This is the time of year in which I always get the most homesick. Right about the time when everyone in the US starts complaining about Daylight Savings, I am reminded that there is snow on the ground at my parents’ house, there are Christmas decorations up in all the Targets and Walmarts, and our families will soon begin to plan holiday get-togethers. Even thought we have been back in PNG for less than six months, and I still remember the horrible sub-zero temperatures of last winter, I can’t help but shed a few tears of sadness at the separation.
And yet, I am commanded to be thankful in all circumstances, so that is what I will do. As many of you know, we recently had a scare when Micah took a soccer ball in the eye at his game last week. Our mission doctor saw him right away and was very concerned at what looked like an eye full of blood. He didn’t know what kind of damage might have been done, and since he thought it was a distinct possibility that Micah could lose some vision in that eye he recommended we see a specialist right away. So the next morning Chris and Micah flew down to our capital city to get it checked out.
Many of you were praying for Micah as we slept that night before he saw the specialist, and I believe that God himself healed Micah’s eye. The specialist saw no trace of blood, or any sign of the injury that, just a few hours before, had caused blood to pool at the bottom of Micah’s baby blue iris. (I hope none of you ever has to look in your child’s eyes and see that!) There was absolutely no damage, and Chris said the doctor seemed a bit skeptical that there had been any blood present the day before. All she could see was some mild inflammation, for which she prescribed eye drops for one week.
It is very easy to be thankful when God does something amazing for me and my family. And yet, it doesn’t take me long to forget the amazing and be annoyed with the inconvenient. I think that is one of the biggest reasons that God established holidays. Maybe he didn’t establish Thanksgiving, but the principle is the same: take a break from ordinary life and remember. Remember what God has done for you. Remember who he is. Remember who you used to be before he saved you. Remember all the people who are living in darkness without him. Remember what he promises to us. If I remember those things, how can I be anything but thankful? Every day – every moment – I need the reminder.
And so I am recommending that we celebrate Thanksgiving every month. For those of you who don’t enjoy turkey, the main course can rotate depending on the season. Venison in October? Salmon in July? Reindeer in December? (Just kidding.) I will be eating turkey every month because turkey is amazing, but I will need one of you to send me some baby turkeys so I can start a farm because I can’t buy turkeys in this country.
We also want to take this opportunity to thank you. Whether you pray for us and the Pal church, send us money, or simply sign the birthday cards that your church sends us, we appreciate you. Thank you for standing with us in this work.