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by samuel saalwaechter 
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Only those who have ever had a disease know what it’s like. And then it’s: Was your disease life threatening, which part of the body, how serious, any pain, what kind of treatment, and I guess, even cost? And with all of that, you still can’t know or feel the personal or emotional stress, or for that matter maybe even what I’ve just said.

Well, I woke up one Saturday afternoon with a pain on the left side of my face. When I told my wife I had a pain, she thought I was referring to her and got upset. Anyway, that Monday morning I saw my doctor and he told me it was “Bell’s Palsy.” They can tell you what they think causes it, but not why I had it. The only effect it had on me was that I lost my silly God-given grin when signing at church. No missed work or lunches, and no real, unpleasant, or memorable side effects.

My treatment was Vitamin E pills and a trip to the hospital twice a week to have a nurse massage the left side of my face to stimulate my facial muscles. “Thanks Lord I Needed This!” The hospital visits lasted until one day the lady turned up the machine a little and accidentally shocked my face. That was enough of that. Cured instantly, a Miracle. She apologized, but I never went back. I had only been going once a week by then, so my doctor approved.

I think it lasted 3 months, but during that time, The Lord gave me what I consider to be one of my best poems ever. “Thanks Lord For This Also.” I wish to submit it here because as my title reads “Answers To Prayer.” And this was My Prayer. It’s called:

If I could help my children to be all that they could be,
I’m sure there’s nothing I’d withhold if it would help them see.
That the God who hung the worlds in space, and holds us in His Hands,
Knows exactly what we need to fit into His Plans.
Pain and sorrow, sickness too, abuse, rejection just to name a few,
There really isn’t anything I wouldn’t allow, Dear Lord if it’d bring them closer to You.
So Lord when I don’t understand the reasons why I ache,
Just help me smile because you said You’d not give more than I could take.
And please Dear Lord don’t hesitate to give all that You deem best,
To help me be all I can be till I reach my final rest.
Help me to grow, Your Love to show, till I brake this old earth’s cord,
And reach that blessed promise land to spend forever with my Lord.
And Thanks Again for each little trial, You’ve allowed to come my way,
And for the grace to help me stand, that You give me day by day.
And Thanks for helping me to show to a world that’s hurting too.
That there is a God who really cares, and that You will help them through.

Why the poem here? This spring, having retired from US Steel in November, I was walking and talking things over with God. And as I’ve done on a number of occasions, when things bother me, I was praying “This Prayer.” It was then that I realized, it’s easier to say “Thanks”, than it is to say: “ And please, Dear Lord, don’t hesitate to give all that You deem best.” Now I’m not saying, that saying “Thanks” is always easy or that it’s always my 1st response, but it’s the natural response of a Spirit-Led Born Again Christian. God knows that in some of my worst moments and circumstances, that it’s been My Prayer, even if not my 1st one. And God has always been faithful to bring peace and encourage me.

The Monday morning, just after my 1st ever pastor resigned, I was devastated, but I gave it over to God and I never looked back. “Thanks Again Lord.”

Wintertime, an ice storm had knocked out power, so no heat, no sump pump, causing the basement bedrooms to be flooded. For 5 days, we slept on our mattress on the upstairs floor with the house staying above 45° the whole time. I never missed work. Yes, I Gave Thanks and Praised The Lord. I also sang into existence that week, “There’ll Be No Power Failures In Heaven.”

I could tell you about being laid off and spending the winter with my wife and 3 small children in our friend’s basement. How or why do you “Thank God”? For having Christian friends, who were willing to be used by The Lord. Then getting called back to work, and then to even work long enough at the same place to retire. “Thanks”? You bet. Why? Just ask someone whose lost his or her job for good.

But that morning, as I was talking things over with God, there were some struggles, serious ones, (aren’t they all?), (I exaggerate), that I was giving to God, and I realized the struggles were answers to “My Prayer.” “Please Dear Lord, don’t hesitate to give all that You deem best.” So I stopped right there and “Thanked God” And “Prayed That Prayer” again.

5A.M. September 22, 2004 the police just brought my daughter home. She’s been drinking. Wiped out 2 mailboxes, hit a tree, totaled our old van, but she’s not hurt. My 1st response:“Thanks Lord”. Yes my daughters safe, but much more than that. Every bump on the road of life is a learning experience. One in which my little girl could just be forever changed: learn about wrong choices, wrong friends, consequences, parent’s love, and maybe even find God. But it’s not about, just giving “Thanks” It’s about God’s answers to my prayers. “Anything Lord, if it brings them closer to You.”

My daughter just called and we (I) talked about God. She listened!!! An answer to every parents prayer. She actually heard me and listened. A-men?? “Thanks Lord” “You’re Special”

If every prayer got an instant answer. I'd never stop asking. It would be give me, give me, give me. But sometimes like for my daughter, God is teaching me to trust Him, and to keep praying. “Yes Lord Anything that You Deem Best”

Answers, you bet, but way too many to name here. Some Exciting, Heart Warming, and Very Special. Others “Thanks Lord! I Needed This.”
The opportunity to write this story, the very writing itself (even if not chosen), and whatever others see in my poems on the Internet are a “Gift” and an “Answer To Prayer” from my Heavenly Father. “THANKS AGAIN LORD!”


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Member Comments
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Lucian Thompson 23 Aug 2004
Sam, Giving thanks to God for all things is the key to a peaceful existence while we journey along our earthly way. Seems you hold the key well. God’s peace to you my brother.


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