I ONCE WORKED with a church lay leader who had an annoying habit: He was perpetually positive. He wasn’t just happy or encouraging. He saw a bright spot no matter what, even when I didn’t always want to see one.
When I shared some tale of woe about matters in the church, he would listen and softly reply, “Ain’t it gonna be wonderful to see how the Lord works through all this? It wasn’t so much a question as a declaration. Count it every time. No matter how bad the tale, “Ain’t it gonna be wonderful. . . .” At times I could have gagged him! There’s a positive, and then there’s Pollyanna. I wanted someone who would climb down in the pit with me and agree that it’s dark and awful, rather than tell me how bright it is at the top. This man, however, didn’t linger long in unwanted places.
One day I got a call that his wife had received a diagnosis of terminal cancer. She had only a few months to live. I raced over to the house. After a lengthy visit we prayed together. There was no avoidance of reality. There was clear recognition of what this diagnosis meant. He walked me to the car. Before I got in, he turned to hug me and with tears rolling down his face said, “Ain’t it gonna be wonderful to see how the Lord works through all this?”
This true journeyman of faith lived as a pilgrim. He didn’t deny life’s challenges. He understood that no place in this life is permanent. We just have stopping places, not staying places.
– Rob Fuquay
The God We Can Know
From pages 43-44 of The God We Can Know: Exploring the ‘I Am’ Sayings of Jesus by Rob Fuquay. Copyright © 2014 by Rob Fuquay. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
What is your reaction to the man’s response to difficult times? Share your thoughts.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
James 1:27, NRSV
This Week: pray for those who are receiving cancer treatments. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
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This week we remember: Augustine of Hippo (August 28).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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