If you have been a reader for some time, you may remember that more than a year ago, I wrote a post about a server, Emily, that Janet and I got to know during our many trips to the restaurant that Emily works at. After noticing a tattoo on her forearm, the word bELIeve, we found out that she has a son, Eli, who was in desperate need of a kidney transplant. He was a little guy – only several years ago and if we were back in the time of Christ, he would have been called a “teknia” – not an infant, but a very young child. He was very underweight and also undersize, having dealt with the trials and tribulations associated with congenital kidney issues.
I have written about Eli several times in the last eighteen months or so and Janet and I have shared part of Eli’s journey through our participation in the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA). We have attended fundraisers and have also tried to reach out to others and heighten awareness of our responsibility to take care of these children who need so much help. And we have met Eli several times since his surgery.
Anyway, last Friday evening, Janet and I went out to dinner and sure enough, we saw Eli’s Mom. And you know what? Last Thursday, September 25th, was the one year anniversary of Eli’s new kidney. That’s right – he has already made it one year and he is growing and gaining weight and for the first time in his young life, Eli is in the “normal” range of height and weight for his age group. It’s a miracle – the result of God working in this family’s life and the efforts of many people – including surgeons and other medical personnel all coming together. And Eli isn’t an isolated example of God’s grace. There are small children all across the country, and the world, who have benefited by the intercessory prayers of others and the skill of many people uniting to change lives.
While many of us celebrate wedding anniversaries, or the anniversary of our various educational graduations or the years we have been sober, or retired, Eli’s family has started marking the years that Eli has made a return to normal health – at least as normal as life can be for a little boy who has undergone extensive medical procedures at such a young age.
The verse for tonight is from the good doctor, Luke. In his gospel, he tells us, in Luke 9:47-48, “Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all—he is the greatest.” Great words from our Savior. My encouragement this evening is that Jesus wants us to reach out and help others – especially the children. My prayer is that you will take advantage of opportunities to help our “teknia” – our little ones. Because they are the future of our country and the ones who will next inherit the earth and everything in it. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…