Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Embarrassed (07/19/07)
TITLE: Mary Was the First One to Carry the Gospel
By Dixie Phillips
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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 thirty years. We met at East Texas Bible College in 1976, fell in love and consecrated our marriage to the service of our King. We have served our present congregation for twenty-six years. It has been an amazing journey - carrying the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We haven’t regretted a mile.
Today was our first visit with a dialysis nurse. Her beginning statement was, “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. 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 test 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 awhile, but then my husband’s cell phone rang. While he answered his phone, I looked 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 whimpered. “We have so many plans for the future.”
I groped in the darkness. Mentally stumbling, trying to make sense out of a senseless situation, I quietly wept. “We’ve done all we know to do, Lord. We’ve prayed for a healing. We’ve anointed him with oil and called for the elders of the church just like Your Word teaches. Lord, where are you? Please don’t fail us.”
Suddenly a ray of hope pierced through the fog in my soul. It was a moment when Spirit ministers to spirit. I could see so clearly over two thousand years ago, an unknown peasant girl, Mary. She was the first one to carry the Gospel. I saw her simple carpenter husband, Joseph. God proved Himself faithful to this young couple time and time again. And the God of Mary and Joseph is our God, too.
At that moment Heaven changed earth. I felt God breathe life into my unbelieving 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, I’m so embarrassed. When will I ever learn?”
if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself. II Timothy 2:13 NIV
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