View from the Ridge
Matthew 6:7-8 "When you pray, do not use a lot of meaningless words, as the pagans do, who think that their gods will hear them because their prayers are long. Do not be like them. Your Father already knows what you need before you ask him. GNB
So; we have the above verses, and most of us have read and quoted them numerous times, but just how far before the need arises does God provide? In my case, try 35 plus years!
In August of 1970, Jeri and I were blessed by the birth of our third child, Andy. It had been 8 years since the birth of our second child and we weren’t trying to have any more but God in his infinite wisdom knew that in order for us to have a fourth child, we needed Andy. Excuse me, a Fourth?
Well, now we had a dilemma. Do we raise Andy with kids that are 8 and 9 years older, do we have another, or do we adopt? Since Jeri had Rh factor problems with Andy, it was decided that Mikey should man-up and do the right thing and make sure there were no more surprises. Easy for her to say!
And, since Mikey would no longer be planting any seeds, the seed of adoption was planted by the Holy Spirit in our minds. We contacted Holt International adoption agency and started the application process in early 1971. We were told it would take 12 to 24 months for the new arrival to show up. Long story short, six months to the day of first contact with Holt, she was carried off an airplane in Eugene and handed to us. She was 26 months old and her given name was Lee Byung Hee. We named her Lani Jean.
Flash forward to 2006. I have returned from a mission trip to Nigeria and my doctor insists on a second PSA test. It is again elevated, they do the biopsy thing, and it comes back positive for stage 1 prostate cancer. By this time Lani is an RN at OHSU medical center and before we can ask ourselves “what do we do next?” she has appointments with heads of departments who work with prostate cancer. Eight weeks of IMRT radiation and three years later I am free of ---- well, at least prostate cancer.
So now we flash forward to January of 2010, we are just beginning to enjoy the warmth of southern California, when the black bird of cancer flies up my nose and takes root on my septum. Lani, now a PHD student at OHSU, and her husband let us know in no uncertain terms that we will be heading back to Portland because she has made three appointments starting in four days. One is with a prominent Oncologist who has dealt with Melanoma patients and research for 20 years at the Providence cancer center, the other an ENT surgeon who has spent many years working on Melanoma patients at OHSU. I shudder to think how long it would have taken Jeri and me to get doctor appointments – if we even knew what doctors to call.
Lani has been relentless in getting appointments, providing us with information on Melanoma, following up with doctors and secretaries, insuring that everything is kept on schedule and progressing forward as quickly as possible, All this while trying to keep up with her Doctorate studies and caring for a family of five. I am worn out just thinking of all she does in a day.
The gist of all this is that a loving God, who knew what my needs would be before the foundations of the earth were in place, put an abandoned Korean baby in our home so that almost 40 years later she could minister to us and provide the help we needed most at this time in our lives. Was all of this by chance or coincidence? I don’t think so!
Could our other kids have provided the help we needed? Of course! And each is providing support and encouragement. But Lani is in a unique position with excellent connections and a gift for convincing others to change priorities and rearrange schedules to meet our needs.
Whenever a new baby is brought into this world, the parents always wonder what impact this child will have on their lives in the future. There is no way we could have anticipated the blessing that Lani has been to us. Each of our kids brings special gifts to this family and makes it what it is. This is just the story of one. This story also affirms that the Father truly does know before hand what we need even before we know what to ask for. That is why it is so important to pray, even when we don’t know how or what to pray for, because He already knows what we need and the answer is on the way