Warning: Use of undefined constant is_tag - assumed 'is_tag' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/customer/www/apprehendinggrace.com/public_html/wp-content/themes/mandigo/archive.php on line 27

Posts Tagged “Philip Yancey”

I apologize, readers, that over the past month I haven’t come close to achieving my goal of two to three posts each week. A couple of days each week I’ve driven across town to sit with a dying friend through her final days and nights on this earth. What a privilege it has been! I’ve found, though, that my mind and heart were so focused on my friend that writing blogs was difficult. I’ve been reading Scripture quite a bit, and thoroughly enjoying it, but unable to get many thoughts in writing. (I did sometimes write short notes on Facebook – be sure to become a friend of the Apprehending Grace FB page.)

My friend went home to be with the Lord Tuesday morning. Today, I’d like to share some reflections with you. I’m looking over the past month and simply musing on life here on earth and God’s interruptions in it.

  • Life is precious. It is so easy to get bogged down in the trials and challenges, even the minor annoyances, of this life. Don’t let it happen! Each day is a gift from God. Over the past few years I have struggled often waking up not being as joyful and thankful as I want to be. I have committed over and over to say to the Lord “Thank You!” each morning. After a few days I forget. I’ve wracked my brain trying to figure out what trigger to use to remind myself to be thankful first thing in the morning. During this process, I’ve realized that the first thing I look at each morning is the clock that is next to my pillow and at eye level. I’ve put a simply sign on it that says “Thank You, Lord, for today!”
  • Enjoy moments. Don’t let the challenges of this life be your focus. Even as my friend’s strength was growing weak, we went for a “walk” around the hospice house (she in the wheel chair, I in the driver’s position). I wheeled her up to a glass door to look out. She motioned for me to move her closer. Assuming she couldn’t see out the window, I did so. That wasn’t her intention. She immediately pushed on the crash bar and turned to me motioning for me to join in the fun of her “jail break.” She was determined to have fun in her last days.
  • Remember God’s promises. We talked a lot about the promises of God over the past month. Yesterday, I was reading a book by Philip Yancey called Finding God in Unexpected Places. It’s a great book full of short chapters about finding God in all walks of life. He quotes a former pastor of his as saying this:

As churches grow wealthier and more successful, they’re less likely to sing “This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through” and more likely to intone “This is my Father’s world.

God has given us many precious promises, and it seems that the better this world gets, the more we put our hope in it instead of God’s promises. Let’s focus more on God’s promises than what this world may or may not have for us.

  • Leaving this earth is often quite difficult. The dying process is long and arduous for many people. I’ve often wondered at that. One thought I have is that we were made for everlasting life – our bodies resist dying because we weren’t meant to die. Death is a result of sin. Praise God that He has made it possible for us to pass from this life into eternal life – because Jesus died in our place. Hallelujah! What a Savior!
  • Family and friends are more important than most other things. Hence, I’ve neglected my blog and to a lesser degree I neglected my business. I also neglected my husband, but he was totally understanding and encouraged me to do so. Now this was an “emergency” situation, but I am sorry I waited for the emergency to get to know my friend better. I’ve called her “friend” throughout this blog because she was. But she was also my cousin and after high school we moved away from each other and barely largely lost contact. About eight years ago we moved to within two hours of each other, but still only saw one another once a twice a year at family gatherings. I so enjoyed getting to know her again and am sorry we didn’t make getting reacquainted a priority sooner.
  • Be forgiving. Among the many conversations we had, my friend made the comment “we need to make room for one another’s craziness.” We’re all a little crazy, and family relationships can make us even crazier. What she was saying, a bit more colorfully perhaps, was “love one another” (John 13:34).
  • God is in control. So many, many times over the past month, I watched God control my schedule to accomplish His purposes. Unfortunately, in my heart I didn’t always respond positively and in faith. Sometimes I grumbled. God is so gracious that He did it anyway and then unfolded His plans before my very eyes.
  • Our enemy, satan, comes to steal, kill & destroy. Christ came so that we might have abundant life. (John 10:10) I hate the cancer that took my friend’s life (and the lives of five other family members in the past five years). Satan is the author of that cancer. God, in His abundant grace and overwhelming love, is the author of life. He created it, sustains it and He makes it possible for it to never end. I choose life! I hope you do to!
  • God is our peace. The circumstances of this world might give us a temporal joy or happiness, but God gives peace. I love the temporal joy and happiness, but I’ll take the abiding peace over it any day. Out of that peace grows an abiding joy and strength. Thank You, God!
  • God is good. When all is said and done, God is good. Period. No question, no doubt. God is good.

Comments 3 Comments »

© copyright 2009-2013, Data Designs Publishing and Sandra J. Hovatter