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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Landmarks

I am directionally challenged. I openly admit it. Take me to a new part of the country and I struggle to figure out north from south and east from west. I’ve learned to limp along with my “disability,” but I’ve also discovered if someone gives me a landmark I can usually find my way anywhere.


 Did you know we have spiritual landmarks too? Defining moments in our lives that help us find our way through the darkest places of life.

In 2008, our family faced a crisis. My husband was dying. He needed a kidney transplant to live. Fear terrorized me. The “what ifs” plagued me until I found some “landmarks.” Many times it was the Word of God. Other times, the Holy Spirit spoke into the depths of my soul.

I would like to share one of my spiritual “landmarks” with you. I wrote this piece in the midst of the storm. I pray it helps someone groping in the night find their way.

Mary Was the First One to Carry the Gospel

“If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13 NIV

My husband has been battling chronic kidney failure for the past twenty-five years. It’s a silent killer and doesn’t have many symptoms until the final stages. This year the disease has progressed to a critical point, and in order to keep him alive, he will need to go on dialysis or have a kidney transplant in the very near future. Many unknowns loom on the horizon.

We have labored together for the Kingdom for 30 years. We met at East Texas Bible College in 1976, fell in love, and consecrated our marriage to the service of the Lord. We have served our present congregation for 26 years. It has been an amazing journey—carrying the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We haven’t regretted a single mile.

Today we had our first visit with a dialysis nurse. “When the doctor sends you to me, it means he is expecting you to be on dialysis in the next twelve months.” The news was overwhelming. Fear gripped us. Once again all the “what ifs” swarmed our thoughts like bees to honey. The nurse was so compassionate and attempted to ease our anxieties by cramming our heads with as much information as she could. The distraction seemed to work, as she filled our laps with pamphlets, charts, and lab results to take home and study.

As we drove home, we tried to keep emotionally afloat by naming all the blessings in our lives. It worked for a few minutes, but then my husband’s cell phone rang. While he chatted, I peered out the window of our van. Scalding tears stung my eyes. I cried out to the Lord in the depths of my soul and tried not to let my husband know the anguish I was in. “He’s only 54 and he’s been so faithful, Lord. He’s such a humble servant of Yours.” I quietly wept and continued to pray, “We’ve done all we know to do. We’ve prayed for a healing, anointed him with oil, and called for the elders of the church just like Your Word teaches. Lord, where are you?”

Suddenly, a ray of hope pierced through the fog in my soul. Spirit ministers to spirit. I could see so clearly over two thousand years ago, an unknown peasant girl. The Holy Spirit whispered, “Mary was the first one to carry the Gospel.”

Thoughts of a simple carpenter named Joseph swirled in my head.

The Holy Spirit continued to minister to me. “I was faithful to this couple, who carried out my will, and I will be faithful to you too.”

At that moment Heaven changed earth. I felt God breathe hope into my hopeless soul. We carry the Gospel. The same God who watched over Mary and Joseph would watch over us.

I felt ashamed for doubting. “Forgive me, Lord. When will I ever learn?”

______

UPDATE: On June 12, 2008, our son gave his father the gift of life. Both father and son are doing well. Great is His faithfulness!

1 comment:

Lib at Truly His said...

Love this, Mommy!! I felt like I was right there with you all over again. Landmarks - what a great picture. <3

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