This is a picture of my granddog, Taylor. He has been our house guest while Ryan and Candice have been at the hospital. A note to all who know me well: as I stood in the rain this morning, on the other end of Taylor’s leash, waiting for him to do what dogs do, I felt nothing but joyfully blessed. My friends and family are now smiling because that statement alone tells them that Ryan is going to be fine…and God has done a work in our lives. I’ve always taught that when God works in your life, it is almost impossible to describe using human words. The necessary vocabulary does not exist this side of heaven. That is how I feel as I sit here with my computer this morning. I’m not able to say what I want to say.
Ryan had surgery to remove a cancer yesterday and it couldn’t have gone better. How do I thank his doctor, the nurses and Baylor hospital? When we arrived, Ryan had cancer – now we are waiting for a pathology report, but Ryan doesn’t have that tumor in his body any longer. He needs to heal, but we know he will. I asked people to pray for my son, and literally thousands of people prayed. The prayers of God’s righteous people have been “powerful and effective” (James 5:16). How do I find words to thank all of you for praying for my family? I feel humbled, grateful, honored and amazed – all at the same time. I have an album of mental pictures which I will remember for the rest of my life. I stood at the stove, heating Ryan a bowl of the soup a friend brought us while Craig, my younger son, put his hand on his brother’s neck and prayed. He asked God to heal Ryan and use the hard times to strengthen his ministry. He prayed a beautiful prayer for his big brother, for all of us, and I knew God was pleased to listen. I watched as Candice, Ryan’s wife for only 7 months, took loving care of him. What a gift she is to our family! And I will always remember the look on his doctor’s face when he came to speak to all of us. I have never been so happy to see a smile.
There are no words – so “thank you” will need to be sufficient – even when it isn’t. To any of you who still face difficulties, to all of us- because everyone will, this is the most important lesson I learned. I just faced my greatest fear in life…that something terrible would happen to my child. God gave us great strength for each day, and walked us through all that we needed to do. When I worried about all the things that could happen, I was on my own. When I took my worries to God, his quiet answer was “don’t.” (Luke 12:22) God didn’t strengthen me for what I was worried about. Those things were either never going to be real or were not real at that time. I didn’t need God’s strength for my worries, so I didn’t have it. That is why God tells us not to worry – He knows the future – and He knows what what we will need for that future. And He promises that He will always be enough for everything we face – when we face it. Faith is always how we know, and trust, God. I want to promise all of you that even though there will be days when God’s presence feels barely enough…barely enough, is still enough. I will know that truth for the rest of my life.
Candice just called and Jim is on his way to the hospital to bring them home! I need to go scramble eggs and make pancakes – Ryan’s favorite breakfast!!! And yes, I’ll make extra eggs for my granddog, Taylor. I’m getting kind of attached to him! It is kind of dreary outside my door – but I think it is a glorious day.
May God bless each of you….as only He can.