I have heard it said, “There is always a silver lining.” On the Front 9, I guess I didn’t see it as much as I do now that I am on the Back 9. I suppose I could attribute it to maturity which goes hand-in-hand with much experience and life. I also believe you have to have the “eyes” and “desire” to look for the silver lining.
Scripture speaks of seeing the good, the silver lining. Look at verse 28 in Romans 8, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” You only have to look to the life of Joseph to see a clear illustration of how God sometimes grants permission for adversity to enter our lives so that He might accomplish an ultimate good.
Recently, I have seen something good come out of something frightening and heart wrenching that happened to our family. Allow me to share. A little over two weeks ago, while visiting my parents, my dad suffered a major stroke. Now that I look back, that first 24 hours is a real blur to me. Just thinking back to the suffering I watched my dad go through, along with my sister and our families, makes me tear up. Now, almost three weeks later, and after hundreds of prayers offered up on my family’s behalf, I can see some silver linings.
Yesterday, I traveled to do what I have been doing for a little over a year now, spend half of a week helping my sister care for my parents. My dad is currently in a rehab facility in Seneca. We chose this facility so my dad could be close to home and close to my very sick mom. We also wanted to be able to visit daily and enable his friends to do so as well. My dad has always been a lover of people and I know that I get my love for people from him.
I arrived at the rehab center yesterday just in time to go to the cafeteria where my dad was having lunch. There, to my surprise, was my dad sitting at a table with lifelong friends, three of whom now call the rehab facility home. As I sat at lunch, I was overcome by the thought that my dad was the strongest and healthiest one at the table. Some of the friends were a little older than my dad and some were younger.
There was a wife who was there eating with her husband. She volunteers at the facility as well. As we talked and fellowshipped, the wife, Ms. Vickery, leaned over the table and said to me, “I am sorry your dad has suffered, but his temporary presence here has given us some laughs and has brightened our days!” It made me choke up. If you know my dad, he is really funny. Even when he was feeling terrible last night while our son Thomas was visiting, he made Thomas laugh so hard. I know that God is using my dad’s suffering to brighten the days of elderly friends who will never leave the facility.
The second and most important silver lining for me was the “Wake up call” and “appointment” that God had for me in the Back 9. I am to not be just a wife, mother, sister, friend, a writer and public speaker, and hopefully grandmother one day, but I am to be one who will never forget the elderly. I have been moved to compassion for the elderly who are in facilities for their last years and are confined to seeing only the people WHO CHOOSE TO COME AND SEE THEM.
My point today is this…….Do you look for something GOOD from something BAD?…….DO YOU SEARCH FOR GOD IN ALL THINGS?………..I am a firm believer that God uses all things to work for good for those called according to HIS purpose. Sometimes they are obvious and sometimes it takes some looking.
The question we all need to ask is: What is the good that I can see from this? And, more importantly…..What will I do with what I see?