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Facing a long distance crisis!

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   What do you do when you live in the African bush and your son tries to climb up a bookcase, falls to the floor and hits his head, resulting in grogginess and vomiting? First,you alert the prayer warriors then get busy about the business at hand. And in my grandson’s case, my son called upon the services of a missionary airline who flew close to where my son and his family lived and picked them up. Within a few hours my grandson was flown to the nearest hospital for a CT scan which revealed he had not suffered a concussion! X-rays were taken and the next day, the pediatrician read them giving the good news that my grandson was okay.

How do we (my husband and I, plus his sisters, plus great grandparents) handle such long distance crisis?

   In our situation our reaction mode was to fall upon our knees and pray, call the prayer warriors to intervene on our grandson’s behalf, draw from the strength of God’s Word, and rest in the knowledge that God is faithful and in control of every detail.  All this, while the crisis across the world from us was being played out.
   Then as we prayed, we stay glued to our computers, searching social media for any word as to how things were going. Or we may walk around with our cell phones in our hands to immediately respond to any news, not in a worried mode but all the time focusing on God’s power and faithfulness.

I ask one more question, “How on earth do we pull this off?”

   For me, it is possible because years ago, I surrendered my children to the only One who could always be with them, who would never leave them, and who would know exactly what to do and what to provide in any crisis situation. I prayed that they would always seek to be in the center of God’s will, and when, in my son’s case, that transported him to the other side of the world, the best thing to do for all concerned was to submit to the plans God had for him. In that submission, I was supplied with all that I needed as I walked this journey of release.
   When I put all this in its proper perspective, then I see the bigger picture. I see God working in my son’s life as he works to help build God’s kingdom, as He provides and cares for him and his family, as He imparts strength to us to be able to walk these times of crisis being so distant from our loved ones!

Never think that this is easy! We face those temptations of fear, worry, and despair. We are human after all. But we face them down with prayer and faith and those demons weakly retreat!

Focusing on the joy to come!

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Recently my husband and I got a call from Bobby to share the anticipated news that Maridith was pregnant!  Of course, we were excited!  My screams of delight weren’t that hard to read.

Yet after hanging up the phone, the realities that will accompany my 9th grandchild’s birth began to sink in, and my ecstatic joy slipped away only to be replaced with an increasing sadness .   Unlike my other 8 grandchildren, this baby would be born  thousands of miles away from me.  Though my husband and I are forming  plans  to be there after  our 9th grandchild’s birth, our visit will be comparatively short then we’ll return home and who knows when we will see him or her again.  The cold reality that I will not be able to enjoy watching my grandbaby grow up, or make memories with him or her instigated a growing sadness.  This child will not know me!  Thus the relationship I now treasure with my other 8 grandbabies will not be likely with my 9th.  How can I bear this?

The next morning Kathy called and we talked a little about Bobby’s news.  She and I talked about the sacrifices we all would be making with this baby’s birth.  She was tender and compassionate and allowed me to have my feelings and express them.  It was a very healing conversation.

Kathy expressed some thoughts that became strong incentives in handling my onset of sadness.  One, in particular, was that we would pray for God to  allow Bobby’s child and I to be close in spite of the great distance between us.  That was an encouraging thought; one that infused my heart with hope.

Kathy encouraged me to believe that though there is pain right now the day would come  when I would know great joy. (I’ve taken this journey already when Bobby & Maridith left so I know this is how it plays out.)  I shouldn’t try to imagine what the particulars might be but just focus on what I know to be true:  That joy follows pain!

It makes so much sense to remember that the by-products of focusing on what I might miss out on will  only produce more heartache and intensify my pain.  Focusing on the joy this new life will bring, ensures peace, and intensify my joy.  I choose to focus on the joy–the joy that’s already known, and the joy that is to come.  The following verses from Philippians 4:7-8 addressees the benefits of such a focus:

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

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