Friday, February 24, 2006

What Was He Thinking?

Sometimes I wish I knew what God was thinking…
Sometimes I wonder why God allows things to happen like He does…

Yesterday one of my favorite southern gospel musicians, Anthony Burger, died suddenly, leaving his wife to raise their three small children alone. He had just finished playing “We Shall Behold Him” as a piano solo while on a Bill Gaither Homecoming cruise, when he collapsed on the stage. They figured it was a heart attack. He was only 44.

This past weekend the little two-year-old son of our security guard, Nhlanhla, died after only two days illness—with what they thought was the flu. Nhlanhla is a rare Swazi husband and father in that he truly cares for his family, working hard to take care of them and living his life as a true example of a Christian.

And my beautiful 15-year-old granddaughter, Tori, brings up yet another question. She has some sort of painful problem with her back that continues to be a puzzle to the doctors. Tori is a very lovely person, inside and out. She’s kind and helpful at home, caring for her four brothers without complaining (including 2-year-old twins).

Tori isn’t rebellious like a lot of kids her age, is obedient even when it may not seem like the right thing to her, and most importantly, she really loves Jesus (check out
  • Tori's blog
  • ).

    Why does she have to deal with this physical problem?

    My own mother had a full life, living every day for Jesus. She died in her sleep just as she had always wanted, having suffered only the usual old age ailments. Yet last week my brother’s mother-in-law passed away after a long and painful illness. She had been a Christian most of her life.

    So why are these people and others like them allowed to go through such trials?
    Doesn’t God care?
    What was He thinking?
    I sure don’t have the answers.

    Today I read the Acts account of Peter and John and the crippled guy at the temple gate. Peter just told him to be healed in the name of Jesus. And the next thing you know he’s running and jumping and leaping and praising the Lord, just going wild in front of everybody, fully healed.

    Why can’t I pray for people and they are instantly healed like that?

    I know when God directs, the plan is better than my human mind can understand. His events always have a better outcome than my shortsightedness can guess.

    Like the guy at the temple gate, the plan for his healing began at his birth. What a huge disappointment it must have been to his parents for him to be born crippled. But God’s plan was for his story to be told for the next 2000 years, to encourage people like me to know that His plans have purpose.

    And I do know this: I can trust Him. Anthony Burger’s wife and kids can trust Him. Nhlanhla and his family can trust Him. Tori can trust Him.

    And I also know that my God can do anything. So I’ll just lean on Him as I pray for these dear ones. He’s the giver of life and health. He is the one who gives that very remarkable "joy unspeakable" and the precious "peace that passes all understanding."

    And He does have the answers.

    Friday, February 17, 2006

    Grandmothers always show pictures...

    (it's an unwritten rule)

    While their parents are gone for a couple of weeks, Pop and Meemaw are watching the kids.

    Is this a treat, or what! Here's a bragging photo of our Swaziland mks (missionary kids) l to r, Trinity 2, Kayla 8, Levi 5.

    Saturday, February 04, 2006

    Off We Go...

    Dave and I are heading out again for Swaziland tomorrow. To our "Other Life."

    Please be praying for us to have a safe trip, to stay healthy, and to be effective workers in the field for Jesus.

    Whatever God has planned for us, we want to do it with all our might. We want to do it right. We want to be effective for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    We want to see little ones come to know the Lord, the One who can turn their lives around, bringing hope and joy and peace.

    Thanks for you prayers.