The Bean Family
Our plans or God’s?
Who looks at the year ahead and plans to be sick? Our plans certainly didn’t include Mark being down with pneumonia this month – first for a week at home followed by eight days in the hospital. After eliminating possible culprits via easier means, a couple lung biopsies and a bronchial wash uncovered the problem. He has a case of cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP). The switch from antibiotics to steroids is making a world of difference. Treatment is at least three months.
Our days are in God’s hands. We look to him rather than the passing circumstances that seem to interrupt our lives.
A re-run of one’s life
No energy to hold up a book and too fuzzy brained to listen to an audiobook, Mark was a captive audience. Re-playing situations and circumstances from the past, God reviewed times Mark or both of us were unkind, insensitive, inconsiderate and prideful.
It’s not that we meant to be that way. We were too self-absorbed, too insensitive to the feelings of others, too wrapped up in our own work and family. As a result, we were blind to the pain we caused others. God obviously wanted our attention, and putting one of us in bed was one way to get it.
David set the example
Things looked very bleak as king David escaped from Jerusalem ahead of his son Absalom’s arrival (2 Samuel 15). Along the way he told Zadok the priest to return the Ark to Jerusalem. He went on to say:
If the Lord sees fit, he will bring me back to see the Ark and the Tabernacle again. But, if he is through with me, then let him do what seems best to him (2 Samuel 15:25b-26).
Like David, we want to be willing to accept whatever God allows into our lives or be willing to give up whatever he takes. We all face faith-stretching or faith-testing opportunities.
There’s a tourist attraction suspended over space not far from where Mark was working in Peru. It’s a corny reminder of a most wonderful truth: we are each kept in God’s hand!
Antonio did a great job
The last week of Mark’s trip to Peru, he and Antonio, a consultant-in-training from Guatemala, sat on opposite sides of the table. Four members of the community sat at one end and the five-member Panao Quechua translation team sat at the other end. The translation team took turns reading a section of Scripture to the community members. Then, Antonio and Mark would ask follow-up questions. They made it all the way through the books they set out to check: Leviticus, Obadiah and Haggai.
Jeremiah – the focus of prayer again
The week after Easter, our oldest grandson, Jeremiah, was diagnosed with a rare leukemia: Mixed Phenotype Acute Leukemia (MPAL). We’re thankful that doctors were able to figure out what is going on. Within hours of receiving the diagnosis, the medical team started Jeremiah on a chemo protocol. Initial feedback is encouraging, but it’s still going to be a long haul. He was stuck in the hospital just over four weeks, far longer than his grandpa! Jeremiah is 14.
Praise and Prayer Requests
• Praise that while Mark was traveling in Peru he remained healthy. He didn’t start feeling poorly until after he returned. Praise for Mark and Antonio accomplishing all the team’s goals while they were in Peru.
• Praise that the medical team believe they caught Jeremiah’s leukemia early. Pray for patience for all as we wait on God’s timing and healing.
• Pray for good attention to detail as Mark checks through the books of Song of Songs and Lamentations for one group and the book of Romans for another.
Choosing to trust God in all things,
Mark & Patti