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Monday, April 1, 2024 by Brave Knight Writers

In a recent encounter, a new acquaintance asked me about my greatest life challenges and how they affected me. Even after all these years my voice tightened as I spoke. My advantage came in my ability to reflect on those times, refer to scripture, and find comfort in God’s word.

Philippians 4: 10-13 NIV

 “I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Paul writes from prison to show his gratitude for those supplying him with food and necessities. He gives the glory to God for inspiring their concerns. His imprisonment produced an opportunity for others to show their concern. He also assures everyone he has learned to be content, no matter in what circumstance he finds himself.

The playroom had floor-to-ceiling windows, the sun covered the floor. The toys were a mere hodge-podge of donations: Lincoln logs, firetrucks, hot wheels, blocks, toy soldiers, and dolls. My son sat playing with a small toy knight, his bald head exposing a zipper-looking scar running from the back of his neck to the top of his skull. A shunt tube ran under his skin from his head to his abdomen, it relieved pressure and carried away spinal fluids. He was all that mattered to me, everything else faded into trivia. Money, work, marital drama all paled. His months in a coma made me relish his play.

Following his initial surgery, the doctors had pronounced him braindead; the monitors showed no brain activity and all but me had given up hope. Day after day, I read to him, and moved all his joints to prevent them from seizing. A ribbon with a bell attached hung above him. “Give it a tug” was my request as I placed his hand on it. “Ring the bell.” His hand dropped away, day after day, week after week. This is where you learn patience, ignore petty drama, and what true value is. You learn if money can solve a problem, it isn’t a real problem. You pray and you curse, you question your sanity and at times you lose it. All up and down the halls you hear the parental wails and encounter the face of grief. Your situation isn’t the worst or most shocking. This is 4 Neuro. The horrors are real. The suffering is beyond imagination, and God gets questioned.

James 1:12 tells us, ‘Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.’

At this time, I wasn’t familiar with scripture, I believed in God and sought his help. My prayers focused on strength for me and healing for my son. The book of Job offers great insight into this world’s workings. It is Satan who delivers all the tragedy and misfortunes, God allows the process and so often we blame him. What we must realize is that life is a test, a refinement. God watches, just as He watched Job suffer at the hands of Satan. The test of Job is an example of how we must not lose faith when life presents challenges.

“What are you playing with?” I asked my son.

He turned to me and held out the knight; he placed his other hand over the hole in his throat, his tracheotomy.

“It’s the brave knight, the bravest of all knights.” He replied in a raspy voice.

At the time, I didn’t realize it represented the full armor of God. In the months following his awakening from his coma, our conversations were on a maturity level well beyond his five years. The night before he died, he told me he had to leave. In the days, weeks and months following his death I tried to put myself back together. The best glue I found was to acknowledge I had been blessed with a beautiful son for five years and his return from his coma came as an answer to my prayers. God gave him back to me so we could say good-bye.

Celebrating all life became the best way to honor my son. Contentment came in the knowledge that our time has limits. Every day God gave me, beyond my own five years are bonus days, not to be wasted but to be celebrated. When you are broken and know there are still others depending on you, you gather up the biggest pieces and struggle on. For years you discover the many little pieces still on the floor. You may never find all of them and it will take years to fit them all back where they belong.

Going forward wasn’t easy, and becoming a Christian isn’t an overnight success story. Endure, find contentment, identify your blessings, and be aware—expectations can lead to disappointment and stunted growth. God wants to see your transformation, and your refinement. Mistakes plague me in the past, present, and future, but I continue to reflect on false steps, confess, seek forgiveness, and try my best to right things.

In our troubles, we learn empathy, gratitude, forgiveness, and values, so be grateful for what you have. In the end God restored Job. Even so, Job carried all his losses with him. Job never lost his faith, his most valued attribute.





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jan From North Carolina At 4/3/2024 10:57:08 AM

You touched my heart today, and it helped me to realize more and more what is important in this life. Thank you for sharing your deepest feelings. God cares, and we care. Love Jan and Frank

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