As I came into the church office on Monday morning I was rejoicing over the great weekend of ministry that had just taken place at the chapel. We had our Ladies Fellowship (Friday evening), Men’s breakfast and lasagna building project on Saturday morning, IFAR that evening and then following our morning service a great time of fellowshipping and sharing over our lasagna lunch and in our small groups. It was a very busy weekend of service and ministry and I was glad I was a part of it. Each week I have a certain number of things that I have to get done by a certain time to keep my week functioning smoothly and orderly. But this week was slightly disrupted by an unexpected and un-welcomed stomach bug. As I was preparing for a small group meeting on Monday evening I was overtaken by very uncomfortable circumstances.
I mention this because as I was lying in my bed Monday night, between runs to the bathroom, I reflected on two points of interest. First, I couldn’t remember the last time I that I had been this sick since I’ve been here in New Jersey (going on 8 years now). I did have some stomach issues in Israel but that was nothing compare to what I was experiencing Monday evening and into Tuesday. That I couldn’t remember my last sickness (granted my memory isn’t what it used to be) is great reason for rejoicing. I have been relatively healthy over the last 8 years and for this I found reason for rejoicing even despite my sickness.
My second thought went out to our dear sister Sandra F. who has been in the hospital for the last 3 months fighting for her life with acute leukemia. Whenever we are sick our lives are disrupted, usually for a just a short period of time. But what happens when it’s not a 24 hour bug but rather a life threatening illness. Sandra has been a model of courageous faith and has faithfully prevailed through this long trial. The prospects are good that she may be returning to her family sometime before the end of this month. But even when that happens it’s going to take a long time for Sandra’s life and that of her family to return to any sense of normalcy. When we are sick, even with a 24 hour bug, we want our lives to return to normal as quickly as possible. But what is normal when you’ve been in the hospital for over 3 months? And how can we help the family to return to some sense of normalcy in their lives?
One area that we can help in is by supporting a fundraiser that New Durham Chapel will be hosting on Feb. 18th at 5:00 PM. I know this family has incurred huge medical expenses and I want to encourage all my readers to plan to be part of this special event. Paul in the 6th chapter of Galatians reminds us “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ”. Few of us will ever be required to walk through what Sandra and her family have just walked through, but if we can help in even a small part, I believe that would be an act of obedience and love to “bear one another’s burdens”. Remember we are a part of the body of Christ, the household of faith.
All for Christ,