As I ponder my aunt’s life and sudden, unexpected passing this past weekend, what stands out most prominently in my memories is her persevering faith in all her many trials. For the past ten years she has been the primary caregiver for my elderly, wheel-chair bound grandmother. Wives of chronically ill husbands find themselves in this position in varying degrees. Her life has been an inspiration to me on my own pilgrimage. I am thankful to have witnessed her faith personally over many years. For those who do not have a personal example, there is the cloud of witnesses mentioned in Hebrews 12:1, referring back to Hebrews 11. History even up to the present is replete with examples of trusting and obeying God in the toughest of times.
“The better God is known the more He is trusted. Those who know Him to be a God of infinite wisdom will trust Him further than they can see Him (Job 35:14); those who know Him to be a God of almighty power will trust Him when creature confidences fail and they have nothing else to trust to (2 Chronicles 20:12); and those who know Him to be a God of infinite grace and goodness will trust Him though He slay them, Job 13:15. Those who know Him to be a God of inviolable truth and faithfulness will rejoice in His word of promise, and rest upon that, though the performance be deferred and intermediate providences seem to contradict it. Those who know Him to be the Father of spirits, and an everlasting Father, will trust Him with their souls as their main care and trust in Him at all times, even to the end.” Matthew Henry, commentary on Psalm 9:10
Perhaps I will include some brief biographies in the future to encourage and inspire you. But ever and always, first seek your encouragement and hope from the pages of the Holy Scriptures. I have a hard time choosing my favorite Bible hero. I think my favorites revolve around what is most challenging in my life at the moment. Ruth, I love because of her willing service and loyal love to Naomi. David, I love because he was a man after God’s own heart showing us how to express our love, fears, questions, and desires to the Almighty in the Psalms. Paul inspires me because of his courageous pioneer spirit, spreading the Word in the face of opposition. The list goes on. Who is your favorite hero? Who inspires your faith and why?
Today I saw the first signs of spring in my yard- unexpected numbers of daffodils poking up their first green shoots! Snow covered those spots all week and for a few days it was so cold we barely dared to set foot outside. My husband rescheduled his doctor’s appointment due to bitter cold and icy driving conditions. Now winter weariness is melting into the first buds of spring.
Spring is a season of hope! We have had to work hard fight despair this winter. Weeks of staph infection and heavy duty antibiotics turned into months and ramped up treatment with full body gamma radiation each week for my dear husband. It has been a bitterly cold winter for our area, and we are unable to afford to keep our home overly warm. Over and over we have reminded ourselves to “keep ourselves in the love of God”, knowing that He who is always faithful will never leave nor forsake us. Meanwhile, we have been grateful for many cups of hot tea, homemade cocoa, and fresh veggies and fruits amazingly available to us in the middle of winter!
Our trials have been light compared to some this winter. In the past month we have heard of the deaths of four infants in the circle of our church family and friends. Friends lost a family member who was close to my age. We have wept and prayed that the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort would make Himself dear to these families. The unbelievable persecutions and the losses of homes and lives of fellow believers in other parts of the world remind us to be grateful and to pray as well.
King David experienced the full gamut of life’s sorrows, struggles, and joys. Promised the throne of Israel , he had to wait many years in hiding to experience that promise. He finally had a palace full of children, wealth, riches, and honor. He sinned greatly and tarnished his good name. He repented and was restored and used of God. He had to flee his palace in Jerusalem and be pursued by the armies of his own ambitious, rebellious son. The Psalms are replete with his cries to God for mercy and help in trouble.
Every wife of a chronically ill husband needs to find time to park herself in the book of Psalms. I am convinced of that fact! 🙂 God has used this portion of His Word to drag me out of the mire of self-pity and despair more times than I can remember. I would like to leave you with a word of purposeful hope from the divine Word.
“But I will HOPE continually, and I will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day, for I do not know their limits. I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.” Psalm 71:14-16