“God is good all the time; all the time, God is good.” How long could you say that phrase and still mean it? It is easy to say God is good when we narrowly avoid a car accident. It is easy to say God is good when a sick relative is healed. When circumstances – even tough ones – turn out according to our desires, it is easy to say, “Praise the Lord!”
But what if you were born with a disorder that caused you severe pain for your entire childhood? What if your family was in a car wreck and you lost a portion of your hand when it was crushed under the vehicle? What if the school you lead for over twenty-five years experienced a devastating fire? What if your grandchild had to undergo major heart surgery? What if another grandchild passed away before being born? Through all of this, could you still say, “God is good all the time; all the time, God is good?”
It might seem impossible to remain faithful to God and trust in His will through circumstances such as those. Yet, by God’s amazing grace, one family has been able to do just that. Why? Because this family believes that in all things God has a plan, and that God’s plan is to use trials to make us grow in Christ and bring glory to God.
As the DeLeon family drove headed down the highway one evening, they had no reason to expect that their trip would be any different than the rest. Yet in an instant, everything changed. The family van swerved and then rolled onto its top, coming to rest on young Autumn DeLeon’s hand, crushing it. Doctors would have to remove a portion of her hand in order to save it. “God is good all the time; all the time, God is good.”
Of course, this tragedy would be hard enough for one person to bear, but Autumn had already endured a lifetime of trials. She had been born with a condition that caused her daily pain for most of her childhood. Think of how awful you feel once every few years when you come down with the flu and now imagine feeling that for days at a time, year in, year out. “God is good all the time; all the time, God is good.”
When the family van rolled over, leaving a mother and 8 children on a roadside under the care of paramedics, one of their first calls went to Dr. Dennis Ice, Headmaster of Heritage Hall Christian School and the children’s grandfather. Within the previous year, Dr. Ice’s one of Dr. Ice’s granddaughters – Isabelle – had been born premature and spent months in hospital NICU while another granddaughter – Zoe - had been born with a major heart defect that lead to life-saving surgery just months into her existence. “God is good all the time; all the time, God is good.”
As Dr. Ice headed down the highway to be at the hospital with his hurting family, he already had a heavy burden on his shoulders. A burden God had been helping him bear for some months. In the crisp, cold morning hours of a November morning, a fire had broken out in the Christian school which he had faithfully led for over two decades. The fire caused major damage to the school facilities. Classrooms had to be arranged, insurance had to be settled, families needed to be encouraged, and when inspectors gave their report the one word was spoken that no one wanted to hear: arson. The fire had been set intentionally. “God is good all the time; all the time, God is good.”
To be certain, it wasn’t always easy to say those words and mean it. Once, when a colleague reminded Dr. Ice that trials are “opportunities,” Dr. Ice replied that he wasn’t sure he needed any more opportunities! Who could blame him! And yet anyone who heard him make that comment could tell you that there wasn’t a single ounce of grumbling, complaining, murmuring, disputing, or bitterness in his words. The twinkle in his eye was saying what the entire family said through days, months, even years of trial. The very words Cassandra DeLeon said as she looked at her family’s crumpled van: “God is good all the time; all the time, God is good.”
This is the true story of the DeLeon and Ice families. Ben Ice, founder and President of Truth Trackers is the son of Dr. Dennis Ice. The families would never take praise and glory for their evident faith in God, but would gladly proclaim that it is only by God’s grace that we can say in every trial: “God is good all the time; all the time, God is good.”
Author: Aaron Whisler is a writer for Truth Trackers and is on staff at Heritage Hall Christian School in Muncie Indiana. He and his wife Brenda are currently going through a heartbreaking trial of their own. Myles Jonathan Whisler, was born on December 15, 2009, very early and with many medical problems. He will have to deal with many surgeries and a long road ahead. Aaron and Brenda trust a great God to see them through the days ahead. They too have testified that, “God is good all the time; all the time, God is good.”
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. Ps 28:7
Last Tuesday, Autumn, who is now 13 had her 6 month checkup at Children’s hospital, for her disease Ulcerative Colitis We woke up early that morning with the rain driving down hard outside and Autumn with a 103 temperature.
After dosing Autumn with a whopping Ibprophen dose, I decided to leave 30 minutes early to make sure we arrived on time. Leaving at 8:00am allowed us to arrive right on time at 10:00am for her appointment. It was a tense two hour drive because of the heaviness of the rain. With 7 children, two heavy school backpacks filled with books, one back pack with a dolly and pull-ups, 7 coats, my purse filled with antibiotics, Tylenol, and Motrin for the little girls, we ran through the rain to the elevators obviously getting soaked on the way in! After piling everything into a wagon from the hospital, we rolled into our first appointment for the day!
The good news was that for the first time in 8 years, Autumn has not been on any medication for an entire year and her height and weight were right on target! Except for running a high temperature, she was healthy!! Sounds funny? Her two little sisters had been diagnosed with Strep A just the day before, so I knew this had to be strep. Life is in perspective these days. Strep A is an easy fix…Antibiotics!
After piling everything back into the wagon again, giving Autumn some Tylenol, Mercy, and Serenity Tylenol and antibiotics, we raced down to the basement on the other side of the hospital to get some blood work done. Her next appointment was for 1:00 with the Rheumatoid Clinic and we still needed to eat lunch!
With one hour to spare, I left everyone at a table and got in line for the Subway that was in the hospital. Ordering 4 kids meals and 2 footlongs and 8 waters was too much for the poor checkout fellow. Most people are hospital workers and have only one order. He was so flustered trying to get all the kids meals and ring me up, that he took a verrrry long time. That line was backed up very long!!!!!!!
I met a mother with a beautiful little 6 month old girl, who had testing because of a chromosomal defect that has left this little girl looking like a 10 week old baby. After talking with her and sharing our foundation, the Word of God, I went away thankful for all we have in Christ.
We enjoyed our meal and made our way to the Rheumatoid Clinic. For the last two years, Autumn has had quite a bit of trouble with unexplainable swelling in her knees and ankle. So much so, that she would have a hard time getting up from a chair, or getting out of bed. Running and jumping were not even an option. This swelling would come for a time and then go away.
After examining her, the doctor concluded what we already guessed. That she has Rheumatoid arthritis related to her colon problems. Even though she does not have a colon anymore and she is in remission, the body still has the auto- immune disease that can affect her joints.
We decided for no treatment at this time, because she is not having as much trouble. In the future, if she becomes as bad as she has been in the past, she can receive shots or be on a medication.
At this point Autumn still was running a high fever, Mercy (two) was whinny, and Serenity was feverish and miserable! After putting everything and everyone in the car, I called Autumn’s pediatrician and made an appointment for 4:30pm. Again we took the hour drive to Zanesville and arrived just in time. After swabbing her throat, and doing all the things they do; we left Zanesville with a van load of very tired people.
By the time we reached New Concord, I received the phone call I already new…she had Strep A. We stopped at the pharmacy in town and FINALLY headed home!
I am reminded how wonderful it is to have the privilege to have children and to be a mom. I love this full time job and I love my God!
My nest is blessed…Saturday evening, I had the privilege to speak at and attend a Mother Daughter banquet at Grace Baptist Church in Anderson, Indiana, with a very special person. From the time that I can start remembering, this person has loved me, influenced me, trained me, and disciplined me.
I remember watching her as I grew up and seeing her trust God when circumstances were not pleasant. There was a point in this person’s life that she lost her father and her sister, and her brother, and even now is sacrificially caring for her elderly mother who has had a severe stroke.
She was uprooted many times to follow her husband as they served their Savior together. At one count, she and her husband moved 6 times in one year, with 5 little children in tow, just to follow the Lord’s path. She made a home out of anywhere we lived. God was always first.
She trusted her husband. Taught me to trust God, love my Savior, and love being a mom. I learned to cook, clean, work hard, organize, and save money through this very special lady.
She made my bed when I did not. She cleaned my clothes, fed and played with me, cried over my sorrows, and laughed with my joys.
This is the Godly women that I want to be like. This is the woman I call and talk to almost every day. This is the woman that is my very best girlfriend…
Leaping on the dark surface,
Squeaking under her feet,
Springing in the air,
Falling down, making a beat.
Again, Again into the pale blue sky,
Leaving, making it cry.
By Melody Joy De Leon, age 12, grade 6
Then I grabbed her hand.
The shout of glee,
To play with me;
Ice cream washing down my throat,
Sad now that have to go out.
By Carissa De Leon, age 10, grade 5
All the sadness of losing little Zachariah came back with a rush…The Lord has his purposes for taking Zachariah home before we could visit with him and really get to know him. I understand and accept God’s perfect will, yet that does not mean the pain of loss disappears. The tears of never holding him still come at times; however, the hope from my Saviour overpowers the loss…
Each day as I get older the shortness of life becomes more real and the need for Christ’s presence more intense.
Deuteronomy 32:10, 11, 12 “He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of the wilderness; he encircled him, he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.
Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions, the LORD alone guided him, no foreign god was with him.
The mother eagle stirs up the nest when it is time for the eaglets to learn to fly. The nest has been soft, warm, and comfortable. She scratches out the softness, making the nest prickly.
They begin to fall…
Having stirred up her nest, she “spreadeth abroad her wings,” She “beareth them on her pinions.” She swoops beneath them, catches them on her wings, and bears them up.
Teaching them to fly, she drops them again, and again they struggle in the air, but this time not so helplessly. The process continues until the eaglets learn to fly. She is always under them, ready to catch them on her wings.
That is how God deals with you and me.
Trials and trouble do come. But sometimes God needs to move us from point A to point C or D. We have to learn and God teaches us many different ways. To get to point D he may stretches us a bit or drop us from the nest… He is always there to catch us…but it is not always comfortable.
God reached down in love and rescued Cassandra from her sin at the age of 21: changing her life, purpose, and focus forever.