01 November 2007 ~ 1 Comment

Help from “Joe”

As you can tell by the postings dates, it’s been a while since I began my unexpected "blog sabbatical". A lot has happened to take me out of commission, but it’s good to be back. Here is where my heart has been lately:

About 11 years ago, my dad had a stroke. Right out of the blue. A few weeks before that he and I had run 5 miles like we had done a hundred times before. Since then, he was still able to function – walked w/a  cane, talk (with slurred speech), etc. Took mom out to dinner as usual just a few weeks ago. Called me and we talked about the Braves missing the playoffs again. Until a month ago.

Recently another stroke put him in a nursing facility. A couple of other strokes have rendered him unable to move or speak. This is where my heart has been. Hospitals, nursing homes, doctors, feeding tubes, Medicare, paying bills for parents, caring for mom and a thousand other things that take time, energy and emotion.

All that to ask that you to please remember mom and dad and our family in the coming days.

Now here’s the cool part. (Yes, there is a cool part.) Pat Hood, our senior pastor at FBC Smyrna, TN, has been speaking on a series called "Life Lessons from a Man Named Joe". It is the story of Joseph from Genesis.

I cannot think of a more "universally applicable" series than this one. For each of us has unfair stuff that happens to us. All of us go through times of confusion. Everyone has experiences when life hurls its curve balls (unexpected things) at us that rattle our cage.

So did Joe. This man was sold into slavery by his brothers. He spent undeserved time in prison. Was falsely accused of things – yet he became essentially the vice-president of Egypt!

In Genesis 50, Joe basically said "What you meant for evil, God meant for good." It is the Old Testament counterpart to Romans 8:28 (God works in all things for good for those who love Him…).

So what’s going on in your life that is rattling your cage right now? Got a marriage that’s stuck? A mate that’s seems like an idiot? (Don’t answer that, Selma!) Do you have a past that’s horribly painful to even think of? The point of Joe’s story is to trust God and believe that – like He had for Joe – He has a plan for you and is working that plan – whether we understand it or not. It’s called faith and it sometimes is hard to do. But the life of Joe can be encouraging in our struggle to believe.

I know I have never been imprisoned – falsely or otherwise.  My older brother (whose name is Joe by the way!) and I fought when I was a kid but he never sold me into slavery. (Probably never thought of it – the Lord does provide!)

But the Genesis Joe went through all that and more. And he kept his eye on the Lord. And he trusted that God had a plan for his life. And God came through like crazy. And don’t you think that is encouraging to me in the ordeal with my dad right now? How comforting to know that God is in control. He does have a plan. For dad. For mom. For all of us. I don’t understand. And that’s okay.

Whatever your life looks like, you probably have got some challenges in it. Trust in the Lord. He knows what’s going on in your life whether it feels like it or not. He loves you whether you feel it or not.

Get the sermon series from our website: www.fbcsmyrna.org. It is free. Just listen to the first one – you’ll probably want the rest.

Coming in ‘Get a Room’ …

* A special dog with a special story. I promise you have never a story quite like this one!

* Marital getaway of a life time. (Including a technological breakthrough for this blog: pictures!)

One Response to “Help from “Joe””

  1. Jeanne 2 November 2007 at 7:34 am Permalink

    So glad to have you back! Been praying for you guys and will continue. The Joe series has been especially meaningful at this time in my life, too. So much I just don’t understand, but I do trust in His plans. It’s the waiting to see what His plan holds that is hard.


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