Weekly Devotions - October 10, 2017
“Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant...” (Philippians 2:6-7, ESV).
My precious middle daughter, mother of four, called me last night with bilateral arm numbness. I examined her and was concerned (MS, spinal cord tumor), but felt we could watch it overnight. This morning she called with worsening symptoms and I sent her to my favorite neurologist. I was more concerned. The neurologist planned an urgent MRI of brain and cervical cord. I was gut-wrenchingly concerned and left work to meet her at the neurologist’s office. On the way I prayed constantly. On the drive I thought through all my great concerns and pressures of the day and compared them to my daughter’s life and health. There were three overwhelming themes of my thoughts and prayers on that drive:
1. “Please, God, deliver her.”
2. “Your will be done, not only for the daughter I love, but more so for your great plan to redeem all of creation.”
3. “Dear God, take me instead of her.”
What is it that really matters in our lives? Sometimes we only see the truth in times of crisis.
When I reflect on this moment of possible tragedy, I see that my family really matters. My heart is wrapped around my wife, my children and my family in ways that are deep and ordained by God.
God’s will really matters, even more than my family, who are wrapped up in God’s plan of love and eternal blessing far greater than my understanding of their present need.
I also discovered to my surprise: I matter less than both my family and God’s will. Thank God for that. I know not how that has come about, but I am grateful that my place has shifted below the two, at least for the moment.
Perhaps I need to shift myself below a few other priorities:
The fellows I train who do not know Christ?
The homeless and underinsured in my city?
The persecuted church in distant lands?
The next patient I will examine?
God’s work that invades and disrupts my plans?
Where do I fit in this list?
My daughter’s MRI was fine and I learned I need to adjust my place in my priorities for life. God—family—His world—me.
Thank you for taking care of those I love. Help me to do so for all you love.