Costa Rica

6674C03B-E3A6-4FC6-BC9E-FE8375BDC6DBCosta Rica

What a beautiful country! The weather we experienced was perfect with plenty of sunshine and brilliant sunsets. The beaches and rainforests and zip lines lived up to their reputation. All the food was fresh and delicious and the drinks delightful. The native animals made guest appearances just at the right times to highlight our festivities. But the main joy were the people—kind and patient and friendly!! This family vacation was my first visit to Costa Rica, but with all these attributes along with the ease of travel, there will be more.

Peace and War

18D7F46F-E53A-4239-8FA4-8179CC2141A5“When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:7‬ ‭ESV

As tensions rise and the threat of war seems eminent, I paused to think about when is war the right course of action. Our nation ignored the atrocities of the Nazis and the Axis Powers until Pearl Harbor was bombed. Now we have been ignoring the atrocities of Middle Eastern terrorists until recent targeted attacks. I hate war and long for Peace, but sometimes evil requires annihilation.

Alive

F463943D-F343-4BC1-9EDB-1DD7D7747FA2“So he is the God of the living, not the dead, for they are all alive to him.””
‭‭Luke‬ ‭20:38‬ ‭NLT‬‬
Alive

I just learned that a young patient of mine died after a long battle with cancer. She had such Faith with a spirit that shined bright and beautiful. As an oncologist, I often see courage that seems beyond reason and wonder how these individuals can bear so much suffering. It is easy to say how we should face such illness, but difficult to endure when the pain intensifies beyond our imagination. Indeed this woman’s relationship with The God of The Living allowed her to pass with Peace that cannot be humanly understood.

United

3CB54149-B2C0-49D0-817C-D98DD95B30C9“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

United
As a human society, we have common healthy goals that can be obtained more readily when we are united. Watching our government bicker like immature children disgusts most of us; because, deep down, we know we have more similarities than differences. Still the enemy tries to divide us by focusing us on those areas that have fierce opposition. As the 1970 song proclaims, “United We Stand”! We must learn to love and forgive and be united in that respect. Our future depends on it.

Displaced

04197951-F4CF-4075-A279-80FD0C4460C5“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭34:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Displaced

This past weekend, one of my grand dogs that visited me seemed a little out of sorts, as he was displaced from his usual surroundings and primary caregiver. His disposition was just a little tense and his sleep patterns were off cycle. Having been physically exhausted from an especially stressful work week, needless to say I was very annoyed. But then I started thinking about the situation from his perspective. He leaves the comfort of his familiar home and the full attention from his owner to come to a strange place where he is not the primary focus. Obviously this change would make anyone unsettled. Sometime life can be very unsettling and no matter how displaced we may feel, we need to focus on finding joy under all circumstances, for we are never displaced from God’s love.

Peacemakers

CF879E1C-5CB7-4AEE-AF93-A235E4D85F59.jpeg“”Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Though it sometimes seems the world is full of trouble makers, I believe the vast majority of people are peacemakers at heart. It only takes a few bad grapes to spoil the wine, and a few ill willed people can ruin the rest. In my work experience, a single person can turn the work environment into a toxic one. Fortunately, God has control ultimately and all we have to do is trust and obey Him.

Respite

1799BD4F-1EF9-4A40-8E03-00C3D387B9DF“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Respite

We all need a short period of rest and relief from the hustle and bustle and screen time of modern life. Our lives are bombarded with others wanting us to do something. Periodically I certainly need to detach from everything worldly and relax. Years ago while studying for my oral board examinations, I spent a long weekend in a Catholic Respite in Arkansas. It gave me such peace and allowed me to focus clearly on the important things in life. Now years later, I feel the need to search for that peace again.