Finding the remarkable in the ordinary
My illness has encouraged me to think about the remarkable things in my life. And remarkable things usually occur in "ordinary" situations. I have noticed that there are more remarkable things going on than I usually see. In fact, I found more and more things that I'd labeled as "No big deal", or "To be expected" that actually deserve the label "Wow. That's amazing."
Let me share an example. I recently finished my chemotherapy treatments at St. Anthony's Hospital after five long months. I was one of many who received treatments in this place, and each protocol is different and complex. A mix-up could be fatal. Many suffer from severe side-effects, and there is an underlying tension of serious health issues. Many of those receiving treatment are facing uncertain futures.
This tension is manifested in the cynical comments by some patients, in the silence by others or in the passive acceptance of the consequences of their cancer by others. And yet all receive unconditional encouragement by this infusion team.
All of us have been blessed by the nurses who administer our meds. And no matter what, the encouragement keeps pouring out of these committed professionals. They are as consistent as the day that follows the night. They want their patients to "finish the race strong". It is a room that could be filled with shattered dreams, but instead it is filled with encouragement and love. Remarkable.
Our lives are filled with events that may seem mundane and are anything but...
Here are but a few.
Each morning many of you get into your car or truck that weighs thousands of pounds, and take it out on the freeway, where we and thousands of other drivers, turn our vehicles into sixty-mile-per-hour missiles. And while we may have a few scares and mishaps, we still listen to the radio and talk on our phones (using our wireless headset of course) while driving at speeds that would cause our great-grandfather to pass out...Remarkable.
You may go to a job site that won't pay enough for the rent, the food, the clothes and the medical bills…so you have to choose. But you get through, and an unseen Hand holds you up and holds you close. Remarkable.
At the end of the day, you may go into the bedrooms of our children. You replace the covers that have been kicked off, and brush the hair back from their faces. And one by one, you bend over and kiss the foreheads of the angels that God has loaned you.
And for me, I wondered why in the world God would entrust a stumbling person like me with the task of loving and leading such treasures. Remarkable.
Then you may go and crawl in bed with a spouse who loves you. A spouse who thinks that you are the best thing since sliced bread...
You are my sunshine and my delight". "You are my favorite"! "You are my first choice"! " I love you beyond measure"! "You are my work of art"! "You are a miracle ...and all the angels marvel at you"!
Go tell it on a mountain.
I think about my wife, and I get to be with her for a lifetime, I shake my head and thank God for His grace and think, Remarkable.
And when we awaken, we get to experience more remarkable events all over again. Yes. Spring is almost here. Hints of new life are all around us. It brings new hope even in the midst of our same struggles, and shines a light on God's grace and love for us.
Made To Be Loved By God
Max Lucado tells about a boy who went into a pet shop looking for a puppy. The store owner showed him a litter in a box. The boy looked at the puppies. He picked each one up, examined, and put it back into the box.
After several minutes, he walked back to the store owner and said, "I picked one out. How much will it cost?"
The man told him the price, and the boy promised to be back in a few days with the money. "Don't take too long", the owner cautioned. "Puppies like these sell quickly."
The boy smiled knowingly, "I'm not worried", he said. "Mine will still be here."
The boy went to work...weeding, washing windows, cleaning yards. He worked hard and saved his money. When he had enough for the puppy, he returned to the store.
He walked up to the counter and gave the money to the owner. He smiled at the boy and said, "Go get your puppy."
The boy reached into the back of the box, pulled out a skinny dog with a limp leg, and started to leave. The owner stopped him.
"Don't take that puppy, he objected. "He's crippled. He can't play. He'll never run with you. He can't fetch. Get one of the healthy pups."
"No thank you, sir," the boy replied. "This is exactly the kind of dog that I've been looking for."
As the boy turned to leave, the owner started to speak, but remained silent. Suddenly he understood. For extending from the bottom of the boys pant leg was a brace...a brace for his crippled leg.
Why did the boy want the dog? Because he knew how it felt. And he knew it was very special.
Our heavenly Father knows how you feel. You're under enormous pressure at work, or under enormous pressure to find work. You have teenagers who won't listen. Serious illness is robbing your future. Our REACH kids live in isolation and fear.
But you are heaven's custom design. You are the only you that He made, and God loves you just as you are. Our REACH kids are his favorite...his first choice.
He knows you and understands you with the compassion of that boy for his puppy. Like that boy, he chose us. We are not an accident. God planned you before you were born. And like that boy, he paid a great price to take you home. Isn't that remarkable!
We are grateful for your support of REACH Ministries. Your donations enable us to provide mentors for REACH kids, allow us to conduct family visits, offer the only family camp experience of its kind, and host family events and activities throughout the year.
Like many non-profits, we are experiencing a decline in funding. We need and appreciate your loyal support. We could not do it without you.