Thursday, August 10, 2017

Caregiver Chronicles: When the Word of God Comes Alive Just When You Need it Most

A beautiful thing happened early this morning. It was so remarkable that I can't stop thinking about it, so, of course, I have to share it with you.

Before I get to this morning's story, though, I have to tell what's been happening at our office. Scotty and Judy Shows have been coming to home office for months to disciple us and help us go even deeper with our faith. 

As part of his teaching, Scotty assigns us a Bible verse to memorize and we're supposed to quote it together the next week.

Frankly, I've been terrible at it.

Half the time I'm out of town or have a meeting and miss the Tuesday Shows Session, so I don't know what we were supposed to memorize. The other part of the time, I've forgotten to write it down or lost the paper I've written it on or just forgotten about memorizing it. Sometimes the verse Scotty wants us to memorize isn't the verse I'm most interested in. 

I've had lots of excuses, but that's all they've been. If I had really wanted to memorize the verses, I could have. (I'm officially apologizing about my failure.)

Yesterday, Scotty did a wonderful thing, and I was left wondering why none of us had thought of it before. He texted us the verse. "Our Scripture memory verse this week is 1 Cor 10:31. Thank you for your faithfulness." 

I immediately looked up the verse and reviewed it. "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

There's a lot of punch in that short verse. I was very familiar with the verse so, as I reviewed it, I prayed that its truth would be evident in all I did that day, even though I wasn't doing the kind of "missionary" things I usually do. 

Keep that verse and prayer in mind as I tell this next part.

Sam's hospital bed is downstairs, but my bedroom is upstairs. He'd tried to call me in the night once or twice, but I couldn't hear him. The baby monitor we tried was a complete failure because it picked up every whoosh of the oxygen and kept me awake all night. 

We'd worried that he might really need something and not be able to get me. A week or so ago, a friend suggested I give Sam a bell to call me and, in one of those ricocheting-thought-dances, my brain landed on a doorbell. I found one with a range of 250 feet. I put the button in a bag around Sam's neck and have carried the ringer part with me ever since. 

I can hear the chiming of the bell even at the barn. The only times Sam's rung the bell were by accident until early this morning. I was sound asleep when the gonging bell nearly knocked me out of my bed. My first thought was, "What in the world was that???" Then, at max decibels, it gonged a tune again and I knew. 

It was Sam.

I threw back the covers, jumped out of bed, and started yelling, "I hear you, Sam. I'm coming." There's a whole sermon in that, and I might preach it later, but today I'm telling what happened next.

I bolted down the stairs and raced into the dining room, where Sam was sitting up. He'd had a problem in the night that required intervention on my part. The verse I'd pondered all day immediately came to mind and I was filled with such grace that it was utterly remarkable. (I love how God does that, don't you?)

Sam apologized for getting me out of bed in the middle of the night, and I just laughed. "Oh, Sam, I'm a doctor. We're trained to get up in the middle of the night to take care of sick people. It's no big deal. We know how to go right back to sleep." (Please don't use these words as an excuse to wake a doctor. We might know how to do it, but that doesn't mean we like it.)

What's remarkable about those words is that I meant them. I wasn't frustrated or upset or unhappy that I was up in the night. I took care of the problem, changed Sam's bed, and thought how nice it looked with fresh sheets. 

It might be hard to believe that all this happened at 2 in the morning, but it did.

I looked at that freshly made bed and silently prayed that verse. "Let changing the sheets in the middle of the night glorify You, God."

When I put Sam back in bed and snugged the covers up around him, he looked like a little boy. It warmed my heart, and I prayed that verse again. "Let getting Sam snuggled back in bed glorify you, God." 

Since I was up, I decided to empty the potty chair pot and, since God was doing something so sweet, I prayed one more time. "Let emptying this potty chair pot glorify you, God." 

There's where the glory of God really blew me away. All those actions in the middle of the night had the potential to glorify God because they're part of the "whatever you do..." and I saw it in a new way.

I got back in bed, but didn't go to sleep right away. I spent a bit of time thanking God for allowing me to be waked up in the night and to participate in the glory-of-God work. The sweetness of His Spirit and the way that one verse came alive for me was breathtaking. The timing of the hour didn't matter a bit. 

This wasn't the first time I've prayed a verse would come alive in my life, and it wasn't the first time I prayed that my actions would glorify God. It was, however, the first time I prayed that emptying the potty chair pot would glorify God. 

When I emptied that pot with the glory of God in mind, however, I'm pretty sure it did glorify Him.

It's not the "bigness" of the task that glorifies God. It's the heart with which that task is done that brings Him glory.

Today, let's join together in praying that every task to which we put our hand will glorify God. He might need to change our hearts a bit in advance, so let's allow that, too. 

May this be the day we see the glory of God in big and small ways because we're doing it all with love.

"Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31 nasb
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Caregiver Chronicles: The Difference Between Living and Dying

If this is your first time to read about the Sam adventures, you might want to read this post to see how it started: When the Time to Move Finally Comes

If you feel led to partner with this ministry (US, Middle East, the digital world), here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841 

Or you can mail your check or money order to: Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line