10 years ago at this time, I was blessed with a miracle.
I had entered the operating room with a team of doctors who were prepared for the worst, and I left having had the best surgery imaginable given the circumstances. The chaplain who had come to visit me almost daily since my entry into the hospital 23 days earlier stood in that operating room and prayed. She came out and delivered the word to my extended family that everything had gone well. This is the girl for whom we prayed, so many prayed. In the days before blogs, twitter, Facebook, and Caring Bridge, somehow word spread and we had cards from all over the country and so many people praying. What a blessing for which we are forever grateful!
I think again today of those miracles we saw along the way. It is a reminder how times of suffering can draw you into greater knowledge of and intimacy with Almighty God. Without those experiences, we would not know Him as we do or believe He is the miracle working God that we know Him to be. I praise Him again today as I remember Him and how He revealed His power to us over and over again.
Psalm 145:6 “Men shall speak of the power of Thine awesome acts, and I will tell of Thy greatness.”
This particular birthday holds sadness for us, too. Poppy, my step-father — and may I just stop and say I’ve never liked the word “step.” It always connotes to me an image of some lack of closeness or lack of love for someone because they aren’t the original one, they aren’t the real one. That part is true, he wasn’t my real dad. But my real dad, through no choice of his own, died in a car wreck when he was 27 years old. I was 2 months old. I never knew him. This is the only earthly father I have known, and he has been in my life all along. I don’t think of him as “step” even though I know he was not my biological father and he had children and grandchildren of his own whom he dearly adored. He is known as “Poppy” to my children, one of their 4 grandparents.
Each year, Poppy and my daughter celebrate their birthdays a day apart, always with great joy. I remember when she was born and he first saw her in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, he told my mom he didn’t know whether to pray that she would live or die. He didn’t know if it would be better for her to go straight to Jesus than suffer what the days ahead would hold. As a mother, of course, I knew what I wanted everyone to pray — that she would live — but I understood that his thoughts were out of love for this little one. They formed a special bond as he had the chance to watch yet another “grandchild” grow up. And they loved this time of year, 2 birthdays in a row to celebrate.
So today we carry some sadness because Poppy went to be with his Savior and Lord 3 weeks ago. We grieve, but with hope because we know that we will be with him again. We know the certain facts of our salvation and the hope that the gospel of Jesus Christ gives us. II Corinthians 5:21 says that “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus took our sins and gave us His righteousness, and it is available to all who believe. Poppy believed. We praise the Lord for this.
So today we celebrate, we remember, and we grieve, all with joy, thankfulness, praise, and hope. Thank you, Jesus.