The longer I live, the more I realize a simple truth…life is lived in seasons. There was the season of childhood which was followed by the pimply-faced, gangly season of adolescence, which mercifully gave way to graduation from high school and the rebellious, searching years of college. Parenthood and the first career followed with all the joys and heartaches that a season could bring. One season gave way to the next as little league baseball and dance recitals surrendered to proms and a long season of diplomas. With five children, it took a while for them all to complete their educations.
On and on the seasons have come and gone until I now find myself in a most interesting season…that of working harder than I want to, part-time writer, grandfather, and along with Joyce, primary care giver to an aging and ailing mother.
The last month has been a particularly intense season. One of our children developed life threatening blood clots in her leg and lungs which required life-saving medical intervention. While Joyce slept in a hospital recliner a thousand miles away, I’m taking my mother to the emergency room where grim faced doctors tell me the CT scan has revealed a large cancerous mass. Oh, by the way, did I tell you all this came on the heels of four co-workers either quitting, being off on maternity leave or being encouraged to find a new career? That’s four out of six of us. The result? You guessed it; six day work weeks, ten to twelve hours an day for the last month.
I am reminded in all this that God is omniscient; He knows everything about us and our needs. He knows us better than we know ourselves. That is a comforting thought, a place of rest. He will never leave me nor forsake me. He goes ahead of me (and you), leading in a straight path. God knew when our daughter would need her mother and had already placed Joyce in North Carolina for a ‘long-weekend visit,’ which in the end turned into ten days. But there was no hurry-scurry to get her there, because God had gone before her to put here there when needed. It was not the relaxing visit everyone expected, but as a parent it’s still a blessing to be there for your children when there’s a need. As for the needs of my mother, I’m thankful God protected her so she wasn’t alone when she needed to go to the hospital. God definitely made her path straight that day.
The best thing about difficult seasons is they always end and surrender themselves to the next season. For my mother, the operation last week went well and the doctors believe they removed all the cancer. She has been moved to a nursing facility for rehabilitative care and is daily gaining strength. For our daughter, that procedure also went well and she is getting back into the full swing of ‘normal’ life. Joyce is home and I’m one happy man. God is good.
That brings me to the title of this blog and a deep appreciation of the love of God and His care for us. Next week we will be enjoying a six day break with an all-expense paid trip to Costa Rica. By then our daughter will be back to her regular schedule with work and family, and my mom will be well on her way to recovery. Do you think God knew we would need a break? I do. It’s just another example of God going before us to provide something HE knew we would need.
May He find each of us grateful day in and day out for His care and protection over us…