February 28, 2024

Tom Van De Walle
"Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'"
Matthew‬ ‭25‬:‭37‬-‭40‬

I prayed at the beginning of 2023 for a strengthening of my faith. I had no idea what that journey would look like, but I submitted and said, “Thy will be done.” The journey my family has been on this last year has been ROUGH!

My dad passed away in July. My wife was diagnosed with cancer in September. Two of the biggest emotional bombs got dropped on our hearts in the span of a couple of months. How in the world would this be the blessing I prayed for to grow closer to Jesus? I’d like to say I instantly recognized the big picture and embraced the lesson God had for me.

But first, there was some wailing. Time to mourn the death and the diagnosis. What pulled me out of the mourning was the surrounding of love and support from my friends. Especially the friends that prayed and cried with us. Cypress Creek Church, our community groups, friends, and family are continuing to pray and support us. We’ve had meals, cards, gifts, and visitors on a weekly basis to help us and fill our hearts. There have been so many blessings.

Turning to the Word has also helped so much, especially the Book of Job. Reading books by Tim Keller has helped me to process the grief. I see the blessing now in suffering. It does draw me closer to Jesus. If I am somehow able to control all my earthly circumstances, my human nature will fool me into thinking that I am the master of my life. And that is a direction that could be dangerous. A direction headed away from Jesus.

Thank You, Lord, for answering my prayer to bring me closer to You. Thank You for Your blessings for us through Your hands and feet here on Earth, our friends and family. I pray for continued healing for my wife and the strength to walk toward You always.