Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Thanksgiving (04/18/05)
TITLE: A Hidden Thanksgiving
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As time went by, it was obvious that we were being tested. However long a trial this was going to be we knew we were determined stay strong to the end; though none of us would utter what seemed to be on many of our minds. Was God going to perform a miracle?
Only time and prayer would tell.
Mike was diagnosed with cancer about September of last year. He was young and full of life. He loved his wife to a fault, which everyone could see. Even when they endured through some difficult times in their marriage, his love for her and his children never faded. It only grew stronger.
As the family witnessed this monster of a disease disguise its weakness, the unexpected came in like a flood. The doctor came in the hospital room and revealed that it was down to two options. Stay and maybe see if one last round of chemo would put him on the upward scale; which was not a strong possibility; or go home and try to get as comfortable as possible. There was nothing else they could do for him. Little did we know what we refused to accept would be the exact thing that would confront us like never before. Our faith was truly being tested. There was nothing else they could do for him.
As the words flooded our ears, it was hard to believe that this was all there was. It was incomprehensible that God would just sit back and not do anything to change the direction of this horrible disease. I for one would not receive their conlcusive sentence. God’s promises are just that, and His word would not go back to Him void, but it would accomplish that which He purposed (Isa. 55:11). So we were asking “What is your purpose in this God?” The God I knew was one of miracles. The God I knew was one whose compassion was greater than could possibly be imagined. We did not want to accept that death was close by. I had come to know and love these beautiful people and I was not giving up! What could we possibly be thankful for? The only thing I could see to be thankful for at that time was those who were believing that God was able to do what He said He would do. Yet even I began to question my faith.
Mike’s wife had revealed to us while he was in the hospital, that God told her that her husband was healed. We kept on believing all the way to the end for God to do the miraculous. Though Mike had made statements of how he was tired, we still couldn’t let him give up. How selfish we were. He hung on for us. How could we find thanks in death?
We waited…and waited…some more. He got worse, not better. The hospice doctor had been called in in which he explained to us what was happening. How the cancer lesions were spreading into his lungs making it harder for him to breathe. Finally, at around 3:00 that afternoon as family and friends were gathered around his bedside in a home filled with love and great hope, Mike was cradled in the arms of our Lord as his mortal body released its last breath. His last words that were spoken earlier that day were “I love Jesus.”
Tonite as I sit and reflect over the past few days, I know a part of me still doesn’t understand why God chose to bring Mike home at such an early age. I know there is a part of me that is even struggling that I should even question “why?” For He is my Father, and He knows and does what is perfect.. There should be no greater consolation than to know ones destination is with our Lord Jesus. I am thankful for this. Sometimes finding a reason to be thankful in our circumstances are truly buried within us; hidden out of sight just to draw us a little closer to the One who is our greatest Thanksgiving.
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