Rerun of Daily Devotional for November 19, 2014
A wonderful woman in my congregation sent me the account of her best Thanksgiving. I asked for permission to share it as a Daily Devotional, and she was gracious enough to do so. I think it puts everything in its proper perspective.
“I want to tell you about the best Thanksgiving I’ve had so far in my life.
As you know my son, Sean, was a passenger in a car hit by a drunk driver on May 28, 2001. Sean was in a coma for three weeks. He gradually moved from intensive care to intermediate care, and finally to rehab. I prayed to God, more like begging, for him to be made whole again. The doctors always told me to hope for the best and plan for the worst. Sean spent five months in the hospital and rehab before he came home on October 12. He came home ONLY because his insurance would no longer pay for inpatient rehab.
Sean was a silent aspirator. This meant that he not only lost his ability to swallow, but also food in his airway would not cause him to cough. The ability to swallow if often one of the most common challenges for persons who have strokes or TBI. The brain confuses food and air, and can cause a person to have food enter the lungs, obviously a dangerous situation. Due to his condition, Sean was on a feeding tube for six months. He had to be fed through the tube every four hours both day and night. It was like having a baby again. His brain was slowly recovering, but his swallowing was not, and he flunked swallow tests every few weeks. What would happen if he was never able to swallow? I bet you never noticed how many television ads are about food.
Sean finally began to make some progress during his outpatient therapy sessions. The doctors let him have some food only under strict supervision at the hospital. He had been a meat and carb man, as you are, but now he was eating asparagus soup at the hospital and telling me how good it was. Finally, the doctors cleared Sean to have food at home. The food had to be pureed, a somewhat unappetizing texture that resembles baby food. He could eat for only twenty minutes.
His first meal at home was for Thanksgiving lunch. I cannot tell what a joy it was for the entire family to see him eat. Basically, we all just stared at him and as he relished every bite. I think there will never be another Thanksgiving like that one.
God answered our prayers. No, we did not get the old Sean back in quite the same way as he had been, but what we did get was a happier man who is less stressed, more grateful for his blessings, and a man who likes some vegetables.”
The lesson is this: If you think you are having a bad day, look around. God has blessed each of us.
The psalmist says, “For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 100:5)
Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, please help me to be aware of all the blessings in my life. I especially thank you for your love and your son. In Jesus’ name I pray.
I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.