Adversity strikes again…

This morning I was told that the increasingly painful rash on my back & neck was a case of shingles. It’s only a bit of discomfort, but still unwelcome and a bother. Why this? Why now, I wonder. Perhaps re-reading that old blog post from my earliest days (11/30/05) would be profitable… Let me re-post it here for you too.

Adversity is never a solitary visitor to the soul” writes Raymond Brown. “Paul believed that trouble enables discerning Christians to unearth hidden treasures,” he adds, with an eye to 2 Corinthians 1.

815475_medicationWhen a difficulty, opposition, illness, persecution or other such adversity appears on the doorstep of your life, it does not arrive alone, but comes with that ever-welcome friend: the Comfort of a gracious God.

But there’s a two-fold catch here:
(1) you need to be a Christian to be able to entertain both visitors at the same time, and, (2) you need to be a watchful, discerning Christian, to welcome this second guest.

• Christian: one who is, by faith, in a right relationship with his Creator God through the divine person and gracious work of Jesus Christ.

• discerning: the Christian who, knowing that God cares and is sovereign, looks for Him to “work all things together for good” [Romans 8:28].

• comfort: the manifest presence of the love and grace of God in the people, things or circumstances He sends to us. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians chapter 1:

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

If you are trusting Christ, seek the comforts promised you in the Bible whenever adversities coming knocking. Take it from Paul — God knows what He is doing on cloudy and on sunny days!

yours by divine mercy,

Update on Dad…

Dad’s health improved this week, that he went off the oxygen feed late on Wednesday (at his request, approved by the nurse on duty), and plans began to be made to transfer him to the Health Center connected to his apartment complex, “Cedarcrest.” On Friday, he was moved and settled in there, and a group of friends gathering with Mom and Dad in his new room (it sounded like a party when I called!). Dad sounded good on the phone.

This past week, in those 12+ hours each day at the hospital, I found some time to talk with my Dad in between nurses and others coming and going. Thursday morning was wonderful in that we have 90 minutes without ANY interruptions. I read scripture, talked and prayed with Dad during those precious moments.

Please continue to pray for his physical and spiritual well-being….

airplane_cartoonI got home from Wisconsin on Thursday night, but almost missed my flight out of Chicago! I had allowed plenty of time to get to O’Hare from southern Wisconsin, but did not plan on Interstate 90 near Elgin, IL, coming to a near halt for 65 minutes! We covered maybe a mile or two in that time. By the time I arrived at the Dollar Rental car site it was less than 90 minutes to take-off! But those folks processed me quickly, and I got my “own” shuttle bus to the airport terminal, then got in line to check my bag — 60 minutes to take-off. The to the infamous O’Hare security lines, which were surprisingly shorter than Albany’s just then. Then a brisk walk/jog to the United concourse (a separate building connected underground). I made it 30 minutes before boarding — and had grabbed a ham sandwich as I walked. Whew.

Let me testify to the Lord’s presence and empowering in my life during this trip. He gathered many to pray for me & Dad, and some to provide special support to Laurel and I — for which we are so thankful. I could see the Lord’s mercies day by day, and was so blessed in my devotions during the trip.

Isn’t it often the case that the Lord’s richest blessings come to us in the midst of our more difficult days?!

God is good.