Column – God delivers on his promises, helps with healing
Published 4:39 pm Tuesday, January 3, 2023
My daughter gave me a T-shirt for Christmas with these words on it: “NORMAL isn’t coming back… JESUS IS!”
It is such a great message The Bible promised it and I believe it (John’s gospel).
Each day when I listen to the recounted news I think of biblical happenings, truths as Israel faced the life God had promised through Abraham. There are comparisons to the times in which we are now living. I have had many, mostly good, “normal” times in my life but some that left me hurting, having to depend wholly on God for strength and the desire to keep going, knowing others were dependent on my care and help.
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I needed and found a well of faith. At my age, almost 95, I know the Bible is God’s word for us.
This morning I read from my friend’s devotional book where she writes how some numbers in Scripture — 3, 12, 40, 400 — have special meaning. The number 40 was jumping out for me. I was 40 in 1968 when the most difficult experience of my family’s life took place. I won’t recount the details, but note that it was the presence of God that upheld and kept me able to trust the one who promised to be with his children.
I was alone, their dad on the plane for Chicago, when I got the news our oldest son and brother Jim had been in an unprovoked attack while riding their bicycles on the only street to get home. The injury to my son was unbelievable, leaving him with a serious visual handicap that would last all his life.
Where was God? It’s a question which plagues so many people.
I can say God was there for me. I was wrapped in the words Jesus spoke in his sermon on the mount, “If you forgive not others, neither will your Father in heaven forgive you.”
These young angry boys needed forgiveness and on behalf of what scripture had taught me, I offered it. I do not know what it meant to the boys, but I know what it meant to many people and to our family even if some response was unforgiveness, another that I was “out of it” to forgive.
My beloved was on a plane. I was alone. I had to be strong. People all over the world who knew us as missionaries were helping us by their prayers. After their dad returned and understood the entire story, our personal relationship seemed to go into a meltdown. It would be many years later when I understood the reason. He told me he had been unable to forgive the boys. Thankfully the “restorer” had not left himself without a witness. The day of forgiveness came and today I know it was God who answered all those prayers in his time and for his glory. God’s presence and his promise were validated for me. He is a God who makes good on his promises.
This morning I asked God to let me feel His presence today. I feel a darkening curtain is falling over our whole world. My concern is for the young growing up, often without this assurance of God as “a very present help in times of trouble.”
My morning routine is worship, prayer and “meditation,” sometimes searching out some scripture that comes to mind. I may be looking out the window, but not distracted, just “thinking” and when someone or something comes to mind, I pray for that person or for that “thing.”
I am currently taking a page a day from our new church directory, reading the names and praying for them. I don’t recognize most of them, many a part of the church before my time. Obviously, the church was important in the past. Many activities centered around the church. As the years passed, people moved away, may have lost touch and we had COVID-19 that left many happy to sit comfortably at home and listen online.
My prayer is that any who may not have seen or felt the need of church fellowship will return and find “new life” as we come together around the eternal word of God.
The last day of 2022 is now half over. I have shared a part of my heart with some of you, my loving friends. May the year 2023 find all of us faithful, loving God and his word more than ever, trusting his promises when and if what seems to be a darkening cloud should settle over us. God is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. We can trust him fully.
Myrtle V. Thompson is a lover of God, retired missionary, writer and author. Her books, “Living in Villages,” Visiting in Palaces” and “Over My Garden Gate,” are available online at Amazon.com.