Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Mailman Must Be Exhausted!

It has been such a blessing and encouragement to go to the mail box several times each week and walk away with a handful of "get well" greeting cards.  There were fifteen cards in the mail today, and my poor mail man must be getting tired of handling the increased traffic.  One of my favorite cards today said,

[cover] "Thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, you're getting better!"
[inside] "Thanks to that wierdo in radiology, pictures of your colon are all over the internet!"

I must say, it's not very nice to make a person with a 16" abdominal incision laugh so hard!  I'm just now getting to where I can survive an occasional sneeze!

Many people have gone the extra mile to include a nice gift card with their greeting.  I think I have enough Panera gift cards to last for quite a long time; it's very helpful to be able to go out to eat every so often, especially after Charlene has spent a day teaching piano.  I'm grateful for all the kindness I have received.

Of course, the prevailing sentiment in all the cards is prayer.   As grateful as we all are for the world-class medical treatment available here at the Mayo Clinic, we all recognize that ultimately all healing comes from God and our best recourse in times of adversity is to "cast all our cares on him, for he cares for us."  I have to confess that prior to my current medical situation, I didn't fully realize the power of a simple greeting card.   While still in the hospital, I received a simple, hand-drawn card with tonka truck stickers from Rylan Harrison (my three-year-old friend).  Because of the bright colors and love expressed by the card, it stayed posted in plain sight the whole time I was there.  As a pastor, I receive multiple emails each week about people who are home-bound or hospitalized; one of my "take away" lessons from this experience will be the privilege I have to encourage someone else with a card and a prayer.

I spent some time today in Psalm 90.  This psalm is labeled "A Psalm of Moses," and commentator James Boice believes it was written late in Moses' life, following the deaths of Miriam and Aaron.  Moses was approaching the border of Canaan, the Promised Land, knowing that he would not be making the journey across the Jordan River with the rest of the nation.  Moses' words are framed by grief as he ponders the brevity of life, yet there is an aroma of hope throughout the psalm as he remembers the faithfulness of God and recalls that the Promised Land he sees on the horizon is merely a shadow of that greater Land to which we all must journey.  So in the span of one musical expression, he writes,

"The length of our days is seventy years-
   or eighty, if we have the strength,
yet their span is but trouble and sorrow,
   for they quickly pass, and we fly away..."

but with confidence, he also notes,

"Lord, you have been our dwelling place
   throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
   or you brought forth the earth and the world,
   from everlasting to everlasting, you are God."

After considering all this, Moses' "take away" lesson is found in verse 12:

"So teach us to number our days
   that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Satisfy us each morning with your stedfast love,
   that we may rejoice and be glad all our days."

So how can "all our days," which he formerly described as full of "trouble and sorrow" also be days of gladness and rejoicing?  Simply by being satisfied each morning with the stedfast love of the Lord.  Or as David wrote in Psalm 37,

"Find your greatest delight (satisfaction) in the Lord,
   and He will give you the desires of your heart."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

That's My King!

I've had plenty of silly posts, poking fun at this whole cancer treatment process, so I thought I'd share something a bit more inspirational.  This brief video is a wonderful, joyous exploration into the sufficiency of Jesus and his ability to meet all our needs.  Enjoy and rejoice!