"Hi, Tracey...this is Martha. The results from your biopsy are in and they are negative." As I hung up the phone, standing in the middle of our family vacation on a northern beach of Michigan's lower peninsula, I gave thanks. I pray often that God use me mightily for His glory...not a prayer I say lightly or fearlessly. When I had learned of the need for the biopsy, 10 days earlier, I spent some considerable time leaning on God, trusting His plan for me...praying for His will to be done and He be glorified throughout...praying for my family...and praying about potential decisions to come. After receiving the results, I have to admit that I heaved a sigh of relief.
Each morning of our vacation, my husband and I spent some quiet time along the beach...reading, waiting for the world (and our kids) to wake up. The day following the phone call, I returned to my prayers of thanks. Then I was suddenly jarred in my gated community of self-absorption. While I received good news, someone else's wife, mom, grandmother, sister or daughter was receiving different news. I wondered about the lady that I saw exit just before my appointment, having undergone the same procedure. What news did her phone call convey? I was humbled by the undeserved mercy...mercy that I did not have to take on such a big battle...at least not at this time with three daughters to raise. But somewhere else, someone else was facing the battle. And they didn't "deserve" such a diagnosis any more than I deserved freedom from the same diagnosis. I prayed for them...for God's will to be done and He be glorified throughout...for their family as they face the mountain together, continuously adjusting to new "normals"...for the decisions she would have to make about her body. And it really drove home the meaning of the famous quote, "There but for the grace of God, go I".
What good news have you received lately? Perhaps, given this economy, you were able to keep your job while the desk next to yours was emptied of family pictures and Subway coupons. Perhaps the mechanic called you with good news about only a minor repair being needed, while another customer was in for a financial shock. Perhaps you've been blessed with another positive pregnancy test while a husband and wife grieve another childless month passing. We should all remember that every car that passes and every house on our streets contain unique stories...stories with happy chapters...and with tragic chapters. No one is immune from heartbreak or guaranteed good fortune. Be thankful when things seem to be going your way...be thankful when the road seems to have gotten rocky because God can use it for good (as conveyed by Romans 8:28)...be empathetic when seeing others struggle...and avoid envy when seeing others enjoying victories. We are all sinners...each deserving of all of life's troubles and undeserving of its mercies.