The past two weeks have been jam-packed. Had friends from Michigan who serve in the Central African Republic (CAR) visiting me for 5 days. The following weekend a friend of mine from Russia came to visit. They are both “Rich” connections.
We met my friends from Michigan during a conference. They lived near Rich and I and it only seemed natural for us to get to know each other. They enjoyed their time in Israel and more importantly, were able to help others understand better what is happening in CAR, since the news does not seem to care about the revolution that has occurred there at all.
My friend from Russia was someone I met around the same time I met Rich, and we also met via the Internet. We have maintained correspondence over the years and met for the first time last year. She comes to Israel each year for a vacation, and so we had the third of I hope many more meetings. We had a wonderful time together and she was a great encouragement to me.
Since Rich died, July has become a “hesitantly entered” month for me. On July 26 it will be three years since Rich’s stroke. It seems like our last month together is sealed in my mind, especially Emily’s baptism (25th) and the dinner he worked so hard to prepare the night before (24th).
I’ve been busy at work as well. I’m very excited about many of our news articles recently. If you haven’t visited our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ChristianFriendsOfRambam), please do. Amazing things have been happening at work, and I am certain that we are seeing the answers to many prayers.
A friend of mine lives on a Kibbutz and has invited me to come and visit and “swim” in the Kibbutz pool. It is much nicer than the crowded local pool and I’ve been able to go once a week so far, to get some exercise for my back and leg. I’m still lacking some feeling in my fight leg, but am moving around better.
And I’m starting to think about when to visit the US. There are many people I really want to visit with, so I am taking my time, checking out my options, and hoping to make wise decisions time and travel wise.
And as I think about all these things, I realize that in one way or another, none of these things would have happened, and the meetings with my friends would not have occurred if Rich had not been a part of my life. Because of the good things, and the sad things, good things are happening. I will always be thankful for the precious time I had with Rich. And the good things that have since happened help me to set aside regrets and see how all things really are working for good. As it is written:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28).
It seems those tragic events and the incidents around them are forever burned into our minds, while it’s a struggle to recall all the blessings. And too often (for my taste at least) we are subjected to what C.S. Lewis described to Sheldon Vanauken as “a severe mercy.” Thanks be to God for what’s on the other side (even though, as one country singer put it, “everybody wants to go to heaven; but nobody wants to go now”). And if you’re in the area next time you’re on this side of the pond, hail me. Outside chance we could get together.
Yes, sad and happy do go together here on earth. But God always – ALWAYS – knows what’s best for us. And as much as it hurt for you with Rich’s passing – also out of this He brought blessing as you mentioned in what you wrote here. Praise His Name!