How Good?

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

During one of the testimonies tonight at Prayer Meeting someone said “God has been so good to me” and I immediately identified with the brother or sister who said it. But then this evening as I pondered on sweet Spirit filled service we had I began to think a bit more about that statement and changed my mind: He’s been so much better to me than I deserve is the real, honest truth.

I can’t even begin to tell you or praise Him enough for what He’s seen fit to do for me, with me and what He yet will. Scripture lays it out plain and simple: we are, in our natural, unregenerate state, completely the opposite of what God desires. We have a sinful nature that desires and seeks after everything but God. And yet God loved us so much to make a way for our sin-debt to be paid in full and our spirits to be quickened through and by Jesus Christ, if we will only come to Him seeking the forgiveness He wants to grant us and then follow Him as our Lord and Savior. A holy righteous God that sends His Son to suffer and die in our stead, why? Because He cares that much about us. No, I can never thank or praise Him enough. And He so very truly has been better than I ever deserve to me.

Thinking

As I sit here this evening fighting off a cold and respiratory infection, I’ve been thinking about, or pondering upon, as I like to say, how blessed I really am. Let me start by telling you about my cold though.

My grandson began to get a runny nose Saturday. By Monday it was pretty steady, Wednesday it had “color” and he had a cough. My daughter in law called Thursday morning to get him into our family doctor and then called me to see if I could chauffeur them to and from the appointment. Of course I could; anything for him, especially if he’s sick.

Well, as I was getting ready Thursday morning it occured to me: I had the same symptoms as him but about 36 or so hours behind his. Considering the timeline of my babysitting schedule, I was fairly sure we had the same thing and that I’d gotten it from him.

Our joint doctor visit confirmed my suspicion: he had indeed infected me. His had settled into a mild ear infection, common for his age, and mine was going quickly toward bronchitis, common for me. The doctor said that he was a “little pietre dish”, but a loveable one. So the cute little germ carrier had suceeded in making his Papaw sick with his slobbery kisses. But how could I be upset by that? No way possible. Anyhow, we are both taking our antibiotics and on the road to recovery now.

So how does this make me reflect on being blessed you ask? In less than two months I have know two different families that have suffered miscarriages: one a church family member who I dearly love and the other, I found out tonight, a friend from all the way back to elementary school. It would have been the first grandchild for both of these fine men (and their families, not to discount anyone, just that I can identify with them more).

A mere two years ago grandchildren were the last thing on my wish list. In fact, with my nerves at the time, still healing from my last back surgery and becoming re-disabled, I didn’t have the patience for kids at all. Period. Then God began preparing my heart for His plan by introducing me to a wondeful little five year old at church. She and I were instant buddies. And still are. He then introduced me to two great, rambunctious little boys, three and five at the time if I recall right; the preacher’s boys. Again I found myself falling in love with these kids and wondering what it might be like to have a grandchild of my own.

In late April, I think it was, I found out our pastor was leaving to go back and work at his home church. And he was taking the boys with him! I was sad, bummed out actually. Here I had been learning to color again with them and enjoying watching them grow and develop and what-not and they were leaving in a few months. It was a, well, bummer. Thankfully I still has my little adopted granddaughter, as my wife and I called her.

Soon we got two more “granddaughters” from this family as the other kids began coming to church, too. We were back to three again. And getting even closer to these precious little ones every week.

Within months I had gone from not even considering the possibility of grandparent-hood to relishing the thought, though sort of vicariously I reckon you’d say.

Jump ahead a bit more to November 4, 2008: I get the totally unexpected news that in six months or so it’s no longer going to be vicarious but real! I was emotionally mixed, to be honest. But now I’m completely content, seven months into Papaw-dom. The little guy is the light of my life, this side of Heaven and second only to God Himself.

Would I have ever believed the changes He was going to make in me and my life? Not likely. Though I knew He could if He decided to.

So even though I feel run down and sick, I’m so totally blessed by this gift and change Jesus has made in me. And as happy and wonderful as I feel, I’m just as sad and hurt for the two families I mentioned earlier. Why God chose to give us Connor, or why He did when He did I don’t know. Why these two other families lost this chance at this time, I don’t know either. But I do know that His ways and decisions are best for His children (Romans 8:28-29) and I trust Him explicitly. And I praise and thank Him for the wonderful gift and change in my life He has seen fit to bestow upon me and make in me.