May Day has traditionally been a celebration of the beginning of summer and the end of a fertile spring. This year, for our family, May Day represents a turn towards the future – and happier days. Last February I wrote a blog post asking my readers to pray for my family. Our oldest son, Ryan, was facing cancer surgery and treatment. He married Candice last June, graduated from seminary in December and found out he had cancer in January. Yesterday, he finished his radiation. It hasn’t been easy, but it could have been much worse. Ryan is looking forward to feeling better and moving ahead with all God intends his life to accomplish. Jim and I are so grateful to each of you that have cared and prayed for our family. God honored your prayers and it is a happy “May Day.”
Last Saturday, we celebrated with our youngest son, Craig and his fiance, Rachel. They were “showered” by friends and family and blessed with an abundance of things to help them start their new married life. They sat on the floor surrounded by pots, pans, dishes, towels, bedding and bowls. Do you remember when dish towels were thrilling?? I told Jim that I was pretty sure I needed to get married again…there is such great “stuff” to register for! Craig and Rachel will graduate from Dallas Baptist University this month and get married in June. For them, May Day means they can look forward to an abundance of new beginnings.
God has promised all of us that life will hold “new beginnings.” Paul assured the early Christians that “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). There are some big moments in our lives, happy and sad, when focusing on God is not what comes naturally. God’s word teaches that the best way to handle these times, is to step out of what comes naturally and focus on Jesus, the “perfecter” of our faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2) I could have “taught” this lesson before because I studied the Scriptures and knew what these words meant. Now, I can teach from a knowledge born of experience as well. Last February I would have asked God to take away the trial my family was facing. Now, I understand what Charles Spurgeon meant when he said, “In shunning a trial we are seeking to avoid a blessing.” The momentary troubles of this world achieve glory in heaven that is worth it all. We serve a perfect God. He is never mistaken and never anything less than perfect. As Jim often teaches, God will redeem all that he allows.
Maybe you are facing a trial today that you wish God would remove from your life. Pray now – because all things are possible with God. But if the trial remains – pray without ceasing, because all things are possible with God. Whatever the circumstances, step out of your natural inclinations and into the presence and peace of God. He knows exactly what to do and he will do exactly what is perfect. He can’t do anything less. I read a great quote by Ursula LeGuin in Lynn Austin‘s novel, Until We Reach Home. Ursula was writing about the way Christians should walk through life. She said, “It is good to have an end to journey towards but it is the journey that matters in the end.”
I’m glad that Ryan has come to the end of a tough road in his life. I’m glad both he and Craig can “look forward” to the new beginnings their futures will hold. Above all, I’m glad that both of my boys and both of their brides, walk through their lives with God. All of us will experience “troubles” in this world but the promise of heaven means that our the world’s troubles are light and momentary. Heaven is the perspective that outweighs the tough times.
Thank you for praying, thank you for caring, and I wish all of you a happy and blessed May Day. It is a joy to share this journey with all of you.