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DOUG CREAMER COLUMN: I haven’t got time

I had a wonderful great-aunt and uncle. They were almost like an extra set of grandparents and we traveled to see them several times a year. My uncle was a jokester. He had lots of fun pulling pranks on me and the memories he created have lasted a lifetime.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

They had an above-ground pool and we used to like going there for a few summer days. My uncle would take my brother and me fishing on his small boat. Sometimes we would get a bushel of crabs and eat them at the picnic table under a tree.

At night we would gather around the table and play games. There was always laughter and lots of fun.

My aunt kept us well fed. There was always something good to eat; we especially enjoyed her homemade applesauce. She kept full candy dishes around the house and I know I snuck more candy than I was allowed. Some nights we would get a huge watermelon and we would wipe it out.

If you asked my aunt, “Is today Saturday?” She would always answer, “All day.”

I remember thinking how good life looked for them in retirement. I would make some wide-eyed comment about how wonderful old age and retirement looked and she would say to me, “Douglas, old age doesn’t come alone.”

I didn’t understand what she was trying to tell me. My mom tried to explain to me that there are aches and pains with old age. I looked at them and they didn’t act like they were in much pain. They were active, laughing, having fun and enjoying life.

I thought of my aunt the other day. I woke up thinking about all the things I wanted to get done. I lay in bed a few extra minutes, enjoying the comfort. When I finally rolled over I noticed I was feeling a little stiff.

I stumbled out to breakfast and thought that when I got something to eat, I would feel better and be ready to go.

Before breakfast was over, I was beginning to have some sharp pains in my lower back and hips. I did some stretching exercises that usually help. I applied an ice pack. My wife found me on the floor with a pillow under my back.

When I finally reach for Advil, I’m in trouble. It took most of the day for the pain to finally settle down. The list did not get done.

I talked with a friend who told me his back went out when he was playing with his child, and he is much younger than I am. One time mine went out while I was washing my hands. I guess my aunt was right, older age doesn’t come alone.

In moments like that, we all learn to pray. Lord, we need a miracle. I know people who have experienced a touch from God in that kind of moment. More often than not the answer comes back, “My grace is sufficient for you.”

I believe in the miracle power of God. I have witnessed it and experienced it. I know God can and will move to bring about the miraculous. That’s why I firmly believe in the power of prayer to make a difference in our lives.

Sometimes God chooses to walk with us through our pain. This is when we lean on the promises in the Bible, such as: “He will never leave or forsake me.”

There are many scriptures that teach us that God is our healer, comforter and friend. A friend stays with you through the difficult times in life. They listen to you whine and complain and they are still there.

Isaiah 43 promises that we will walk through the river and the fire and we will get through to the other side. Jesus took His disciples on a boat where He slept. A terrible storm blew up and they thought they weren’t going to make it, but they got through to the other side. He keeps His promises and walks with us through the storms of life.

I don’t know what you are facing; pain, sickness, loss of a loved one, financial stress, a child who has gone wayward, a loved one suffering from dementia, whatever you are facing…I want to encourage you that God will walk with you through your situation.

I know it is hard and you might be struggling with doubt, but I promise God is right there with you. You are not alone. I know His eye is on the sparrow and I know He is watching you and me. Lean on Him because I know you are going to make it.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or doug@dougcreamer.com.