One of my jobs is to make hospital visits - these adventures in pastoral care are always different than I expect. While I am planning on being an encouragement to those who are ill I often find that it is the patient who lifts my spirits. I have become very familiar with hospital parking lots, back entrances, short cuts, and where all the Diet Coke machines are located.
By my count I made more than 165 hospital visits so far in 2010 - I have no idea how many hours that involved, how many miles I have driven, or how much I have spent on parking. What I do know is that going to people when they are facing the upheaval of health problems is a good thing to do. When I go I am reminded that life is a miracle!
With all the things that can go wrong, all the illnesses that can attack our bodies, all the accidents that can happen - the gift of life is an amazing miracle!
Every day, every breath, every moment - it is a miracle to be alive! I thought of this on a recent morning fitness walk with my sweet wife of nearly 37 years - I told her that I treasure that one hour together a few times each week - with each step and each conversation and each burst of laughter I am living in the midst of a miracle.
None of us know when the life we now enjoy will be over - that is out of our territory. So how should we respond to this gift?
Gratitude, of course. Thankfulness and joy should be ours. It is amazing to me to hear people complaining about their "miracle" - their life. Jesus said that he came to grant us "abundant life" - life that overflows! (John 10:10) Oh be thankful!
We should also respond with a sense of intention - now is the time to express your love, to act upon opportunities, to do what needs to be done - don't wait - act now!
We can also rejoice that when this miracle of daily living concludes because of God's grace we can expect life unending in the presence of our loving Creator. (I John 5:11-12) We live in the "already but not yet" place of life in the Son - praise God!
My life has been so full -so truly wonderful - to this very moment that blessing continues - this Thanksgiving I am celebrating the miracle of living!
Just thinking, Steve Yates