Friday, August 12, 2016

A Second Chance

 Free stock photo of landscape, mountains, nature, sky

When my second child went to school, I was so lonely that I went with her and took my younger son along with me. I served in her classroom as a parent volunteer, and the teacher was so grateful to get my help in her overly crowded classroom.

The next year, my youngest started school, and he was already used to it - had the same teacher and went to the same classroom. I was able to just keep on serving as a parent volunteer that second year too.

The next year, my baby went to first grade, so I volunteered as an art teacher for the local alternative school for miscreant teens. I did that for one year and the principle hired me without a degree as a teacher in math and history for the next three years.

I quit teaching these core subjects the next year and went back to volunteering as an art teacher...that was my passion and they had no money for an arts program. I was able to influence so many kids for Christ during those years.

My family also joined me in this ministry when we had the students over one or two each week for supper at our home. A few students without a family even lived with us from time to time for brief intervals.

God had a plan for this time as well. Several of the students were blown away by the unity and love in our family. They never experienced that, family dinners or joining hands and praying before the meal.

A few even accepted Christ during their visits in our home. One particular student stayed with us for a few weeks, then left our home and went to a rehab school to learn a trade. During his time there, they discovered that he had heart issues.

My husband happened to have an insurance exam in Little Rock at the same time that Anthony was hospitalized there for his heart. I went to spend the day with my former student while my husband took his test.

Anthony and I chatted, prayed, did a Bible study, played games and passed the time in companionship until he started having chest pains and his machines gave off loud alarms.

The hospital staff asked me to wait outside of the room, which was simply a glass enclosure in the middle of ICU. Anthony followed me with his eyes as I left the little glass room, and they never left my face - our eyes riveted on one another as the doctors and nurses gave him medical attention.

I stood out there crying and praying for this dear young man, even after the life left his body and the medical team tried shocking his heart, doing CPR and squeezing bags of air into him to fill his lungs with oxygen.

His eyes remained opened the whole time, and his face was still turned in my direction as he stared at me. So, I expected God to bring him back to life as I prayed and waited on Him to perform a miracle.

The miracle that day was that Anthony went to live with our God and Savior Jesus Christ. I remained on this side of glory, with my three children; but I was profoundly changed on that day.

I was the last person Anthony saw before God's angels came to escort him to heaven. I will never stop praising God for using me in this way to bring comfort to this dear boy who lived through so much pain and disappointment throughout his short 19 years of life.

Father God, thank You for using us in Your way and timing in such a perfect manner in Your divine appointments. Keep us ever mindful that You have a multitude of mundane and miraculous tasks for us to perform for You throughout our lifetime.

You already planned them before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10), and it is up to us to follow the leading of Your Holy Spirit to put us in the right place at the right time to do Your will for us. We cannot thank You enough for including us in Your plans for the lives of others and for using us to further Your Kingdom in the earth.

Thought for the Day:
No activity is random and frivolous and mundane when it is created for us by God to allow His Son, Jesus, to work through us and to use us for His ultimate glory.

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