“One generation shall praise Your works to another, and declare Your mighty acts….”
This winter, I distinctly remember telling God I didn’t see any need (or good) for layering multiple crises simultaneously in my life. It seemed like poor planning on His part, and although I didn’t go that far in my criticism, we both knew I was hurt by His timing.
On my porch today, He kindly reminded me in Ps 145, to set the record straight, now that I can see straight (er). I am happy to do so! I laughed recently at the description of a talkative woman: “her tongue is attached in the middle and flaps on both ends.” A vivid visual, and hits close to home. That being the case, let me be eager-to-utter-praise-declare-tell the ways God is quite PERFECT in His timing, mighty in His actions (on my behalf), and abundantly good (to my whole family).
The Mighty Acts happened like this…
Last fall, while I am spending weeks away from home setting up care for our elderly relative, my youngest sibling suddenly needs a multi-organ transplant, the sooner the better. Our parents are gone, so it’s just 3 of us. My sister and I are in the pipeline to donate (a multi-month commitment) when my husband goes manic. All stop. I can do many things, but organ donation while husband is manic is not one of them.
Meanwhile, our elderly relative is quietly, desperately asking to come live with me. I never pictured being unable to care for her if she asked. It would be my honor. (I want to live with my family too, when I am old.) But my husband’s disability is triggered by her condition, which triggers hers, which triggers him … and this joins the long list of things I cannot do. I know he is my first priority, and while others can care for her, no one else can be my husband’s wife. It’s not the first time his hidden disability limits what we can do for someone … so I have to refuse her, and it hurts like the dickens (whatever dickens is).
My sister is now the only donor possibility, when suddenly her nearly grown child relapses with a deadly cancer after 18 years. Obviously she’s out of the pipeline, and now two loved ones will die without a lot of assistance and intervention. We are a small family, we can’t cover all these bases. We are telling God this. We are begging Him for mercy, for reprieve … to let one of these cups to pass from us. Or to give grace to walk it out if we must drink them all.
And I am thinking how glad I am Jesus took my parents to Glory when He did. At the time, their deaths seemed early, premature. Now it seems merciful. I agree with God’s timing, and He is gracious enough to say, “I told you so.”
My just-stabilizing husband supports me as I go help the youngest, who is most critical. It’s not the first time his hidden disability has helped us help others. He has a tender and generous heart when it comes to these things. He flies to visit me in-between his travels. We conference call weekly with the new psychiatrist, who helps us walk together through these demanding situations. Because of the manic crisis, we switched doctors, and this one is exactly what we need right now. So back when my husband was out of control, God was not. God knew what was coming, and provided the counsel we would need to face it. I spend 2 months absolutely amazed at this….
God was not preventing the effects of a fallen world, but He was providing in them.
I am in a hospital caring for my young loved one when the transplant team calls. Oh my word, it’s true … with my husband stable, I am my sibling’s best hope. But on the flight home, I realize there is no scenario in the foreseeable future where it seems wise to leave my newly stable husband again for the 2 months it will take to donate an organ. My heart constricts in pain. I need to be home, AND I don’t want my sibling to suffer any more. I never pictured a scenario where I wouldn’t be free to give one of my siblings whatever they needed in order to live. Nor can I imagine asking this of my husband, given his hidden disability. Should I ask him or just decline the transplant team privately?
When I land, we do talk, and he is able to process with me. Because of the manic crisis (which at the time seemed wholly unnecessary) he has come out of significant denial, leaving a wonderfully humble and cooperative heart. And it dawns on me, this is one of the first times, during crisis, he is able to help make things better for me, rather than worse. An answer to his prayers. This is a Mighty Act of God, one I thought I’d never see.
God’s next Mighty Act happens 3 days later. My sibling calls, “Guess what? I just got The Call – - the transplant team has found a match!” Really??? After this long winter, it seems too good to be true … but it IS, thank you, Jesus!! God granted a new lease on life through the generosity of another family, in their time of grief. Neither my sister nor I were God’s intended donors after all….
ALL this is God’s abundant goodness to me.
“One generation shall praise Your works to another, and declare Your mighty acts … I will tell of Your greatness … eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness.” Ps 145:4,6,7
Declaring, telling, praising,