☀️Good morning! I’m in the waiting room on the 10th floor of the Gonda building. The sun is shining brightly on me and I feel the warmth of God’s great love through your prayers.[...]
"Have you entered the storehouses of the snow..." ~Job 38:22
God has opened the heavens and from the storehouse of His treasury sent an abundance of snow to fall upon our area (21.6"). What beauty to see our barren landscape turned into a winter wonderland. Even the cold season is a gift of God's grace. I am thankful for the snow day God gave because the solitude was needful. Since Glen and I had no other distractions and couldn't go anywhere until our main road was plowed, we took time to worship God in prayer. Then, I spent some time curled up in a cozy blanket reading a good biography. My friend Angela recently gifted me a book on the life of Susannah Spurgeon. Her story has been a great encouragement to me as I can see how God worked all things, even sickness and death, together for good in her life. Seeing the whole picture from beginning to end put everything into a higher perspective. If God has plans for His chosen people, perfect plans which prosper a person and do no harm, plans which bring hope and a secure future, then why do I worry about tomorrow? Jeremiah 29:11
In the last few months, I have felt like my life is at a standstill. "Is God really at work?" This is a question I have asked myself from time to time. But even if I don't see any results right now, it doesn't mean God isn't doing anything at the moment. Mystery lies in much of His work and it can be likened to a hidden seed planted beneath the soil. But our God, who never sleeps nor slumbers, is always at work, whether we see it or not, and He will cause His fruit to bud forth in due season for His glory.
Do you feel like you are in the winter season of life? Are you experiencing the cold snows which brought loss, heaviness, hardship, emptiness, illness, poverty and many more difficulties? If so, don't let the bitter, harsh winds of testing and trial cause your heart to grow cold. Winter has its benefits. Find comfort in God's love, protection, provision, and His beauty. Wait for His promises to unfold; hope in His redemption. Have faith in His faithfulness which turns the bleakest winter into a flourishing summer.
Meanwhile, stay still in peaceful fellowship with your Lord. A heart snuggled close to His heart will be warmed with all goodness and filled with praise to the One who makes all things new.[...]
"Consider what great things He has done for you." ~I Samuel 12:24
Cheerfulness comes naturally when everything is going our way, but what about the troublesome times? Can we still sing praises to our God even in the midst of sadness, distress or conflict? There's no denying the fact that difficult situations weigh heavily on our emotions. Strong feelings of hurt, resentment, anger and bitterness can easily creep in and choke out a merry song in one's life. Our fluctuating feelings can send us in a swift downward spiral that causes a gloomy disposition. But God who is the help our our countenance intends for us to live happy, spiritual healthy, contented lives. Appreciating the Lord the Lord Jesus Christ for who He is can bring joy and delight to a melancholy heart. This Thanksgiving, let's not forget all the spiritual benefits and perfect gifts received from God the Father above. Go and meditate on the passage in Psalm 103 and consider what great things He has done for us:
✨the great Redeemer who has forgiven all our iniquities and removed them from us.
✨the God who sustains our spiritual and physical health, and preserves life.
✨the One who continually surrounds us with His loving kindness, tender mercies and renewed strength.[...]
"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us," ~ Ephesians 3:20
When preparing for chemo day, I often ask God to help me see the bigger picture as to why I am going to the Mayo Clinic. I don't want to ever look at this day as just going to Rochester so I can be made well. I believe there is always a greater reason and purpose that goes beyond ourselves when God leads us down paths we would not necessarily choose. Yesterday, was another one of those days where I saw God's plan unfold in an amazing way.
I had just checked in at the front desk in the Gonda building 10East before my chemo appointment when I turned around and to my utter amazement saw my cousin Arnold standing in line behind me. Arnold also has cancer and is a patient at Mayo, but what are the odds of us being there on the same day, at the same time, and in the same place. We had a good but short conversation as I was called to report to chemo. When Glen and I got to my room, Glen said he was going back out to the waiting room to see if he could visit with Arnold before his appointment. When Glen came back to my room he said he didn't see Arnold anywhere and assumed he was in with the doctor.
My chemo lasted three hours and everything went very smoothly. Glen prayed for a "boring" chemo treatment, and boring it was. When my chemo was completed, we exited the elevator and entered the subway level to leave for home. As we were strolling down the hallway we came face to face with my cousin Arnold once again. What another sweet surprise! Even he remarked, "I think God has something to do with this," and I agreed! He said he was not supposed to be in the Gonda building when I first saw him; he should have been in the Mayo building. That's why Glen didn't see him when he went back into the waiting area. Well, we had another good but short conversation as Arnold was off to his next appointment. I stood there for a few moments amazed that God not only had us connect up once, but twice! If our timeframe would have been a few minutes later either way, we would have never seen each other. Thankfully, God's timing is always perfect!!! On the drive home, I received yet another pleasant surprise; it was Arnold calling me. We now had more time to talk and made plans to get together for dinner the next time we head to Rochester.
I had one more lovely surprise when I arrived home last night. When Glen brought the mail in, I opened a card from my cousin Claire which read: "Life's about the moments with the people who make them special." What a timely word which well attested to our day. God certainly turned an ordinary day into a very special day by giving us two very special moments (plus a phone call) with Arnold.
Later that evening I called my mom to tell her about my day. She commented that she knew Arnold was going to be at the Mayo yesterday and prayed specifically we would meet up with him. A mother's fervent prayers are powerful and so are yours. You, too, were praying for a meaningful day and God heard and answered in a fabulous way.
Many of you have prayed for Arnold in the past, and I ask you would continue to do so. If you recall, you prayed fervently that I would be able to attend his 70th birthday party. How could this even be possible? I was only three days out of the hospital from cancer surgery. But God did a remarkable thing. With the help of my friend, Diane who borrowed me her wheelchair and God-given strength, Glen drove me to Stillwater to partake in an amazing celebration with Arnold and family. The picture above was taken at his party.
Thank you again for your timely prayers, and the special moments of spending time with some of you in personal prayer, and even the beautiful meals shared together this past week. Life is truly about the special moments God creates by bringing people together.[...]
I am so thankful God chose for me to have a sister to walk through life together. The many blessed years I have been granted to get to know her and spend time with her has been a blessing. We share many beautiful memories, and enjoy each other's company in the every day, and never lose sight of hope for the future. We have a forever bond and this bond is through our Savior and it will hold strong even throughout the ages of time.Today, I am glad to be alive and share this very special day with my sister. She is truly a gift from God and I treasure her friendship always. [...]
As I lie in a hospital bed those sleepless nights after cancer surgery, I knew my life had suddenly changed. One of the first verses I recalled to mind came from Psalm 112:7: "(I) will not fear bad news, (my) heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord." From that time forward I purposed in my heart to accept God's direction for my new life and asked Him to keep me focused on Him and not on my grave situation.[...]