GOD IS GOOD

Two 1/2 weeks ago my husband had a heart attack. His heart had to be shocked 6 times before they got him into the operating room to put a stent in his artery. We found out that only 8% of men who have this kind of heart attack survive. God was good to us in that He put my husband was in that 8%.  Many people reacted to our numerous posts about his recovery with the phrase “God is good”.  In fact, I have seen this phrase used repeatedly when someone reacts to an answer to prayer that is in their favor.

What if I had been planning a funeral last week instead of bringing my husband home from the hospital?  Would God still be good?  Absolutely!  We sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that God is only good when he gives us what we want.  Yes, it’s wonderful when we see God work a miracle and can clearly point it out to others.  But our Creator is not Santa Claus!  Because he made us and knows all about the plan for our life He also knows what is best for us even when it hurts and seems totally wrong to our limited way of thinking.

God is our Heavenly Father and just like an earthly father sometimes disappoints us or allows us to be hurt by reaping the consequences of our poor choices.  A child does not understand why Daddy won’t give them everything that they want; but, a good father knows that fulfilling every desire that a child has will only result in a weak, spoiled, lazy adult that no one wants to be around.  The same is true for the children of the King of Kings.  God sees the overall plan and he knows that we must suffer in order to grow stronger.  He understands that it is good to wait for what we desire so that we will learn patience and appreciate it more when the answer comes.  God also allows hurts and disappointments in our lives so that we can better sympathize with and pray for others that go through similar problems.

Our Heavenly father truly is good because He desires the best for us not a weak imitation that will not produce beautiful fruit in the end. I praise the Lord that I still have my husband here on the earth; but, I pray that I would still be able to praise Him if it had been in God’s plan to take Larry home to Heaven on July 6.  God is always good even when we cannot see the ultimate plan that He has for us.

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LIFE’S LESSONS Chapter 3

 

 

Larry started the process of calling pastors to make a appointments to visit them and share our vision for a good Christian camp in the Midwest.  He soon learned that most pastors weren’t receptive to a stranger with no “connections”  who just wanted to stop by to talk to them.  Many times we would drive to the city where we knew there were several good churches and call the pastor and ask him if we could drop by in 30 minutes since we just happened to be in town.  It reminded me of a door to door salesman who had to get his foot in the door before people would listen to him.  Now, being a pastor’s wife, I understand that these men only have so much time and most of these small, Midwestern churches have limited resources.  Therefore, a pastor has to pick and choose who he invites to present their ministry to the people of his church.  But it still made it hard for us nobodies with no finances to get our foot in the door.  However, we were led to some good men who had a vision for what God could do.

During this time we still had not found any land so there was not an existing camp that we could show pictures of.  All Larry could do was tell people what God had laid on his heart.  He would explain about our philosophy of camping and what we wanted to accomplish in people’s lives.  He would tell them that a good Biblical philosophy, and quality Christian staff were more important then the physical place.  Then someone would inevitably raise their hand and say, “This sounds great!  Where is it?”  To which my husband would answer. “We don’t know.  The Lord hasn’t shown us yet.”  You could almost see those careful Midwesterners lean back on their wallet while they thought, ” these two people are crazy!”  After 6 months of travelling all over Iowa, Missouri, & Western Illinois, presenting our ministry we were about ready to agree with some of these church members. 🙂

During this time, we had calls from people who had “camps” they wanted to sell us.  We hiked over many acres and checked out dozens of buildings to no avail.  One of the camp properties was so bad that we both agreed that a bomb would be the best solution. 🙂  Then God led Dave Phelps to call us.  He was a deacon at a small Baptist Church where Larry had presented the camp ministry.  Dave was wondering if we had found any land.  He had some acreage that he needed to sell.  It was the farm crisis of 1983 when many farmers were having to sell land and equipment to help them with their astronomical debt. 

We had been praying for 5 things: 1.  150 acres of land.  You can’t build a camp with lots of activities without space.  2.  Rolling hills and trees.  In Iowa most land is flat which is great for farming but not very picturesque.  3. Private but accessible.  We had looked at some camps that the drive to the facility would be a hindrance for some people.  We also had been offered some land that a railroad track ran right through the middle!  4. A pond for water activities or a place that one could be built.  5. Affordable.  Remember, we had no money and no steady income. 

The Phelps’ land had it all plus extra!  It was 160 acres of rolling hills and trees with a small farm pond on it plus two other low areas that eventually became bigger ponds/lakes.  It was only a mile from a paved highway and at the end of the road.  Dave only asked for the amount that he had invested in the property and he would give us from May to October to raise what money we could for the first payment.  We didn’t even have to go to a bank to secure a loan!  The best thing about this land was that Dave and his wife, Lonna, told us that they had bought the land years ago thinking that it would make a great place for a camp for young people.  They had seen the need from working with the youth in their church.  God had a plan years before He called us to move to Iowa. 

We signed the papers to buy the land and went to work.  God had given us everything we asked for.  Unfortunately, we had not put on that list minor things like electricity, running water & buildings.  There was one other minor detail that we needed–a place for us and our children to live.  We were still living in the upstairs of Mom & Dad’s house which was 45 miles north of the camp property.  Our Heavenly Savior had more surprises for us which I will tell you about later. 🙂