I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
Last week I told the story of the day my daughter Kelly missed singing at the National Day of Prayer after missing just about everything else of significance her senior year, and how God interrupted my pity party via a purse-sized New Testament to remind me of His Resurrection, and to get me to ask myself, “What else matters?”
Recap: “Yes, my daughter had missed the National Day of Prayer, over a hundred days of high school, and numerous weekend festivities. She had missed Homecoming, but someday she would be at the greatest Homecoming in history. She had missed singing in the choir that day, but someday she would sing in heaven’s choir forever. Kelly loved Jesus, and she would get to spend forever with Him, at the never-ending, greatest celebration of all time. When one had that to look forward to, what else mattered? …
Continuation: What doesn’t matter has a way of getting to us, though, and it was only a couple of days later that I was charging out of the house to escape the stress for a while. I figured pedaling my bike at top speed to the health club and working out with weights was better than screaming at people, but at the moment my pedaling was accompanied by angry muttering under my breath.
Along the way I noticed the grass in front of the high school was littered with small pieces of paper, but I was too preoccupied with my own frustration to think much about it. But after the workout had melted away some of the aggravation, I realized as I passed the school again on my way home that the Gideons must have been there handing out Bibles, and obviously someone had not appreciated the gesture. Dozens of pages torn out of a small New Testament had been strewn all over the lawn. I slowed my bike down and looked sadly at the precious scriptures fluttering in the wind. I could almost see the devil smiling.
Well, somebody‘s going to get something out of this Bible! I thought with righteous defiance. I stopped and picked up a couple of pages, and a sense of deja vu accompanied what I read on one:
“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away … ” Luke 24:1-2
My mouth dropped open, and tears filled my eyes as the words reverberated in my mind: What else matters?
OK, Lord, so my short-term memory needs some work …
[Excerpted from BARRIERS (So, if prayers are so powerful, how come mine don’t get answered?) c 2015 Ann Aschauer]
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your patience with us. Thank You for not giving up on us, but reminding us time and again of what You have told us before, knowing that we are a forgetful bunch, who nevertheless want to follow You. Thanks for doing whatever it takes to keep us with You, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Update: Since I first posted “What Else Matters?” several readers have asked how Kelly is doing. First, thank you for asking. How kind of you to care for a young lady you have never met.
Since that National Day of Prayer I have had to be reminded repeatedly of where my priorities should be. I guess I am always “seeking divine perspective,” and God never tires of helping me. He is so good.
Kelly graduated on the honor roll, in spite of all the days missed. She had worked hard to beat the odds, but because she had missed so many days, she got none of the special awards given to individual students for outstanding work in specific subjects. Still, I was so proud of the way she sat with a smile on her face, clapping for her classmates as their names were called.
Kelly struggled in college, as the cycle of stress/migraine/missed classes/falling behind had started again, and now we (her parents) were a couple of states away, concerned for her emotional health as well as the physical. It was there that God provided a godly woman in her church who loved Kelly and was like another mom to her. Kate, her husband, and their three children became like a second family. The children looked up to Kelly and adored her. Kate would call occasionally and fill me in when Kelly was having a rough time, and we’d pray for “our girl.” There was at least one time when Kate took Kelly to the ER. She was truly a godsend.
Fast forward to today. Kelly has a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, a godly, loving husband, and certification in massage therapy. (I name these in chronological order, not in order of importance!) She and her husband live just a few hours from us in a house they are remodeling, with their “baby” – a dog Kelly adores and posts way too many pictures of on Facebook.
Kelly still calls me “MamaBear,” and I still call her “BabyBear.” She sent me a text last week with a picture of her wearing a big smile and her official polo shirt embroidered with the name of her new employer. I congratulated her and asked if it was a good time to talk. It was only then that she told me she had a bad migraine and was going to lie down, but she had texted me because didn’t want me to miss seeing her “I-got-the-job!” smile.
Her new job pays well, and the hours are flexible, so if/when a migraine shows up it won’t present a huge problem. But I’m guessing that with the pressure off, fewer migraines will show up. Best of all, Kelly will be spending her days helping hurting people heal.
Bottom line: Yes, she still has migraines, but migraines don’t have her.