Our Unexpected Journey

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Floyd has had two really special visits this past week.  On one of them something special happened when two ladies were visiting Floyd.  One of them is getting ready to go work with refugees in another country.  Before he became ill, Floyd had spent time with her and her husband praying with them about their future and direction.  The lady said she knew that Floyd talked to God while he's laying in bed, and she asked him to pray for them.

A few minutes later they bowed their heads in prayer.  Floyd lifted his good arm and started crying.  He was praying for them!  It was so sweet and special.  I don't think we've seen that happen before.

I read somewhere that "tears are liquid words."  I'm sure God was hearing Floyd's "words" in that prayer!

There are many times when I don't quite have the words to express what's in my heart - but I often have tears as I pray.  I'm so grateful that God hears my heart through my tears.

I sometimes feel, too, that as I pour out my heart in tears instead of words - God uses those tears to cleanse my heart of the heavy burdens.  It's a bit like a release valve - when the tears ebb, the burdens have been lifted.

I'm so grateful God gave us tears.  They truly are a gift to us, and God always understands the "liquid words."

"Then David and the people who were with him lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep."  1 Samuel 30:4

"I am worn out from sobbing.  All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears."  Psalm 6:6

"Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; do not be silent at my tears."  Psalm 39:12

"He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces, and He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken."   Isaiah 25:8

The other one was when two of our life long friends came to visit him.  He cried, they cried, I cried - it was an emotional and tender time.  There was a walk down memory lane, some sweet encouragement to Floyd, some "oldie" songs, and beautiful prayers.  I sensed a lovely fragrance of the Lord with us.  I'm so grateful for the time together.

Being with our friends reminded me of what our real "treasures" are in life - it's people!  The world makes us think that our treasures are land, houses, cars, money, art, jewels - but all those things fade away.  The greatest gift we have is the gift of people.  Our greatest wealth is not measured in terms of riches but relationships.

I've always known that, believed that, and lived that way, but this long unexpected journey has taught me this truth again.  I couldn't have made it without all the dear people around me - and all of the dear ones praying all over the world.  

I read a story about some fir trees in Washington state.  A strong windstorm hit the area, and many of the trees that were standing by themselves were blown over.  But the ones that grew tightly together in the midst of the forest didn't fall.  They were strengthened by their intertwining roots.  When we link hearts and stand together, the storms of life can't blow us over!

Years ago, when I was quite young, I wrote this in my journal:

A friend - 

- strengthens the heart

- repairs the hurt

- encourages the discovery

- enlightens the mind

- dissolves the pain

- banishes the loneliness

- understands the anxiety

- increases the joy

- deepens the spirit

- frees the soul

That's a pretty big order!  But I'm so grateful for the friends we've had in our lives who have done all those things, and more, for us.  God wants our lives to be interwoven together.  He strengthens us in that way.

Floyd has had a number of friends come from far and wide to visit him over these long months.  It's been so special.  One of the nurses said to me "Mr. McClung sure has a lot of friends."  I smiled and said "yes, they're our greatest treasure in life."

"Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others."  Philippians 2:4

"Moses' hand became heavy.....and Aaron and Hur supported his hands."  Exodus 17:12

"There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."  Proverbs 18:24

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.  If either of them falls down one can help the other up.  But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up."  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity."  Proverbs 17:17

Wednesday was a special day too.  11 years ago on October 25, we moved here!  God has been with us, and blessed us in this land.  How faithful He has been.