God is good. Understatement of the eternity, I know, but I need to share what He has done lately. Saturday to Monday Morning, I drove something around 700 Miles. Saturday was a typical beginning of the month for our family, a drive to Sam's club (this time we chose Texarkana), a family meal, and more shopping, to refill the stock of food it takes to feed my four small boys who eat like Teenagers sometimes. We drop one child off at home who is tired, so I stay, and my wife goes to the local stores to finish out the list of things we don't buy in bulk. For a while, the house was quiet. I don't remember who I was talking to, or why, but I remember my mom was calling, three times, during my call. I tried calling, no answer: so I was a little worried. Silence followed by a call from my wife (who I was able to pick up for now that I was not on the phone), she said dad is in the ER with chest pains. I finally get a hold of my mom who's frantic, I could tell, and I try and calm her down; She needs to keep it together for dad, and for herself. She said they'd be life-flighting him to Tulsa. Fast forward a bit: my little brother loses his job to go meet them there (He's closest of all of my siblings), my wife, kids and I are on the road, thanks to some very generous people in our church, Sunday morning is taken care of, and we're praying for dad. "God, please help Grandpa not die." I'm not an emotional person, but when my six year old prayed this, I got close to losing it. I prayed as well, quietly, but enough for my wife to hear "Lord, whatever may happen, your will be done. Whatever may happen, your will be done. I'm not putting my shoulder to the plow and looking back. Whatever may happen, you're still good." I didn't sound as brave as the words did, and I knew I believed them, but I wanted the best, and not the worst. 30 Minutes (less) later, we hear a familiar voice on the phone; dad made it through surgery, he's calling (and joking around) to let us know he's okay, and the 4 more hours left of our drive suddenly becomes more bearable. God is still a God of the impossible. They needed to operate on what they call the Widowmaker. Dad had a Widowmaker heart attack, which usually is not something one survives. He got to the ER just in time, was on the Life Flight, just in time, and in to surgery, just in time. He was relaxed and aware in the surgery, no pain, two stints, and he was resting, less than 48 hours later, he's home and resting. This doesn't usually happen this way. The best way to describe it all: miraculous. Not everyone has a story like this, and I could just as easily be telling a different end of it, yet in spite of it all, God is still good. I'm exhausted. I'm elated. God is good, all the time. We need to praise and thank Him in all and any circumstances, focusing on Him so that He remains in control in all situations. 1 Thessalonians 5
The Day of the Lord
1Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers,a you have no need to have anything written to you. 2For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5For you are all childrenb of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 6So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. 8But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Final Instructions and Benediction
12We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle,c encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19Do not quench the Spirit. 20Do not despise prophecies, 21but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22Abstain from every form of evil.
23Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
25Brothers, pray for us.
26Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.
27I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.
28The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
Footnotes: a 1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 4, 12, 14, 25, 26, 27 b 5 Or sons; twice in this verse c 14 Or disorderly, or undisciplined