The Impact of One Act

A greeting card we received ten years ago stands on our computer desk. We received it from someone we did not know, who wrote, “Dear Fran and Jerry, We have you on our “permanent” prayer list and have been fervently praying for you regularly.”
A neighbor of ours had asked prayer at her church for Jerry, after his leg was amputated. The card was sent from someone who knew of his slow process of healing, saying, “We are so thankful for your Godly example in dealing with adversity and staying so faithful to trust in our Sovereign Lord. We will continue to lift you up! For His glory, Sarina and Michael Roth
This card was among many others, with emails from those who were praying, encouraging and supporting us during that difficult time, but this one stood out from all the rest because it came from a sister-in-Christ that we had never met.
It was over three years, and a third surgery, before Jerry’s wound from the amputation was healed. For nine years I kept the card in a special place. Last year, after I published TWO FULL PLATES ~ Learning to be a Caregiver, I took the card out of the envelope, read the message again, and was led to find Sarina on Facebook. I contacted her to let her know how much her card had meant to Jerry and me, that we were still blessed by reading it. I told her about the book and sent her a copy. In the process of our communication, I learned that Sarina is a photographer and creator of her own greeting cards (perhaps another reason this card was so special to us).
Since our connecting on Facebook, she and Michael were involved in a motorcycle accident. Both sustained injuries, both are recovering, but Sarina cannot yet use her hand for her photography. My prayers for her and Michael are fervent and daily for their healing.
When she sent her card to us so many years ago, she had no idea how her act of compassion toward us would impact our hearts and lives.
Jerry and I were actually impacted by two acts. First, Sarina prayed.
“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16
Then Sarina, in an act of kindness to us, encouraged us by letting us know that she was praying.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,” Colossians 3:12
We should never doubt that an act of kindness, no matter how small, will make a difference in someone’s life, and that kindness be returned to us when we least expect it.
 Dear Father in heaven. We praise you for working in the hearts of your people to care for one another. Thank you for revealing your love everywhere, especially in our kindness to others. Thank you for the blessing of Sarina’s card so many years ago, that proves a love that recycles, and truly is evident “all around us.” I ask for your continued healing for Michael and Sarina; for Jerry, as he still needs our care, and your mercy for all in need of healing. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
~ Fran

Healing From the Inside

Ten years ago I learned how to dress a horrible wound that was a result of Jerry’s left leg amputation. The wound left from Jerry’s surgery three weeks ago is somewhat different, but both would be described as an open hole. These kinds of wounds have to be treated and healed from the inside, with medicated packing, so that it does not close on its own and leave a cavity underneath the skin.
This one seems to be more difficult for me to handle than with the amputation; perhaps, because I watched a visiting health nurse do the dressing for several weeks. Jerry and I came home from the hospital this time with simple instructions for cleaning and dressing the incision. But after a week we noticed the difference in the top of the incision from the four inches below.
The next visit to the vascular surgeon confirmed the need for wound care, which she began in her office, and gave me supplies to care for it every day at home, with an appointment for a return visit each week.
My inadequacy for this has kept me awake, but finally, I think I am able to do this without anxiety.
During these last two weeks the thoughts came of how we are all born into this world wounded from the Fall due to our first parents’ disobedience. Though the fault is not ours, we have this hole in our soul that can only be healed from the inside.
Just as jerry cannot care for his own wound, and must depend on me for his care and healing, so we cannot cure ourselves. Our wound is much more serious than a physical one. There is no one who can apply what is needed except our heavenly Father, through the blood of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to fill the void that sin has left in us all. He is able and promises the witness of our healing from grateful hearts as we submit to His working, His tender care and comfort. He is the great physician and able to bring complete healing of the heart and soul.
Dear Father in heaven, thank you for providing all things pertaining to life and godliness through your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none on earth I desire besides thee. My flesh and my heart fail, but you are the strength of my heart and my portion forever. We praise you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Waiting is Not a Game

(How well our  heavenly Father  teaches us this truth as we experience the trials of this life.
The original article with this title (below) was written almost five years ago while we were waiting for Jerry’s healing after the amputation of his leg.
(It took 4 1/2 years and a third surgery. Now almost six years later, he is able to wear a prosthesis a few hours a week.
~~~~~~~~~~
October 24, 2007

Today is exactly a year since Jerry’s amputation.  He has been three weeks in rehab, wearing the prosthesis a couple of hours a day, more just for sitting and getting used to it, a few minutes of exercise to put weight on it, and a few minutes walking on it with a walker.  Because of soreness he has not worn it the last two days.  Monday the prosthetist put in a small pad to help buffer the sore area.  It was feeling better, so he wore the prosthesis for about forty-five minutes this afternoon.  When he took it off, his leg was bleeding.  We have to wait again for healing before he can wear the prosthesis again.

Sixty-eight years takes its toll on those who have not learned how to wait.  By this time most think that they have arrived at the point of having all things under their control, getting things done when they want them done, settling down to the golden years, and being happy in all their progress.  This is not our case, but we can attest to something better.

How do you explain to those who are impatient that waiting is good for you?  Whether it is for a response to a letter, the arrival of a guest, a special event, for our children to grow up, or healing, the process of waiting is a part of life.  True waiting is the essence of hope, and a means to the end of obtaining contentment in this life as we wait for glory.

Waiting is a natural trait for God, but not for man.  Impatience was born in the Garden of Eden, and plays itself out in every person’s life, from the time of birth until death; except as we are given new hearts that know how to wait.  We learn from experiences that as we wait we receive blessings we did not expect.

Why do we not want a baby to be born before its full term? It will not be fully developed, or, not live at all.  Why do we not get a diploma until we have finished the required courses?  Why do we not marry at the age of eight?  Why do we not eat green bananas?  Waiting is not only necessary for life, but, the means to attaining true life.  It is not something we play at, or think about when we want to.  It is not a game, but a reality, that when practiced enough will become the beauty of life, without wanting to be the winner.

Waiting is serious business, in the same family as endurance, the big brother of patience.

Waiting is the will of God for us, and serves His purposes. “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” (Hebrews 10:36)

Waiting gives Him time to accomplish His work in us to His glory. God waits for the precious fruit of His husbandry, and so must we. (James 5:17)

Hope, and quietly waiting for the salvation of the Lord is synonymous with patience, the characteristic of the saints mentioned in the Book of Revelation. (13:10, 14:12)

 “I had fainted, unless I had believed
to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
Psalm 27:13-14

Waiting strengthens our faith, letting patience have its perfect work, that we may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (James 1:4)

I praise the Father for teaching me to wait. It comes more naturally now.  He is waiting with us, teaching us, loving us through it all.  I thank Him for all of you who have waited with us. I pray for more patience, more strength, more faith, more grace for us all—for His glory and our joy.

“The LORD is good to them that wait for Him.” (Lamentations 3:25)

Fran 10/07
(Excerpt from In Prayer and In Touch~ Articles and Stories of Faith)
Music:  Wait on the Lord Psalm 27:14 
They That Wait Upon the Lord Isaiah 40:31