By Charlie Johnston
A couple of quick prayer requests and a clarification borne by a wonderfully helpful reader’s serious prayer request…
First, early this month, ISIS kidnapped members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Syria. The savages say that unless these Christians renounce their faith, they will be decapitated and their children, burned alive.
Second, the Cronin family got word today that the hospital Joseph is at, where he has made much progress, is making arrangements to send him to a long-term care facility, as they have been notified that the insurance will not fully cover the intensive care after March 15. I will talk with George about it tomorrow and update you.
Finally, one of our faithful readers, Linda, who runs the Blessed Hope Forum, which has categorized much of my writings here, was worried today about her husband, who is scheduled for heart surgery. She worried with things getting so dicey, it might be better to skip it. Several readers, both in comments here and in email, said it was the best explanation I have made of how to handle such things and suggested I put it in a post. So I ask you to pray for Linda and her husband, and I copy my response below:
“I understand your instinct, which is sound when dealing with ordinary matters. But the order of things change with this Storm and doing things the ordinary way is an invitation to disaster. When I was young I did, indeed, change things and plans based on inside information. The Lord allowed this so I could see how disastrous this thinking was in such circumstances. Invariably, when I made a plan to change things around based on inside knowledge, a bigger disaster than what I was shown would ensue.
Act with normal prudence. If it makes sense for your husband to have the surgery (and it sounds like it does) then have the surgery. If you change things around because of what you think is inside knowledge, he could die of sudden kidney failure – or something else. This whole thing is designed to show you the virtue of trusting God while living normal prudence. If you cleverly change plans based on supernatural insights, you are trusting to your ordinary means to overcome supernatural events – and attempting to thwart God’s efforts to show His supernatural care. It does not work.
I have often said that God loves the ordinary – and you should, too. Make your normal plans based on your ordinary information – and trust God in the extraordinary situations He brings. I have lived that. On two occasions, close family members have been in areas I knew were going to get hit with disasters by inside information. Every fiber in my body screamed out to get them out of there…but because of the discipline I have had to live, I knew that to attempt to do so would likely get them permanently disabled or killed. So I trusted God…and my trust was justified. You do not have to live this discipline I do…you do not have to go through the situation of knowing a bomb is going to strike right where your son is standing and act normal, trusting that God will move him and that if you warn him it will be a disaster. But I need you to understand that, when God is moving directly, your only hope is to be still, know that He is God, and trust to His mercy. If you do otherwise, acting on any inside information instead of using ordinary prudence, disaster WILL follow. If I were planning to get on a plane to travel to see family and my angel told me that an EMP would strike while I was in the air, unless he also told me specifically to change my plans, I would get on that plane as planned and trust God. Otherwise, I might die.
I very much sympathize with people wanting to know exactly what I know so they can plan around it. I lived that. It took me decades to know such things and learn to still my fears and act with ordinary prudence trusting God to carry loved ones through disasters I knew they were standing in the way of. The specific knowledge I have is kind of like a mysterious alien weapon. People think if a would let them hold the weapon they could protect themselves. I know, from experience, that they will only maim or kill themselves. We don’t have time for you to tearfully learn that discipline as I did. So I withhold much of what I know. My job is not to inform you of all I have been informed of. The knowledge is deadly dangerous if you have not had the decades of training – and a constant burden even if you have. My job is to get you safely to the port on the other side of the Storm and give you heart to endure. I assure you, the way to go forward is to use ordinary judgment in ordinary things…if you want to make some prudent preparations, that is fine, but keep enough to meet your obligations if all smooths out. I know that is unlikely even from a secular perspective now, but it is an important matter of discipline that you do so. Make your ordinary decisions based on good, solid ordinary prudence, trusting God for the rest. I know that sounds scary, but it is the ONLY sure way to safety. So if surgery is normally warranted, get the surgery. If, from ordinary prudence, it is not, then don’t. But to avoid it based on any inside information you either actually have or think you have is to invite disaster.
God bless and keep you as you navigate these treacherous waters. Walk through the valley of the shadow of death, but fear no evil, knowing the Lord really is with you.”