**UPDATE!!! My brother-in-law did NOT have a heart attack! He had a gall bladder attack! He'll need quick surgery for that, but it isn't life-threatening! Praise God!!!
"The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him." Nahum 1:7
The Lord is good. The Lord is good. He is my refuge. He is my refuge. This is my mantra today. I'm sick of sickness. I'm weary from or fear of death. At this, the most sacred time of my year as a Christian, I don't want to be bombarded with these signs of a fallen world. However, THE LORD IS GOOD. HE IS MY REFUGE. Sometimes I have to say it over and over and over so that the truth of the words can seep into my soul.
My uncle Jim--the man that I respect most in this world, and a father figure to me since my dad died when I was 18, is having open heart surgery tomorrow morning. It's the type where they crack open his rib cage. I wish you knew my uncle. He is the healthiest person I know. An athlete to the core. Every year for his birthday he does "Bulmerathon." When he turned 60, he did 60 miles on his bike; 6000 pullups and sit ups; and ran 6 miles. [Until 50 he RAN the number of miles he was turning in years!] Yet, his heart is incredibly sick. And when I visit him tonight it could be my last visit with him on earth. And knowing that, I must repeat, "THE LORD IS GOOD. HE IS MY REFUGE."
This morning we got word that my young and healthy brother-in-law was taken to the hospital. It appears that he is/was having a heart-attack. We don't know more. We're waiting on pins and needles, wondering if we should head to the city they live. Earle isn't even 45 yet. And like my uncle, he's the healthy one in the family. He watches what he eats. He exercises. He's fit and trim. He walks a TON each day as a mail carrier. And knowing that, I must repeat, "THE LORD IS GOOD. HE IS MY REFUGE."
I don't want to think of illness and death right now. I want to listen to Christmas music and bake cookies. But for some reason, the Lord has allowed this year to be different. I won't cry up to him, "I'm angry at you! You can't do this at Christmas time!" Instead, I will try to grow from the experiences He is allowing to come before us. I'll try to lean on Him when I really just want to fall over and go to sleep. I'll call out to friends to PLEASE lift my brother-in-law and uncle (and our entire family) in prayer. We need to be lifted by your prayers. Although satan tries to attack us and cause us to lose our joy, we will fight against that.
The pastor said on Sunday, "Happiness comes from Happenings, but JOY depends on JESUS."
I don't feel happy. But I refuse to lose my JOY.