Thanksgiving: the day after

Pennireef Papers

Thanksgiving: the day after

Yesterday we considered all the blessings and benefits the Lord has bestowed upon us across these many years. Such contemplation produces thanksgiving and results in praise. We truly have so much to be thankful for! As we considered His many blessings we remembered Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to
those who are the called according to His purpose.

This verse, which so frequently is quoted out of context, comes at the conclusion of a whole catalogue of calamities beginning with “sufferings” (v. 18), “bondage of corruption” (v. 21), “groans and labors” (v. 22), “inner groaning” (v. 23), hope differed (vs. 24, 25), “weakness” and frustration – not knowing what to pray for (v.26).

Then our pathway along Bewilderment Avenue turns a corner and suddenly we’re standing before the beautiful gate of “Promise and Assurance,” all things work together for good to those who love God. Having been reminded of His calling, reassured by His justification and rejoicing in His glory (v. 30), how comforting then to know that, “if God is for us, who can be against us?” (v.310. Furthermore nothing in this world or the next can separate us from His providential protection and we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8: this great chapter which begins with “no condemnation” and ends with “no separation” for those who are
in Christ Jesus our Lord.

That being said, how does this work out in our daily lives? Our youngest daughter, Lenora, is a missionary serving the Lord in Africa alongside her husband, Dr. Peter Hammond. They have four children. Christopher, their 14–year old son is in the “end stage” of renal failure, a defect he was born with. Lenora is all set to donate one of her kidneys to her son and a date was set for mid–February 2010.

Plans in the Hammond household were made accordingly. The home they live in is 78 years old. The roof leaks in places and there were other structural repairs needed. A Christian builder was engaged to do the necessary jobs. Work was progressing at the normal African pace with all the dirt, dust and clutter usually associated with a construction site.

Over a month ago Christopher’s condition began to deteriorate and they moved his transplant date forward to November 18. On that day Mother and son were in their respective hospitals, hooked up to IVs and ready for the long anticipated transplant. Meanwhile, in another hospital across town, an organ–donor patient died and suddenly his liver, heart, kidneys and other organs were available to critically ill patients patiently waiting for this life–saving moment.

With only one transplant team available, Christopher was “bumped.” A new date was set for December 2. Mother and son returned home to the mud and muddle of unfinished repair work and we all wondered “why” – how could this happen?

As we revisited Romans 8 on Thanksgiving Day, it became very clear. Three or four people’s lives were saved by the unexpected expiration of an organ donor. Christopher’s transplant is rescheduled for December 2nd which gives the builders time to finish their repair work and clean up the associated mess so mother and son can return from the hospital to a more sanitary environment.

An interesting foot note: The Christian builder, working on the Hammond house, also had a repair team working on a doctor’s home across town. In conversation with the doctor, the builder asked him, “Where do you work?” “I am a surgeon at Groote Schuur,” was his reply. The builder responded with details of his work for another family who were having a transplant at Groote Schuur and that they had just been “bumped.” “What’s their name?” the surgeon asked. “Hammond,” the builder replied. “I’m the one who ‘bumped’ them,” the surgeon acknowledged. How interesting that a carpenter was the link in this transplant situation. I know of another Carpenter, a Master Builder, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, who controls every destiny and Who upholds us with His nail–pierced hand. He is the divine link to our Heavenly Father and told His disciples, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6 Through His servant Paul, He assures us that all things work together for good to those who love God.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING – the day after and forever!

Bill Bathman, 27 Nov 2009 – Mesa, Arizona

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