On that day, as evening drew on, he said to them, "Let us cross to the other side." Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, "Teacher do you not care that we are perishing?" He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Quiet! Be still!" The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, "Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?" They were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?"
Mark 4:35-41 (NAB)
What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?
No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:35, 37-39 (NAB)
I have been very worried about my dad. In March he had a terrible fall - just from standing up too suddenly after crouching on the floor to watch his grandson play. When he regained consciousness and the paramedics were called, it was obvious he had broken both his jaw and nose, broken teeth and had bitten his bottom lip nearly off. He was a little disoriented and probably suffered a concussion, but he refused to go to the hospital - just like that time in Tennessee when he was bitten by a copperhead on the foot.
Since then, it seems like it has been one thing after another for Dad - all while trying to finish the last book in his Kelven's Riddle series. He was ill in May with a serious ear infection. When he came to visit our family in early June, he had a lingering headache from his fall and then got terrible nausea and a fever from some kind of virus. He became sick with a bad cold during our trip to San Saba, Texas for my sister Annie's wedding, and just this past month during a visit with his family in Idaho, that headache grew and exploded until he endured a miserable flight home and then didn't get in to see a doctor until more than three days later. Now he is suffering from an acute bacterial infection of the head and neck.
My sister Vinca, who saw how sick Papa was in Idaho and has been very troubled, called to give me an update yesterday, for which I am so grateful. I didn't know how ill he was. Dad's immune system has been wrecked by all the assaults on it, so he can't see anybody, on doctor's orders, but Mom for two-three months at least. Talking on the phone is excruciating for him, because his ears are in terrible pain.
I can't physically do anything to help, can't even talk to him to gain reassurance for my own selfish comfort. It is my lot to worry. Yet I can't just fret and agonize and do nothing at all.
Yesterday, I offered it up in prayers. I offered it up. My worry is nothing compared to the suffering of my dad these several months, but if anyone can use all this anxiety, this sorrow, this regret and this love I feel to help Dad, it is Jesus.
I'm not expressing this well at all. I had never encountered the idea of offering it up before a few years ago, but I like it. I like to think that if I give something to Jesus Christ - no matter how little - to use to help heal someone I dearly, dearly love, that he won't turn me down, that he'll let me help in this small way, uniting myself with His love for that person, with His love for Dad.
Pray for my dad, Daniel, please if you would. God bless you, friends, and thank you.