My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Spring was approaching. Rachel loved everything about the season: the cold weather, the crocuses sprouting, and the flowering trees. She loved it so much that it almost made her giddy. This was her season to plan and dream and enjoy.
Church was fun, too. As the president of the ladies committee, she had so many ideas for the ladies ministry. Plans had to be made now in order to incorporate some of her ideas, and she just couldn’t wait until the next committee meeting to talk about her brainstorms. She glanced at her notebook. “Better keep that in a safe place. All my ideas are in there,” she thought.
She pulled into the pick-up line at school. Since Rachel was still lost in her thoughts, Mrs. Baker had to work to get her attention. “Grace just said she doesn’t feel well. It was too late to call you; I knew that you were on your way already.” Rachel thanked her, and after picking up her four children, she drove away.
At home, Rachel took Grace’s temperature. “102. Hmmm, I’ll give you some Tylenol and a sponge bath, and then I’ll make some chicken soup. Would you like that?” Grace’s little head bobbed up and down as she answered, “Yes, Mommy.”
The other three children would just have to stay out of Grace’s room until she was better.
The next day, a trip to the doctor confirmed that Grace had caught the flu. And what a flu it was! One child after another came down with it. There went all her plans. She was supposed to meet with the pastor’s wife to discuss ideas. That was cancelled. The next week was filled with preparations for the ladies’ spring luncheon. She missed those too. The week after that was the final basketball game of the year. Yes, she had to miss that as well.
Between the trips to the doctor and pharmacy and the nights up with sick children, Rachel was getting run down herself – physically as well as spiritually. Her temper was short, and her body exhausted. Soon she also had the flu.
“Why do I have to deal with sickness for so long? Lord, I’m tired of dealing with this. Why do I have to be next? Please fill me with your Spirit – even in the midst of this sickness.”
Little did she know that her neighbor Lois was watching her and had been for quite a while. She knew that Rachel and her family were very active in church. She had never known a family that went to church so much. To see Rachel stuck at home for so long was quite unusual. Rachel had witnessed to Lois several times, but Lois had been “witnessed” to by so many other religious people: the Catholics, the Mormons, the Seventh Day Adventists, and even the Baptists. How in the world was she supposed to know which “religion” was right? The only way she knew was to observe…
Rachel was in her driveway. Although Lois could see that she was having a difficult time, she refrained from helping because she wanted to see how Rachel would react to her children’s crying. Her oldest had fallen and was crying. Another was crying because of sickness. To top it all off, her ministry notebook was destroyed by her toddler. Rachel lost it. Lois saw her finally break down and yell at the kids…just as she expected any normal person to do. But what she saw next really stirred her heart. Rachel knelt down before her quieted children and asked them to forgive her for yelling at them. Lois had never seen anything like that before. Before Lois could think, Rachel had everyone inside and was tending to their needs.
Lois couldn’t sleep. Rachel didn’t just tell her about what God had done for her; she actually lived what she preached. Lois awoke the next day and decided to call Rachel and ask her about her religion. Rachel was in shock when she heard Lois ask, “Can you tell me about your religion? I’ve been watching you, and there’s something different about you.” An hour later, Lois prayed to receive Christ as her Savior. They set a date to meet after Rachel’s fever broke.
Rachel sat down. To think that God had used the flu to bring a neighbor to Christ! Here she was thinking that all of her ministry plans were over because of illness, only to find that her ministry was next door. She had been frustrated that God did not allow her to attend to her own schedule, but now she knew that He needed her to attend to his will. How good God was to let Lois see God through her trial!
Written by Marie Krueger. This article was published in the Spring 2008 edition of The Beautiful Spirit magazine.
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