Well, I thought the tough times were behind us, but I was wrong. We were able to get into the orthopaedic surgeon on Monday morning and the surgeon confirmed that Janet had fractured the “ball” in her upper arm where it connects to her shoulder. As he said, no wonder she was in such pain, as it was the most severe fracture of that type he has ever encountered. Thankfully, by 3:30 pm Monday afternoon, Janet was prepped for surgery. Several hours later, she had 8 or 9 screws and a plate to show for the experience. At least she kept her own bone and didn’t require an artificial joint.
Recovery has been slow. They are estimating 8 weeks for the bones to heal and there hasn’t been any indication of how long she will be in physical therapy. So the long road to recovery finally begins. The last several days have been tough but sooner or later, things will be on the mend. Next stop – Thursday next week for a surgical follow-up.
Kristin’s father-in-law continues to cling to life – having survived what was thought to be his last week-end. In fact, he had a birthday on Dec. 18th and it was nice that he didn’t pass away on his birthday. The prognosis is still terminal and we are awaiting word any day that he has passed on. A very sad ending to a devastating illness that has sucked the life out of him for at least several years now.
On another front, our water heater and sump pump have also been replaced (we had a tank rupture Saturday – water on the workshop floor and into the lower level carpeting). Things are finally dry and getting put back to normal. So you can imagine that I was about ready to kick back and relax for a moment when more bad news came our way.
My dearest friend from seminary, a pastor who is now President of the seminary, called and let me know that he suffered a heart attack yesterday. Paul is almost 10 years younger than I am and I was stunned when I heard the news. He is traveling out of town and had to be flown to the nearest cardiac care center in Rochester, NY. Two blockages – one of which was repaired yesterday. They were going to wait a day or two for the other one, giving Paul time to recover from the first procedure. However, when the docs saw his EKG this morning, the decision was made to move right away and do the second procedure. Paul called me as they were coming with the gurney to take him to the OR.
Of course, I prayed for him on the phone and four hours later, he called to let me know that he had survived the procedure and would be released in several days to return to Indianapolis. Apparently, a very close call. I am very grateful for God’s deliverance – not only for Janet but also for my friend Paul.
And just when I thought everything was behind us, I received notice this evening that another pastor friend of mine found out today that his mother has a very aggressive form of stomach caner and will be undergoing a massive procedure to, hopefully, isolate and remove the cancer; keeping her alive. This was also quite a shock and while all my pastor friends realize that glory and eternity await them, as well as all who believe in Jesus, nobody wants to lose a loved one earlier than necessary.
So are all these things coincidences or is there evil at work? After all, when Jesus came to earth in human form, there were more references to angels and demons in the Bible than at any time before or since. That’s because earth is the dominion of Satan and when Jesus “invaded” this world with his presence that night in Bethlehem, the beginning of the plan for our salvation was put into effect – with the birth of a baby in a stable…
And we know that Satan doesn’t really care about people who aren’t trying to advance the kingdom of God. But those who are impacting lives and sharing the Good News of Jesus are always targets. The more committed you are, the more of a target for evil you become. I can’t help but think that this may be the case in so many of these injuries and illnesses. A spiritual attack on the people of God as we gather to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Our verse for this evening highlights the arrival of the Christ child and the appearance of angels to the shepherds in their fields, The good doctor, Luke, tells us in Luke 2:8-14 (KJV), “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
My encouragement this evening is that Jesus provided the way for us to live eternally in heaven. It is the start of that journey, with the birth of a baby, that we celebrate later this week. My prayer is that you will continue to spread the Good News and that you will lift Paul and the others up in prayer this evening. After all, they are on the front lines of the battle for good versus evil and they are the strongest targets for Satan. Especially this week, it is important that we remember and celebrate all who minister to us and our families. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…