Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Please Do Not Step on the Salad

"Please do not step on the salad." That is the title that was suggested for this morning's entry. Last night, my daughter showed me a photograph of her friend holding an uncovered salad bowl, in the back of a van, on the way here to the hospital.

As I mentioned, "Operation Determination" - maybe I'll come up with a better name - is being relocated from here to the McLaughlin home by the end of the week, Lord willing. Last night, "they" (not the Vincent Van Patten family, but my daughter and the McLaughlin family) initiated the process by moving some things - starting with clothing and necessities, open food (hence the uncovered salad bowl), and so on.

I woke up at 4 this morning, laptop on lap again - I must have fallen asleep between 10 and 11 last night. I promised my wife I would not do it again, but I did. Anyway, I woke up, the nurse gave me an injection of my pain medication, and I decided to respond to some e-mails.

It is snowing. It's October 28! Schools have been cancelled. I have heard that there is already up to 6 inches of snow on the ground in higher elevations. I am not sure when my family will make it in to see me.

An "old" friend who is on staff here called me early this morning and offered to bring me a cup of coffee. So, I am enjoying a nice, hot cup of caffeinated coffee from Dunkin' Donuts. What a treat!
My sister just called. She is back in Columbia, SC after a weekend with her daughter in Philadelphia. I enjoy hearing from her once or twice a day. She likes to check up on me and the family.

The nurses were in for their morning rounds. I have been medicated and assessed. I have been cleaned up. I have had breakfast. It is now about 8:45 a.

I found this in a comment that a friend posted on the blog: It is from Psalm 119:75-76 . . .

I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant.

The author of this psalm prays for comfort in the midst of his affliction. Based on what he wrote in verse 73, he understood that his affliction was the direct result of his sinfulness and that he deserved his affliction.

While I cannot say that my present affliction is the direct result of my sinfulness, I know that I am, by nature, a sinful person, that there is sin in this world, and that disease and affliction are part of the sin curse on this world. Some might say that I do not deserve to be afflicted in this way, but I do not look at it that way. I deserve death. I deserve eternal separation from God. God does not owe me anything. I chose to reject Him. I chose to ignore His call for so long. I chose to refuse His offer of the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ for 31 years. I chose to do things my own way instead of His. I chose to think that my way was superior to that of the Creator of the Universe.

Yet He chose to love me. He chose to save me from my own sinfulness. Paul wrote in Romans 5:8 . . . but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Although I rejected Him, He accepted me in Jesus Christ. O, the depth of His mercy, His love, and His grace. It is beyond description.

And, I pray for comfort in the midst of this affliction. And God comforts me. And He comforts my family. We enjoy the peace that passes all understanding. We find rest, in Him, in the midst of this storm.

It is about 9:30 a. It is quiet here in my room. My wife just called. She is not able to get to the hospital for a while due to the snow. I assured her that I am OK and that she should take this opportunity to rest and to spend time with our children.

The day is really just beginning. New opportunities are waiting. I am praying that I will be sensitive to God's leading each moment and that my attitudes, words, and actions will effectively adorn the gospel of Jesus Christ - so that He may be exalted and that others may find hope in Him.

Until later . . .


Kelly said...

I of course pray each night and morning for you and your family. The the funny thing this morning as soon as I saw the snow and heard the weather for up home (where you are and I was born and raised) I quickly thought oh no your wife and kids might have trouble getting to see you!

So I was glad to be assured by you in the blog that you are fine ( I know that was for Merrily but it helped me to know also) and your family is home safe and sound that is a blessing!
You really are loved and thought of by so many people who don't even know you, but care!

I keep this saying on my desk, not sure where it is from but it says-
Trials Keep You Strong
Sorrow Keeps You Human
Failure Keeps You Humble
Success Keeps You Glowing But Only
Faith Keeps You Going!

With the faith of you and your family I have no doubt you will keep going through anything that comes your way!!

God Bless-

aprilmarie said...

You are such a blessing! As I was reading your blog and crying (of course) my husband's grandma called and asked me what was wrong. She is unsaved and pretty hard to the things of God. I told her about you and how I really enjoyed having you as a teacher and was able to share with her some of the things from your blog. I hope she can see how when a person knows Christ there is a peace that cannot be found anywhere else. Who knows, you may be the instrument that God uses to lead her to Christ. Thank you so much for your encouraging and God-honoring words.
Thank you, April (Cunningham)Redfield

Bobby Lyerly said...

Yo Jim!

Snow? School cancelled? What? You live in Pennsylvania or something? That's crazy! Of course, it was 36 degrees and windy in Atlanta this morning as well...

I just love you man. Can't seem to say it enough - and sure can't say it without having tears fill my eyes.

Let me know how else I can help. Reece and Jordan are praying for you, as are the two of us.

dwayne said...

Been there, done that already. I’m just too happy right now after attending a Family Blessings seminar to think about negative thoughts.