No sugar or dairy
Today I want to share about our special friends with whom we had lunch, and then were blessed by a time of prayer as we sat in their KIA SUV outside of the restaurant.
We met Ann and Glen in 2012. Glen was teaching Sunday School at the Church we were attending. He had been enduring his twenty-plus years of Parkinson’s without complaint. For Ann, caring for him was a service she rendered, respectfully. It didn’t take me long to see the inspiring, beautiful life she modeled. I wanted to gather all I could, so I asked her to be my prayer partner. Obviously, the “spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12) were not interested in our teaming up to pray. It became difficult to come up with a time that would work for us both. When we finally could agree upon a day and time for her to slip away to my place, and the day arrived, she was forced to call to tell me she couldn’t come. Her allergies had flared up and she couldn’t stop coughing. It wasn’t long before we found out why. Ann had lung cancer. From that point on, God has allowed her to experience some incredibly tough days but all the while showing her He IS in control and He would never leave her. Ann, as a care-giver, understandably was concerned for Glen. Who would take care of him? How would he handle the stress of it all? God showed Ann He could be trusted with Glen, as well. Even when she landed in the hospital more than once, sometimes with very serious issues, and on one occasion having to be quarantined for several days.
Ann and Rodney share the month of August for their birthdays. The last four years, we have celebrated in the month of August, until this year. Ann’s birthday is on the 31st, and she had just been released from the hospital the day before. Prior to the hospital visit, she was experiencing swelling while growing weak and lethargic. Her medical doctor was at a loss for what might be causing it. After a couple of weeks and feeling she had no other choice, she agreed to see her cancer doctor at Duke. They found a blood clot attached to her port. Her port had to be removed. This woman exemplifies what I read in my devotional today:
There never has been known great saintliness of soul which did not pass through great suffering. When the suffering soul reaches a calm sweet carelessness, when it can inwardly smile at its own suffering, and does not even ask God to deliver it from suffering, . . . It is in this state of the perfection of suffering that the Holy Spirit works many marvelous things in our souls.
The imagination stops building air castles, or running off on foolish lines; the reason is tame and gentle; the choices are annihilated; it has no choice in anything but the purpose of God. The affections are weaned from all creatures and all things; it is so dead that nothing can hurt it, nothing can offend it, nothing can hinder it, nothing can get in its way; for let the circumstances be what they may, it seeks only for God and His will, and if feels assured that God is making everything in the universe, good or bad, past or present, work together for its good.
Oh, the blessedness of being absolutely conquered! of losing our own strength, and wisdom, and plans, and desires, and being where every atom of our nature is like placid Galilee under the omnipotent feet of our Jesus.
The great thing is to suffer without being discouraged. –Fenelon
[Taken from Streams in the Desert 1]
What concerns do you need to leave at the feet of Jesus?