A Beautiful Thing - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
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Hillcrest Baptist Church

Day 5 Devotional (Week 3)
Friday, April 29, 2011

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord.  "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." -- Jeremiah 29:11

We all like the idea of a fresh new look to our place of worship.  Then the question becomes, "How do I give my share when my budget is already stretched?"

Questions of hope, faith, finance and God's plan for me bring back a flood of memories.

In 1982, I was struggling with the stress of managing my business when I became ill.  Personal finances and small business management was a heavy load and this became my perfect storm for disaster.

It was Monday morning, October 18, about two hours before a doctor's appointment.  Suddenly, I was unable to speak words.  I was transported to the hospital and began many days of testing.  CAT scans revealed that I had a brain tumor, and I was told it was unlikely that I would live longer than five more years.  My family and I were devastated.  I was 38 years old, Lynda 37, and we had three young sons.

Surgery was too risky.  The plan was to give me quality of life for the time I had left.  I was to only receive medication to control the seizures.

Lynda and I were strong believers, but we were about to learn some lessons on hope, faith and God's plan.  While in the hospital I found a note I had written while having a seizure.  Unable to speak, I tried to write, "Call my wife," but instead had written the words, "His Way."

During these trying times God was speaking to me about trust.  He pointed out that I was asking Him to heal me but not trusting him with my finances.  As I began to understand His message, I learned to hand over my finances to Him.

Throughout the next couple of years, new tests revealed that the tumor was shrinking.  Almost five years later in August 1987 a new CAT scan revealed that the tumor was gone.  God had healed me, "His Way."

Isaiah 40:31  "Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength."  Lord, help us never to forget the lessons you teach us to walk by faith and not by sight.  You are the God of hope and miracles.

Prepared by Tom and Lynda Johnson

To prepare spiritually during our “A Beautiful Thing” campaign, you will receive a devotional written by our own members every Monday through Saturday for five weeks. To opt out of these daily devotionals, click here. To read the announcements from the “ABT Weekly Update,” click here.