Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Ant and the Contact Lens

I feel so blessed with the outpouring love and support that came shortly after I posted yesterday's blog entry. Let me share one encouraging story forward to me by my friend Liza. Liza and her husband Dale had been through a lot when Dale attempted (and by God's grace succeeded) to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. We attend the same church (Victory UP) and it was in one service where I heard of Dale's divine encounters with the Lord while scaling Mt. Everest.

Some of you might have read this already, but it's worth another read. True story or not, this shows a great deal about how God works in amazing ways. Indeed, as the Bible tells us, His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts than ours.

Read on and be blessed...

Brenda was almost halfway to the top of the tremendous granite cliff. She was standing on a ledge where she was taking a breather during this, her first rock climb. As she rested there, the safety rope snapped against her eye and knocked out her contact lens. "Great", she thought. "Here I am on a rock ledge, hundreds of feet from the bottom and hundreds of feet to the top of this cliff, and now my sight is blurry."

She looked and looked, hoping that somehow it had landed on the ledge. But it just wasn't there.

She felt the panic rising in her, so she began praying. She prayed for calm, and she prayed that she may find her contact lens.

When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but it was not to be found. Although she was calm now that she was at the top, she was saddened because she could not clearly see across the range of mountains. She thought of the bible verse "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth."

She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."

Later, when they had hiked down the trail to the bottom of the cliff they met another party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?"

Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across a twig on the face of the rock, carrying it!

The story doesn't end there. Brenda's father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a cartoon of an ant lugging that contact lens with the caption, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You."

I think it would do all of us some good to say, "God, I don't know why You want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if You want me to carry it, I will."

God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

Yes, I do love GOD. He is my source of existence and my Savior. He keeps me functioning each and every day. Without Him, I am nothing, but with Him....I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

God is good all the time!

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.-- Hebrews 1:11

After three long months of waiting, we finally got the results of the tests Star and I had in Hongkong. And it's not so good. For those who just stumbled into my blog, our youngest daughter had nose bleeding episodes since she was a baby. Last year, it became so frequent (almost daily) and after many trips to different doctors we finally found a hematologist who told us that our daughter might have Von Willebrand's Disease. VWD is a hereditary bleeding disorder similar to hemophilia. Though considered the most common bleeding disorder, it happens to about one in three million.

As you probably guessed by now, the results showed that both me and my daughter have VWD (Type 2M). While only my daughter was advised to take the tests, the doctor in Hongkong decided test me as well since VWD is hereditary.

We were advised to go back to Hongkong for new tests as well as for treatment. Since it's hereditary (which was likely the cause of my mother's death at 51), my husband and I are praying to be able to have our two other kids tested soon.

The results came at a time when things seemed to be so quiet. So quiet for comfort, in fact, that I had a feeling something was on the way. And because of that, I had been "negotiating" with the Lord the past few weeks not to make it so hard. Really, when things become quite comfortable, I get uneasy because I know the Lord is just preparing to take us to another level.

We've been through a lot to still doubt God's faithfulness. He is our Jehovah Jireh who provides for all our needs. He is our Jehovah Rapha, our Healer. And while it's a bit prohibitive for us, on a human point of view, to be perennially going abroad for treatments, we never doubt He will provide for us in whatever way He wills -- including divine healing. Nothing is impossible with Him.

It's such a comfort (and a privilege as well) to hear from a great man of God, Rev. Abu Bako, who recently came to give exhortation on the mandate of Christians in nation building. As Christians (and therefore God's representatives), Rev. Abu said, we should do what God mandated man to do -- have complete authority over the earth.(Genesis 1:26)

So what's the connection between nation building and our disease, you might wonder?

Well, being parents to three premature kids who are always in and out of the hospital, my husband and I have been lamenting how bad our health system is. Even government hospitals can be prohibitive for people who are earning minimum wages.

When we were told our daughter might have VWD, we found out that even the best hospitals in the country don't have facilities to diagnose or treat VWD patients. Even our supposed National Hemophilia Center can't diagnose VWD. Which brings to the point, what if those afflicted can't afford to go abroad for treatment or even diagnosis? Will they just die, like my mother?

I'm sure God allowed this to happen to our family for a good reason. It might not be His perfect will for us, but maybe He is looking for people He could use. Star's hematologist said we should start to lobby with the government that facilities for VWD be made available here. We're praying for God's guidance on this. Whatever it is, may His will be done.

When He allows us to face challenges, He also gives us strength to carry on. Thank God for gifting us with very supportive families and friends who've been faithfully walking with us. As I've said over and over, we wouldn't have survived if not for the prayers and support of the people around us.

Surely, God has planned to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope a future.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

When priorities are right...

The God said to Solomon: "Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life -- but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king -- wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like." -- 2 Chronicles 1:11-12

Every leader mush establish a list of priorities, then learn to put first things first. When Solomon became king of Israel, he was given the opportunity to ask God for anything. No doubt, King Solomon faced the same options we have today:

1. Easy things first - He could've chosen to focus on the easy tasks ahead of him.

2. Fun things first - He could've chosen to focus on riches or fame.

3. Urgent things first - He could've asked for help in building the temple.

4. Hard things first - He could've sought favor with those who didn't like him.

5. First things first - Instead, he chose to seek wisdom so he could glorify God.

-- from John Maxwell's Leadership Promises for every day

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Lord, may we always put You first in our lives. May we always remember that what we have and where we are today are all because of You. And no matter what our circumstances may be, may we always choose to do what is glorifying to You. In Jesus' Name, AMEN.