Saturday, October 29, 2016

And I Think to Myself....What a Wonderful World

It was our first morning home after being in the hospital the two weeks before. Our family had come over the night before and removed our king size bed from our bedroom. We spent our first night home – my Honey, on his new hospital air bed, and me, on a blow-up air mattress beside him…..that the air escaped from in the middle of the night. I added to my “To Do List” for the day….find a twin mattress set as soon as possible. Indeed we would be like Desi and Lucy in our twin beds – I was even contemplating dyeing my hair red.

I can’t even imagine all that must have been going on in my Honey’s head as he looked out our bedroom double windows that were open wide. What a special blessing it was that our bedroom windows faced the little lake that adjoined our back yard (the accompanying picture is that view). It was a beautiful morning. Fall was in the air. The water was smooth as glass, the fish were jumping, and the birds were chirping loudly. Feeling the serenity of the moment calmed us and made us very aware of how blessed we were and how thankful we had to be in spite of our new circumstances that seemed like a bad dream. It was then that the doorbell rang. It was our new Social Worker, Melvin – a beautiful African American man, who exuded the sweetest and most gentle spirit that made us feel God had specially hand-picked him just for us. After asking us many questions, it was our turn to ask about him. When he mentioned that he loved singing in his church’s choir, I told him we'd love for him to sing for us. He didn’t wait to be asked twice. He immediately began singing in the most beautiful baritone voice, Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”. Just imagine our thoughts as we heard these words:

I see trees of green, red roses, too.
I see them bloom for me and you.
And I think to myself, “what a wonderful world”.

I see skies of blue and clouds of white,
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night.
And I think to myself, “what a wonderful world”.

The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky,
Are also on the faces of people going by,
I see friends shaking hands, saying "How do you do?"
They're really saying "I love you"

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know
And I think to myself, “what a wonderful world”.
Yes I think to myself, “what a wonderful world”.

How befitting to hear such words as we had already been sensing that wonderful world as we looked outside at God’s creation, on this, our first morning home. It was another one of those precious times when we knew God was orchestrating our lives.

Right from the beginning of our journey until that day, different ones had quoted Psalm 46:10 to us “Be still and know that I am God.”. In our efforts to help God out with His plans over those previous eight months, we became very busy with many doctors’ appointments, treatments, medications, consultations, surgeries, seeking advice from experts on what to eat or not eat, and so much more. Suddenly, in the quietness of our bedroom, we realized that God was speaking loud and clear to us. He was saying…..”at last….you’re still…now you will know that indeed I AM GOD.” A dear family friend and renown motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, put it this way: “God created us as human beings...not human doings.” We had been “doing” much more than required. Now, we had the opportunity to BE in that place where we really could know God and His character and His profound love for us. We ceased striving and were now pursuing that place of contentment and peace. And in that place, we were expecting that we would be able to accomplish more for God and be used by Him to encourage and help others even more than we did before. That was our hope and greatest desire.

After two weeks at home, my Honey amazed me with his new found way of life. Amazing, in that that highly energetic, multi-talented, could-do-anything, man was always known as a Type A personality – in control with everything about his life, detailed to the inth degree, and was always motivating and encouraging others with the words “no matter what your circumstances are, you can be all God destined you to be….just never give up!” Now he quietly laid in his bed, unable to move his legs and unable to sit up. He occasionally picked up the phone to make or receive a call, check his emails, prayed, listened for God’s voice and called upon me or another to fetch something for him or to adjust his position in the bed. He didn't complain about his new “state” of living. We looked back on the previous nine months of that year when he suffered so much from the pain in his back – pain that was only resolved from strong medications and having to bend over or lie down to cope. Now, though he was obviously bed confined, he wasn't suffering. He looked great – had maintained his weight -- in fact, he “grazed” all day long. God had been so faithful to us in so many practical ways and we recognizedmany of those ways by dear family and friends who were providing such love and care through delicious, homemade meals (our freezer was packed full of food), ran errands for us, and even to the extent that our niece, who would be taking her Licensed Practical Nurse test the next month, had been able to help us with Ron’s care when I had to leave him for a brief period of time.

We absolutely knew that there was a “reason for that season” of our lives. We knew that none of this was a surprise to God. We knew that God was a proud Father that had a plan, a destiny, and a purpose that He specifically designed for each of us to fulfill. We knew that our busy lifestyle had changed and our sovereign God knew what was best for us. We knew God's unfailing love and faithfulness to us like never before. We were not moved by the circumstances we were seeing. We continued to be steadfast, unmovable and unshakened….and were convinced that we were in God's hands and on track in His best plans. Just a month later, my sweetheart was completely made whole. He got to go home -- no hospital beds there -- no pain there -- just a perfect, whole body.

And here on this side.....I still sing and say to myself. "What a wonderful world…what a wonderful God….what a wonderful life!”