Sunday, April 27, 2014

It's All God, It's All Good.

By the time I was ten, I had been on life support and in intensive care
By twenty-five I was on dialysis, had lost half my body weight due to severe nausea. According to certain doctors, the strain the kidney disease put onto my system lead to a heart attack. 
By thirty, I had had a kidney transplant, been in respiratory failure and spent a month in a coma.
By thirty-five, I'd had close to twenty surgeries. Some minor vascular surgeries, some major, like brain surgery. I'd also dealt with kidney failure twice. 
I'm 37 years old now and if you were to add up all the time I've spent in hospitals, dialysis units and other various health care facilities, it would easily be a third of that. And you know what I think, when I look at it right now? I think wow, I am truly blessed.

Hold on, stop, wait! Did this dude just say he feels blessed? Sounds like somebody's been hitting the pain meds again. I assure you, that's not it. What it is, is this. Right now, at I time of peace, I am able to sit back and take a look at what God has done for me and praise him for it. We're are always happy to accept God's blessings when they feel good, aren't we?  For example, Heather's brother and his wife, after years of trying, were blessed with a beautiful baby boy. He's all smiles and sunshine. Truly a joy to be around. My nephew is more proof that God is good. I have another nephew. His mother, Christina was my older sister. I say was because she died when she was 31 years old. His father died from cancer shortly thereafter. Did God bless my sister by giving her a painful cancer? No. But he used that so the people around her could see how a Godly woman handles struggles. She was an inspiration to the people to knew her. Anyone who got to know Christina during that time would be blessed by knowing her. Now she is in the very presence of Jesus Christ, singing praises to The Lord. I can think of no greater blessing than that

When something like illness or death happens to us, we often ask "God, why are you doing this to me?" Or "deliver me from this trial". Perhaps we should try a different tack. You see, God is incapable of malice. God cannot lie to you. So often we use the term 'mixed blessing'. This part was cool, but I could've done without the rest. 'My new boyfriend is great, but his sister is kind of annoying, so it's a mixed blessing' Let me clue you in. Everything The Lord does is for your good. Now that doesn't mean it's going to feel good, but if it's from God it's for good. You can take that to the bank. To get a loaf of bread, you have to put dough in a hot oven first. A diamond is coal that has been placed under immense pressure. In that same way, we can use our life experiences to grow in The Lord. People ask me often how I handle my health issues, and I have to be honest. Nine times out of ten, I don't. 

On more than one occasion I was ready to throw in the towel and call it a day. However God saw fit to keep me here, and for that I am thankful. So instead of asking why all of those things happened to me, I should thank God for what he's done for me. I know that God was holding my hand through every tear, ache or pain. I know this because there is no way I'd be able to do all that on my own strength. I'm tough guy, sure. But I wasn't born on Krypton, and everyone has their limits. Countless times I've been pushed to my limits and been ready to call it a day. Countless times God has blessed me with the stregnth and character it takes to deal with those struggles. 

He has also made sure I've never had to do it alone. God regularly puts people in my life to help me as I navigate this struggle. Relationships like that don't just happen. Some people never get close personal friends like the ones I have been blessed with. Friends that would wake up in the middle of the night and bring you a sandwich while youre in the emergency room. Or a friend who'll drive 8 hours in a snowstorm to attend your father-in-laws funeral. For me to have so many is truly a gift from the Lord. My friends are a blessing. 

I could spend the next 12 pages talking about how wonderful Heather is, and it still wouldn't describe how there is no doubt that she is a gift grom God. Or relationship is special, and unlike any other I've seen. I also have wonderful supportive parents, people who are there to back me up when I need it, but love me enough to tell me when i'm headed down a drak path, as any loving parent would. 

Not to mention my boyish charm and stunning good looks. Okay, so God also gave me a sense of humor.. God has blessed me with the gifts and talents to pursue the career he's called me to. I'm content for the first time in a very long time. Even with all I've been through, and all the pain I've suffered, I can't help but take a step back and thank God for everything he has given me. Last week would have been Christina's 39th birthday. I wonder sometimes what she would be doing if she were here. Raising her son? Pursuing a career? I guess it really doesn't matter. Christina is standing at the foot of God. And I believe there will be more people there because she was here. She was a blessing. 

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