It has been a real struggle in my family since Christmas when my sister became very ill.
Her kidneys shut down, her blood was contaminated, and she became less and less able to take care of herself. I can’t say for sure that it was “touch and go” at any minute but it sure felt like it as I took her to the emergency room and we waited for test results. But all the time I prayed and asked for prayer from people like you, even around the world. She was in the hospital for 10 days, and another week in rehab.
By the Grace of God she was released and came home with my husband and me. She and her monster-sized Golden Retriever puppy will stay at our house for a few weeks more until she can be independent again!
What did I learn from this? Always be praying and praising, even in the hard times!
I tell you this because our Christmas wasn’t as happy as I imagined. She hadn’t been feeling well all through the season, even since Thanksgiving. This produced a disappointing holiday. I had been looking forward to Christmas. I had even proclaimed, “I’m looking to go past Thanksgiving and straight to Christmas.” But then it arrived and I didn’t feel happy because she didn’t feel good.
Not since my parents passed in 2000 (mommy) and 2007 (daddy), I had not been afraid of losing a loved one. It was scary, and I turned numb.
Angee, my faith mentor, counseled me not to feel numb but to feel God! She always tells me, “Yvette, pray FROM the victory, not FOR the victory!” And she was right. Once I did this, feeling numb turned to feeling new. Every day at the hospital (the nurses got to know me) I strained to see the small improvements; the better blood labs; her rising energy; her appetite come back day by day; her strength return!
Even when she wasn’t ready to be positive and to choose joy, I chose it for her.
Did you know that God can heal YOU through the sickness of someone else? I learned that during these trials. That same faith mentor recently studied Deuteronomy Chapter 26 for her small group and one verse really struck me: Deuteronomy 26:19
“He will set you high above all nations which He has made, in praise, in name, and in honor, and that you may be a holy people to the LORD your God, just as He has spoken.”
Why is this important? Well, the prophets, the elders of Israel, AND JESUS, followed the law and often referred to the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy. Now, remember, Jesus died for us and because of that we no longer have to follow the old rules, the law. But still, there is treasure in the Old Testament.
“He will set you high above all nations which He has made …” is all about God keeping promises to us. He made a promise — a covenant — with his people, Israel. And he has made promises to us, the Christians of today. One promise he made to us is that he wants everything for our good.
So, no matter what happened to my sister, I knew God would keep his promise to us. And the numbness left, and God filled me with HOPE!
She continues to improve and will go home soon — with her monster-sized Golden Retriever puppy. Oh, did I tell you that his name is Agape — a Greco-Christian term referring to unconditional love, “the highest form of love, charity” and “the love of God for man and of man for God”?
God drops lessons in the most unlikely of place and in the most unlikely times!