Blessings on the Lord's Day

All of us have had times where we've had to exercise patience. Whether it's waiting as children for our turn at the drinking fountain after recess, or waiting as adults for people's habits to change, none of us escape the multitude of opportunites to learn patience.

Waiting for the results of medical tests was something many of you have been through, but it was a whole new experience for me. I was hoping for the best, and in the process, the Lord seemed to impress on my mind that He had a special message for me to hear that Lord’s Day.

I didn’t know what church we would end up in. For all I knew, it might have been a little church in the middle of nowhere (which would have been absolutely fine).

As it turned out, we awoke at the hotel Sunday morning, realizing the things I needed for Sunday had been left in one of the trucks driven by a worker, and they were too far down the highway for us to reach them quickly. So we continued driving, planning to check into our hotel in Georgia in order to attend the evening service at Shiloh Hills Baptist Church.

We weren’t ready for the surprise that awaited us at the hotel where we had planned to stay. Although the front desk staff was helpful, the rooms and “company” at the hotel didn’t meet up to our expectations, and we knew this place simply wouldn’t work. Despite our disheveled appearance, we all decided we needed to be in church so off we went!

Upon entering Shiloh Hills, Pastor Bledsoe was taking prayer requests from the people. The requests that seemed to jump out at me were cancer, chemotherapy, cancer, surgery, cancer. Then the message: “Retaining Joy in the Midst of our Trials.” I knew we were in exactly the right place at exactly the right time to hear the exact message that God wanted us (me!) to hear (although I still kept telling myself the biopsy was going to be normal).

I’ll never forget that message from First Peter. At one point, Dan nudged me to ensure I was taking notes (I was!). Numerous times throughout the message, Pastor Bledsoe referred back to the prayer requests of the congregation, personalizing the meaning of the “manifold temptations” discussed by Peter. 

As soon as the service was over, Dan met up with our friends Pastor Ron and Barbara Allen.

Upon discovering our hotel fail, they quickly snatched up the opportunity to invite us to their beautiful home not only for pizza but also to spend the night. God knew how that time of fellowship would minister to our hearts and prepare us for the news the next 24 hours would bring. 

We had only told our parents about the biopsy. Why tell the world when you have no reason to worry?

That night, however, I was able to share with Mrs. Allen that we were awaiting the results from this test. (There's some sort of kinship when you know others have been through the storms of life; they had lost their son-in-law to cancer.) I knew she would understand and pray. She did understand, and she also shared with me the comforting commands from Psalm 37: Fret not, Trust Him, Delight in Him, Commit to Him and Rest in Him.

That night I rested in those amazing truths.