As a novice in the world of blog-writing, I must admit that I l-o-v-e reading any and all comments left on this site.
And "Debbie" let me know early on that trying to leave a comment on this site is like trying to swim the butterfly stroke in Jell-O - not an easy thing! Smile.
Comments are like the immediate feed-back every essay written in school begs for. They serve to let me know that people are actually reading. The stories encourage. The self-examinations hit home with some. The embarrassing moments revealed cause others to smile or even laugh right out loud.
Good to know!
So when I received a comment the other day from a dear reader named "Catherine," I took it to heart just as I do all the responses readers take time to record. She wrote about the testimony I recorded (Kristin's good report) and beautifully pointed out the flip side of that coin.
Not everyone hears those precious words, "Not Malignant."
My heart went out to her as her own daughter (just like our precious new family member, Sarah Smith) was diagnosed with cancer. Those darling girls had to endure months of treatment and all the accompanying struggle for life. As did their families.
She's so right. Not every prayer is answered the way we want.
Does that change God's abilities? Or should it change what we believe about Him? No, I don't think so. (Catherine was careful to point that out as well.)
My mom's battle with cancer certainly didn't end the way I wanted. And when my dear friend, Jimmie Lee, went to Heaven just seven weeks after Mom, that wasn't answered the way I'd prayed. (She had been like my 'Nother Mother since childhood.)
In fact, I sat pondering several weeks back and realized that over a short, eighteen month span of time, the Lord had walked me through SEVEN such losses. It was, indeed, a difficult season; not one we'd ever ask to experience.
But blessing can always be marked in the midst of difficulty - if we search for it.
In my line of work (as a pastor), I walk with people through the "valley of the shadow" regularly. And believe me, that valley includes more than just death. It is littered with broken dreams and promises, destroyed relationships, disappointment and heartbreak that no one can bear alone.
That's why I must cling to the belief that God never forgets us, no matter the circumstance. And that He works ALL things together to make life better than it could be otherwise.
Rain falls, loss comes to every life. That's why it's so important that we are generous with one another.
We don't know what's going on in the life of that person who's so rude or the one who cuts us off. If we knew their story, we'd probably choose to extend a little more grace. Heaven's knows I need grace pretty regularly! Smile.
I've also come to believe that one of the most generous things I can do is celebrate the joy of another. Rejoice with the person experiencing the answer to prayer that I long to know as my own. In fact, that habit (of celebrating with others) is probably an entire post right by itself. I'll try to get to that soon.
All that to say, thanks so much to Catherine and others like her who take time to thoughtfully add to this site. Your input is valuable and much appreciated!