(Published as an FB Note on November 26th 2010)
Last "Black Friday" we hardly slept the night before, and were up before the sun, anxious. Others rushed around with fleeting thoughts of free coffee, early bird deals, and finding the perfect gifts, while we packed up our precious new born and drove to Detroit Children's with our stomachs in our chests and hearts in our throats.
Thanksgiving has always been a time where we have remembered our blessings, family, friends, shelter and food. For many it is deeper, like in 2006 being pregnant and joy amidst the trial of cancer, 2007 remission of cancer, 2008 the Lord's promise we would have another child (even in the wake of a miscarriage we were thankful that Brian's treatments had not affected Brian as the Dr. predicted). For 2009 the list was so extensive that I will not bore you with it here and merely touch the surface. I was thankful for every breath I took without crying, nursing my baby, family to help with Owen, prayers, lots of prayers, friends who were praying those prayers that I could not find words to pray or bear to pray.
To date 2010 has been uneventful, which is a blessing in and of it's self, to which I am deeply thankful. The devil attacked me rigorously mid year with worries and fear about Micah's PKU to which I was victorious in Christ who is merciful, forgiving, gracious, and loving beyond comprehension. I have confidence in Christ, in a Lord who is greater than any worry or concern on this earth. I have seen my Heavenly Father work miracles (see the list above for four in as many years, and that's just our personal list).
Thanksgiving Eve, Thanksgiving Day, and "Black Friday" will now be a forever reminder to me of Micah's Miracle. Of how hard it was to remain confident as the specialist told us there has never been a false screening, that his numbers would go up and it would just be a matter of whether he was a classic or severe case, that every ounce or gram he ate or drank would be weighed and tracked (a real concern with my disorganization), that he'd likely have monthly, weekly, or even daily blood tests. Forever a reminder of when the specialist said "I might have to eat my words, his results came back nearly normal". Every time my three year old "shares" his food with Micah my heart beats a praise song to my Lord, for I do not have to worry about how that will affect Micah's levels, brain activity, health, intelligence and the list goes on.
Yes indeed, I have seen my Heavenly Father work miracles. This thanksgiving we have been blessed. Abundantly blessed, but what is greater than these is this, should our family, friends, shelter and food perish, should we miss the greatest "steal" of a sale this morning, we still have the greatest promise of all. The promise through Salvation, of Eternal Life. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have Eternal Life." John 3:16.
This morning I urge you to remember that the deals of today will not be remembered tomorrow. The gifts we give and receive this year are only earthly possessions and will not have any eternal impact. With every fiber of my being I ask you to examine your hearts. Do you have confidence in Christ? If you found out today that you were about to walk through the greatest trial, to date, of your life, who would you turn to? If you turned to Christ would He know you? Have you asked Jesus into your heart, Believed He is real, and Confessed to being a sinner? Have you then built a relationship with Him, through prayer and faith?
Perhaps you accepted Christ as a child but have walked away, perhaps you have Christ in your life and have slipped into complacency and find yourself holding on with one hand to you own desires unwilling to lay something down and take up the cross for Christ, perhaps you have thought about accepting Christ but haven't wanted to give up your earthly desires, perhaps this is the first time you are hearing of a love so powerful that someone would be willing to sacrifice their only son just for you.
A year ago today I was facing my greatest fear as a parent, the weakness and inadequacy of being unable to protect my child. Even as I write this now, I was then standing in the lobby getting checked in and yet, through strength and peace that was not my own I was singing "I've got the joy joy joy joy, down in my heart, where? down in my heart. I've got the joy joy joy joy down in my heart, to stay!"
Traditionally "Black Friday" is recognized as the day retailers turn a profit. So, I ask you, what have you profited today? There is no greater gain in this world than the hope of Eternal Life, and until then a life in Christ, blessed and joyous even in the greatest trials and deepest pain.