Good friends are for life. Real friends remain with you even after they move on to eternal life. Although we delight in knowing that Jesus’ sacrifice made it possible for us to receive salvation, and that we will live eternally with Him after we pass from this life, we continue to hold on to this world and its trappings as vigorously as we can.

When my wife went through six months of a horribly devastating illness, and three years now of a very difficult recovery, I prayed and prayed to my Heavenly Father that we would allow me to keep her at my side for another season. He blessed me with that gift, for which I give thanks many times every day, and give Him praise at every opportunity.

I have also maintained a prayer page on this blog since her illness, sharing with our readers the concerns and praises of others who are meeting life’s challenges, and dealing with them through prayer requests and praises. We have been truly blessed to see the effectiveness of our meager efforts on behalf of others, and give praise and glory to God for all He has worked in reponse to those concerns.

Today I was privileged to receive a note from a dear, longtime, friend who was suddenly taken ill and rushed to a hospital hundreds of miles away. Having very limited ability to communicate with him or his family, we placed a prayer request for him on our blog and waited for God to work. Today we are able to give praise to the Lord for Gary’s recovery and share with you his note, slightly modified to remove personal information:

“I was dismissed from (the) Hospital last night, (Sunday), about 6:00PM. They took the tube out of my side about noon, and everything seems to be working. I’m on 2 ml oxygen at home for a while, and am being very careful hoping the right lung doesn’t collapse again. Hopefully the surgery they did last Wednesday will prevent that from happening.

Thank you for all of the help, visits, and cards from many of you. I will be stuck at home for a week or two before going out in the cold air, so feel free to call or e-mail me.

After two weeks in the hospital, three holes poked between my ribs to re-inflate my lung, and the panic of not being able to breathe and two ambulance rides, I’m ready for a little peace and quiet at home.

And for those that are wondering but are reluctant to ask, yes, my smoking was probably the biggest contributing cause, and yes, much as I enjoyed it for many years and it helped to cope with the stress of the job, my last cigarette was smoked the morning of Nov. 25th just before I lost about 90% of my ability to breathe, and took the first ambulance ride to Tipton Hospital.

Spending Thanksgiving in the hospital is not my idea of a good time.

Gary (Retired & tired town Marshal)”

We give praise to God for so many blessings He has worked in our own lives, and in those lives of those we love, and those we don’t know other than through contacts made through this blog. He is a caring and loving God, and He absolutely does respond to prayer requests. We praise our loving Heavenly Father for Gary’s recovery, and pray that He will be with Marnita this morning as she receives an artificial heart.

We must always keep in mind that what we pray for may not be the best solution for the working of His great plan which is worked through us and our daily lives. We aren’t intended to understand the grand scheme of things until we are at His side and His great plan is revealed to us.

Thank You, Father, for the grace given us, the great Hope available through Jesus, and the shower of blessings You so lovingly provide to Your children. Help us to be patient, thankful, and ever mindful of our life-long role in helping bring others to salvation. Praise to You, Lord, for the tender mercies delivered to so many who course through my mind as I write this, and please continue to bless our humble ministry, that we might better serve You. In Jesus’ name we give Thanks. Amen.