Our Unexpected Journey

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I’ve had a sweet visit with Floyd this week.  I got some big smiles, and very purposeful "blinks" to things I was saying.  Overall he was in good spirits, and seemed to be doing well physically.  It was so nice to see him in a peaceful state.  

My new cancer treatment is going well with only a few small side effects.  I'm praying for it to keep getting better.

I recently watched an interview with Corrie ten Boom from many years ago.  Her vibrant testimony was as real and vivid today as it was decades ago.  It was lovely to hear her voice again, and her stories of God's goodness and faithfulness strengthened my heart afresh.  One statement she made brought many memories flooding  into my heart.  She said "nothing is too great for God's power, and nothing is too small for His love."  Wow - so very true!

Just today I was talking with someone about our early days in ministry - especially when we were newly married and in our years in Afghanistan.  We were young, idealistic, and thought anything was possible!  We did some crazy things - but it was because we believed God could do great things!!  And, you know what?  He came through time and time again.  I'm still in awe of some of the things that happened.

We also took our small, everyday, somewhat tiny needs to Him - and saw Him meet us over and over again.  Again, we believed God cared about the little things in our lives as much as He cared about the big things.  I never hesitated to bring the small things to Him - and, again, He came through in wonderful ways.

During those early years a dear man named Dr. Christy Wilson came into our lives.  He "marked" my life forever by how he constantly thanked the Lord for both great and small things in his life.  You couldn't be around him very long before he was offering up thanks to the Lord for something!!  He had one of the most beautiful hearts of praise and worship of anyone I've ever known.

During the last few years I've realized how key it was for my whole life that I met Dr. Christy and learned this lesson from him when I was a young wife and mother.  It changed the way I viewed events in my life forever.  I love to bring the "great" matters to God and ask for answers - and I love that I can share the smallest details with Him and experience His love in them.....all-the-while thanking the Lord for everything that is going on!

I don't think I could have made it through these last few years if it wasn't for the greatness of His power......and the loving care of His Father's heart for the tiniest details of my life.  How wonderful, good, and faithful He is.

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."  Psalm 46:1

"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."  Philippians 4:13 

"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.  God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."  1 Corinthians 10:13

"In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Romans 8:37-39

"But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."  Isaiah 40:31

For those of us who are in our senior years, there are some things we don't like about growing older - especially all the aches and pains. Some days I feel like I'm falling apart bit by bit.  It's often said that "growing old isn't for wimps," and that is quite true!  But I think it's more than balanced out by all the good things of being older.  I started reflecting on them:

  • The richness of fellowship with the Lord that can only come over time.

  • The treasure of walking through many decades of life with my "gentle giant" and best friend, learning and growing together.....this one gift alone is priceless.

  • The sweet wonder of watching our children grow up and have their children.

  • The wisdom of age - I wouldn't want to go back to being 20 again for anything!

  • The treasure of friendships, especially the life-long ones.  The friendships we have that have come over many years are a priceless gift - something no amount of money can buy.

  • The joy of having seen lots of God's marvellous creation as we've travelled all over the world in ministry.

  • The fulfilment that comes by being able to pass on the things we've learned to the next generation.

  • The wonder of seeing God answer prayers over and over and over again through the years.  It never ceases to amaze me that He hears us and answers the cries of our heart.

And the icing on the cake, as the years go by, is being aware that God "knows the number of our days" and someday we'll join Him for all eternity.

Many of our western societies look down on the "frailties" of age.  Much of advertising is geared to products to help us stay young.  I'm blessed to live in an African culture where age is honoured and respected.  I'm "mama" to even strangers because of my wrinkles and grey hairs.

On the days when something isn't working in my body as good as it used to - I think through this list and realize it's okay.  The scales are more than balanced out by all the precious things God has brought into my life over the years.

And to those of you reading this who are still young - may I encourage you that you have a lifetime of wonder to walk in as you see God bring all these gifts into your life.

"Even to your old age and grey hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you."  Isaiah 46:4

"Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.  They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing."  Psalm 92:13,14

"Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day."  2 Corinthians 4:16

"Remember the days of old; consider the generations past.  Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you."  Deuteronomy 32:7

"Is not wisdom found among the aged?  Does not long life bring understanding?"  Job 12:12

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."  Psalm 73:26

"They will still bear fruit in old age."  Psalm 92:14

Life is truly a gift to be cherished.  I'm so grateful for every year I've had!  The "best days of our lives" aren't behind us - they're right in front of us as we live every day to the fullest for His honour and glory....whatever age we are.