Where do I begin to explain the spiritual, emotional, and physical events of the last week and how they relate to my goals?
Since last Thursday our family has been on the mountaintop, down in the valley, back on the mountaintop, back down in the valley, etc., etc., etc. It feels like we're all parts in a set of hand weights. Up! Down! Up! Down!
Last Thursday my brother-in-law awakened and showed real progress in his recovery. This Thursday he is fully alert and recovered but is living in his eternal home.
On the same morning that my brother-in-law died his daughter-in-law gave birth to a healthy baby boy, his seventh grandchild. (Yes, you read that correctly. Stop and re-read it to let it sink in.) So really, the emotional health goals that I shared with you last week were forgotten this week. Some personal ones that are between God and myself, and which I didn't share, were met though, and that's very important.
The same could be said about my physical goals of bike riding, treadmilling, and weight lifting. None of those mattered this week.
I DID meet my Bible reading and studying goals this week. If anything I hungered more for the Word of God because of the ever-changing scenery around me. The never-changing God was my refuge and strength. What a comfort to know that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever!
Prayer was an almost 24 hour vigil this week, too. Yes, I asked God to spare my brother-in-law's life, but I knew that if He did it would be a temporary fix and that eventually - even if many years from now - He would still take him Home. Honestly, most of my prayers this week had to do with comfort and grace for the patient and those who love him, sincerity and peace for each of us as we confront our own mortality, and personal wisdom for myself while conversing with my loved ones (i.e. when to open my mouth and what to say when I do open it).
As I followed my Bible reading schedule I encountered John chapter 11 on the very morning that my brother-in-law died. I found meat to feed my hungry spirit there in that passage that details the death and resurrection of Lazarus. As I read each verse slowly and carefully I was comforted and encouraged. Jesus HAS conquered death! He IS the resurrection and the life! Hallelujah!
That's the brutally honest evaluation of my week. I pray that you've been given grace to face whatever curve balls life threw your way, too.
As we look forward to the weeks ahead I ask that you read over your goals again occasionally and remind yourself of why you chose them in the first place. Weed some impossible ones out and pick realistic ones to take their place. Goal setting should never be something that waits until the next New Year. Goals are things that should be prayerfully adapted as God allows circumstances to rearrange your life and as you allow the Bible to mold you into the image of Jesus Christ.