With all of life comes dichotomy (the division of two contradictory groups). Pertaining to this weekend, Jesus was tried and crucified on what we call Good Friday. A horrible death, preceded by a mock trial. Devastating for all who knew Him. But three days later, He arose from the grave, triumphantly overcoming death on behalf of us all who now know Him. A huge victory, coming on the heals of a seeming defeat. Much of life is like that. We all struggle with pain and suffering, some things in life going so badly, while other things seem to be going quite well.
For VOB, this last month has seen the lessening of bread coming from regular sources, only to find more bread from other, new sources. As well, the border crossing issues have been better, only to be turned around completely one recent Monday.
In light of this, we thought you might find relevance and encouragement in a story from our personal life. We always enjoy reading something personal from missionary friends and others we know, so this is ‘that’ for us today. We hope the story below will bring encouragement to you, as you face the ‘dichotomy of life’. And by the way, just keep remembering that, ultimately, Jesus over came it all for each one of us who choose to accept Him. Blessings upon you!
“There is nothing too great for God’s power,
and nothing too small for God’s love.”
This quote is from Dutch Christian Holocaust survivor, and well-known missionary, Corrie Ten Boom. Her family, during W.W.II, saved many Jewish people from death by the Nazi regime, and she certainly understood trials, both large and small.
I recently read the quote when a friend posted it on Facebook. I ended up reposting it to my own status, as it spoke to me quite deeply in our current circumstances. I thought I would share this very personal story with you this month, in hope that it might speak to you as well.
To some, my particular circumstance, will not seem like a big deal. To others who know me well, you will probably understand exactly why this situation has been so difficult. But either way, the implications of a GOD who loves us, and is intimately involved in every detail of our lives, continues to be a revolutionary and awesome revelation.
About a year and a half ago, we were blessed to be able to adopt a little dog from a local rescue I do work for at the ranch where I train horses. This little dog brought a tremendous amount of joy and happiness to our home, because she is such a bright little personality, with so much joy and exuberance. In fact, she is probably one of the happiest dogs I have ever seen. This, in spite of the fact that she was abandoned by the side of the highway, completely matted and filthy, tied to a shopping cart and left for 3 days before being rescued.
We named her Franki June, ‘Franki’, after Francis of Assisi, who loved animals and loved the poor, and ‘June’ because we got her in June. She has become a real companion for me, as I travel back and forth to my job, quite a distance each day, keeping me company while I work, and bringing real joy and laughter to all of us at home, including rescue parrot, Gabriel! I found myself being extremely thankful for Franki, because Wayne and I both love dogs so much and because she is just so happy all the time! As time went on, I kind of felt like the Lord was speaking to me to pay attention to Franki’s ability to just ‘get on with it’, and be joyful and not dwell on unimportant issues. Mind you, the Lord has always spoken to me personally thru animals, so this is not surprising to you if you have been around for awhile! He has, on numerous occasions with the horses, revealed Himself to me via one thing or another concerning the horses. So I took this to mean I should pay attention, because the Lord had a life lesson for me thru Franki June. I tried to be obedient.
In February, right before Valentines’ Day, Franki began to get sick. At first, she simply became uncoordinated. We thought maybe she had an ear infection. But the uncoordination quickly progressed to an inability to stand, walk or hold her head up very well. Thru the vet visits, foxtails were discovered deep in her ear, and removed. These are nasty little plant-like spurs that go in, open up and don’t come out. We hoped this would be the end of it, and indeed, she did get better. Then she regressed again, only much worse this time. She could barely move, and our happy little dog became almost completely incapacitated.
Through a series of vet visits and tests, it was determined that Franki had something called ‘Inflammatory brain disease’, a disease of unknown origin and somewhat unknown prognosis. The vet did not have much information to offer us, but put her on medication for swelling of the brain, and we brought her home to try to nurse her back to health.
Nursing Franki back to health meant, basically, round-the-clock care for her every need. When she could hold her head up pretty well, we were so glad. Then she could stand up on her own, with some effort. Finally, she began to be able to walk again, and has now regained the ability to get water on her own, play a bit, and even go on short walks. She is still unsteady, & more so when tired, but we continue to pray for her progress, and that our ‘happy little dog’ will once again, be that same, exuberant, ‘let’s have a good day’ personality we have truly come to love.
So it was during the 24-hour care portion of this last 6 weeks, that I read Corrie Ten Boom’s quote above. It was during a moment when I was struggling with what I was doing, what was happening and what the outcome might be. I had enlisted several close friends to pray for both us and Franki, and I was very grateful that they were doing so. But it was still so hard. When I read this quote, I felt a breath of fresh air, because I was reminded of how truly powerful the Lord is, how He can do anything, and nothing is too difficult for Him. Not only that, but He is intimately acquainted with every little detail of our lives, down to the very hairs on our head. (Lk.12:7). He says that He takes care of the littlest sparrow, and how much more important are we to Him! So I knew, and was reminded once again, of how this seemingly insurmountable problem that Franki had, was “not too great for GOD’s power” to fix. And I knew that Franki, a little, ten pound rescue dog, not regarded with much value in the eyes of the world, but so deeply loved by us, was one of those, “nothing too small for GOD’s love”.
So in this crazy, chaotic and mixed up world we live in, no matter what walk of life you are in, no matter what your own personal struggles are, no matter the burdens you carry for yourself, your family, the nation, or the lost, please remember, in those trying times (and there are so many), truly, “there is nothing too great for GOD’s power, and nothing too small for GOD’s love”. I am standing on this for myself, for you, for Voice of the Bride, and for Franki June. Thank You Lord……We hope you have a wonderful Easter season with your families! Happy Resurrection!
p.s. please pray for Franki June
“are not five sparrows sold for two cents?
And yet not one of them is forgotten before GOD”.