Tip 3 | Nothing of this World is Guaranteed

Attachment to the things of this world will only disappoint.

Over the past four decades, I’ve lost friends, relatives, and co-workers to death. I’ve witnessed multiple heart attacks at work, a co-worker lose a spouse to a bus accident, two relatives lose young children, a childhood friend lose her spouse, and the empty chair in high school chemistry that used to seat a wonderful girl who died in a car accident. The pain of these events is extreme, especially for the surviving family.

Tragic events have a way of softening us and reminding us of what is important. Enjoy the miracle and preciousness of life.

A nice house, a car, a movie, more stuff will never satisfy.

I’ve rarely talked about the following story. Jennifer was pregnant with our 5th child. At around 16 weeks into the pregnancy it was time for the first ultrasound. Our four daughters were buzzing with excitement because we were giving them the chance to see the first ultrasound. As the 6 of us packed into the ultrasound room the lights were turned down. The ultrasound technician immediately found the baby. She whipped the cursor around for a few seconds when I realized she had not found the heartbeat. I could tell from the position of my 5th child that she was not going to find it. I ushered our 4 girls out of the room. Dismay set in as I shared my fear with Jennifer. It was agony. The technician to her credit kept searching but to no avail. Lost in our grief we did not see the negative impact losing our little Joshua would have on one of our daughters.

A song brought us comfort

“Better is one day in your courts, than a thousand elsewhere” Psalms 84:10

A few days later Jennifer went into labor and delivered our little boy. We privately wept. However, at the hospital due to a combination of medical malpractice and poor decisions, the “doctor” in charge allowed Jennifer to bleed profusely in an effort to allow the process to be “natural.” The doctor had been at the hospital for nearly 24 hours and as each hour of bleeding ticked by, the doctor grew more obstinate. I grew increasingly concerned and stated my concerns to the nurses who also looked worried. Jennifer’s blood pressure plunged, she lost her hearing, and started to lose her eyesight and then she told me she loved me and the girls and said “good bye.” The dignity, love, care and grace by which my awesome wife faced her death was incredible.

Every newborn is a miracle. Everyone reborn is a miracle too.

The doctor left the room. As soon as the doctor exited, an unknown nurse ran into the room with some forms. She said if I signed them a new doctor would be placed in charge. I signed the forms as fast as I could. Within seconds the room was a beehive of activity. Jennifer was placed head down and raced into emergency surgery. The previous doctor had not even ordered a transfusion. The effort to stop the bleeding was successful. It took Jennifer weeks before she could walk unassisted.

Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Proverbs 27:1