Keep Smiling!

What a glorious day! The sun is playing hide-and-seek with passing rain clouds, the temperature is around 80 degrees F, and the humidity is low enough so life outside is bearable. I feel marvelous inside and out! My health is good, my attitude is good, and LIFE is good!

As I walked about taking care of little chores today and then running errands around town, I was conscious of an attitude of gratitude for all the blessings that pour out upon me on a daily basis. I was also conscious of a sadness as I prayed for a dear friend who had a knee replaced yesterday. She isn’t doing very well. They had a terrible time yesterday getting her veins to stay still long enough to put the intravenous line in for anesthesia, and then, after the surgery she was in great pain and so nauseous. And now, today, she is still so nauseous she cannot keep any food down. She was supposed to be going home today but that has changed and she will be staying in hospital until…..who knows when.

This dear friend of mine has suffered with health issues for many years, some of which I had never heard of until she came down with the sickness. The doctors have been trying to replace this particular knee for years but her health would never allow it. First cancer; then shingles; then an unknown and undiagnosed swelling and raw tissue in her mouth; next came the itching – without rash or any visible reason, her skin began to itch so much that it was almost unbearable; and of course a fall at work that would have killed most of us; follow this with eye surgery as a result of the fall; then vascular issues in both legs which eventually led to the veins in both legs being ‘stripped’; follow this with blood pressure issues that almost seemed schizophrenic – sometimes way high followed by way low in the same half-hour period; and now, this.

Why is it that some of us suffer so much with health issues and others do not? What is the underlying cause of my friend’s many sicknesses and surgeries? I just do not know, and I do not believe the doctors have an answer either. For the last ten years this dear one has spent most of her time going to doctors or hospitals or laboratories and radiological clinics. She has been prodded, poked, cut open, sewn up, drugged, dilated, badgered and bullied. Yet, in all of this, she is a delight to be with. At each visit she tells people about Jesus and how much He loves them. She carries the joy of the Lord within her heart and nothing seems to dislodge it from that place of honor. In the midst of the most horrendous times she will get the giggles so severely that she falls onto the floor, rolling with laughter!

This has been a most amazing walk to watch as she allows the joy of the Lord to be her strength and she walks into victory after victory after victory. No cancer – seven years healed. Legs totally healed. Eyesight totally restored. Skin healed. Mouth healed. Blood pressure normalized. And, (speaking in faith) knee totally healed. Her doctors call her the ‘miracle patient’.

My friend is a walking, talking, praising testimony to the keeping power of God and His amazing strength through trials. Truly, her very life is the greatest evangelistic tool I have ever seen.

God has used my friend in the most amazing manner and she has touched an untold number of lives BECAUSE of her circumstances. She has spoken to doctors, soldiers, families, friends, nurses, janitors, technicians, and countless visitors about Jesus. So, my friends, the next time you think God isn’t using you or has placed you on the shelf because things in your life aren’t going so swimmingly, I hope you will remember my dear friend and remember that God loves you just the way you are and He is using you right in the middle of your mess!

God bless! Keep smiling!

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