faith

It's Ok For Things To Go Fantastic!

IT’S OK FOR THINGS TO GO FANTASTIC!

            You know it’s not good news when the doctor says he needs to talk to you, and you might want to have your family with you.  Michelle Rackley, our niece, called to give a tearful report of what had just transpired in her hospital room.   

Special moment with niece Zion

Special moment with niece Zion

“You need to say your good-byes to your family and friends.  We’ve done all we can do.”

            “How long do I have, doctor?”

            “No more than two months.  I’m very sorry.”

            It was Easter, and this season which represents resurrection and new beginnings, instead looked like death and despair. 

            Unfortunately, it was all too understandable.  Michelle had struggled with medical issues for many years.  She had survived over 60 surgeries, lethal infections like the deadly MRSA virus, her body was crisscrossed with scar tissue like a patchwork quilt, and now there were blood clots scattered throughout her upper torso, inhibiting normal blood flow to her heart and preventing any corrective surgery.

It seemed even her strong will and unrelenting faith could go no further. 

Fortunately, when people like Michelle have gone as far as they can go, there are others who pick up the baton and continue running the race.  Prayer warriors, some who knew only her name and her critical condition, began to intercede in prayer on her behalf.  And, miraculous things began to happen.  Her body started healing.

I am pleased to tell you that nine months later, we celebrated Christmas with “Miracle Michelle,” enjoying the gourmet meals she prepared.  She’s an unashamed foodie and accomplished cook with a bucket list of places not yet seen and food not yet tried.

Michelle cooking.jpeg

We watched as she put her foot in the Pacific Ocean for the first time and gleefully accompanied her to yummy foodie stops in California.  What a celebration! 

First time at the ocean - getting ready to jump in

From Easter’s message, “Prepare to die” to a New Year’s promise of “It’s ok for things to go fantastic,” Michelle has a new theme for her life. 

If you find yourself in a hopeless situation, hear what she has to say about her experience, “I believe every prayer was an investment into me being whole!  I want people to know that God is still healing today.” 

In other words, IT’S OK FOR THINGS TO GO FANTASTIC! 

Want to Live to be 100? Live in a House With Stairs!

  Barb on stairs Want to live to be 100?  Live in a house with stairs!

As you can see, I’m standing on the stairs of our house.  Well, I love our home and I’ve come to love our stairs.  But it wasn’t always that way.  When we were looking for a house, we weren’t looking for a house with stairs.  We were looking for a rancher!  We were thinking, “Oh, as we get older, we want things to be flat, on one level.  We don’t want any problems, and we certainly don’t want stairs!”

But before we came to look at this house, our realtor said, “Do you know what people who live to be 100 have in common?  They all live in houses with stairs!”  Hah!  Smart realtor, huh?

But that made me stop and think about it.  I said to myself: “Hey!  Let me look at this a little differently!  You know, I could maybe run up and down these stairs, or at least walk up them!  And if that keeps me in shape, I could go for living to be 100!”

And that’s when it hit me—that’s how we are in life.  We want no obstacles, no problems.  We want smooth sailing, we want ranchers!  But that’s not the way God made us to live, as evidenced by the fact that I bet not one of you has escaped having problems in your life!

Rather, when He made us, he designed us to grow, to become better today than we were yesterday.  The bad news, if you want to look at it that way, is this simple fact:  we need difficulties to overcome, we need fears to face and we need to figure out obstacles.  Because, as Romans 5:3-4 says:  “…..tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance, character, and character, hope.”

I think the writer was basically saying, “yes, you’ll have problems, but it’s going to create some good things in you!”   So, from that point of view, it’s really good news, even though most of us don’t “consider it all joy when we face trials,” as James wrote.

However, as we tackle those difficulties, and we don’t give up in spite of being afraid or discouraged, little by little, we learn and we grow.  As a result, our faith and confidence grows.

Every time we learn something, every time we’ve grown a bit, we become more of who God has designed us to be.  And remember, we’re the ones who win when we become the person we’re designed to be!

So I encourage you today—don’t be afraid to take that opportunity just because it has challenges.  Don’t be afraid of the obstacles in your life; just look at them in a different way.  Say to yourself, “these are the stairs that are going to keep me going, that are going to help me in many ways.”

And hey!  Let’s live to be 100--We just have to look at stairs a different way!