By Sue Smith
Don and I had both just retired. We were settling well into God’s intention for service from a “retirement point of view.” I had always held fast to the challenge from scripture, “This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24), and God was giving us reason to rejoice in each new day. Don was enjoying regular golf outings and serving the Lord through service projects in the life of the church — rolling paint, building wheelchair ramps. I was thankful to be playing bridge with my friends, eating out with fellow retirees, and serving through the bereavement team, prayer and missions ministries of our church. We were blessed with great times with our family and the love we shared together.
Little did we know that Don would soon be sick and in great pain. Throughout his illness I kept repeating the verse from scripture, “Be strong in the Lord and be of good courage. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). As I cared for Don, I continually repeated this verse to myself. Throughout those days, God would always be just as faithful as he could be. And, when Don passed away God was there with us as we watched him die like had had lived, peacefully.
Low and behold, the day came that I began feeling bad and I visited my doctor who ran tests to understand what was happening. On the day that Dr. Caunt called me to his office to go over the diagnosis, he took me by the hand and Kim, his nurse, took my other hand as he told me about the cancer. Their compassion touched me as they made sure to comfort me in the wake of the news. My friends have prayed for me and cared for me and wiped out the Hallmark stores to encourage me. My dear family has blessed me.
We just can’t see ahead of us, can we? But, there is good news. Though we can’t see very far ahead because of life’s many twists and turns, through it all God is faithful to lead us in every step as we trust him.
So, yes, there’s reason to be strong and of good courage. Don and I, along with our family, have experienced the Lord with us …
…wherever we have gone,
…in whatever we have faced, and even,
…whenever we have faced death itself.
Thanks be to God!