his plans to go wherever he led.

Liana's little friend with Lyme? She is back to her sweet self. Liana adores her and will be so sad when this child returns to Colorado.

The young woman with custody woes? The baby's father insisted on taking his young son for a few days. The baby had an illness and that gave Dad second thoughts about his parenting skills. Maybe he will rethink what he really wants, a relationship with his son or retaliation against his former wife.

My conclusion is that events are usually not as bad as they first appear. Our fears magnify the problem. Yes, sometimes we have to go through unpleasantness or outright suffering before our lives get back to normal. Sometimes it takes a long time before the broken pieces fall back into place and sometimes they never land back into the same place. But people are resilient and for the most part, hopeful.

Where is God in all this? When bad things happen, we tend to blame God, because he could have intervened and prevented it. Some prayers are answered, some not. (Personally, I think more prayers DO get answered than not.) My favorite author, Philip Yancey says, "In answering prayers, God normally relies on human agents." He quotes another author in his book Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? "A theist believes in a God in heaven whereas a Christian believes in a God in heaven who is also physically presnt on this earth inside of human beings...God is still present, as physical and as real today as God was in the historical Jesus. God still has skin, human skin, and physically walks on this earth just as Jesus did."

Have you ever been the answer to someone's prayer? When we pray, "God, please help my friend," maybe God is waiting for us to provide that help. Maybe our prayer should always be, "Lord, may my heart be broken by what breaks your heart." Then with our broken heart, we take action to help heal the hurts.

As I've learned from my son Dominic, we live in a country of undeserved privilege. Our personal problems are real but we need to keep a right perspective. Be thankful and grateful.

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