I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8
We have just entered into my favorite season – Kentucky basketball season. Those who know me well know that I bleed blue. As a matter of fact, I consider myself a “true blue” fan (even after the loss to Evansville). I start watching every game with the belief that we are going to win, and I hold on to that belief until the final buzzer. I am not one to get down on the team when we are down in points. But I can’t say the same for my family. Bobby and Charity just can’t continue to watch as we are getting what Bobby calls a “beat-down.” I remember one late game in particular when we were down by over 20 points, and Bobby went on to bed. Of course, I stayed up, determined to hang in there with them until the end. Well, one of our guys made an awesome dunk and I clapped for him (perhaps a bit too enthusiastically), and it woke Bobby up. He took my enthusiasm as a sign that we had come back from behind to win the game. Let’s just say he wasn’t real thrilled with me when he found out that we were seconds away from a “beat-down” loss.
With our various personalities, we deal with losses differently. As the wife of a pastor, I am there with Bobby as we try to help people cope with various losses in life: the loss of health, the loss of a job, the loss of a marriage, the loss of a loved one, etc. It is always amazing, and inspiring, when we are with people who are walking with God and fully trusting in Him for how they are to continue to live in the midst of loss.
One of our dear saints at church, Ms. Betty McDaniel, was told by doctors that there was nothing more they could do for her and that she may have only a year to live. She told the doctor that she knew God was in control and she was ready to go whenever He was ready for her. She continued to be a witness of her strong faith and trust in God’s love and God’s goodness as she witnessed to doctors, nurses, other patients, friends, neighbors, and family. Betty didn’t just go to bed and give up. She continued to live and be a witness for God until the day He called her home. I will never forget how she ministered to us each time we went to minister to her.
Recently, Bobby and I had the privilege of visiting in the home of two saints of God from a previous pastorate, Larry and Debbie Chandler. Larry was told four years ago that he probably only had one to three years to live. Larry decided that he could either lay there until he died, or he could continue to get up every day and do what God had called him to do. So Larry continues to work through the pain and the struggle to breathe. He and his wife, Debbie (who also works with a portable oxygen tank), continue to serve in their church and at the food bank where they help to feed approximately 250 families per week. These two continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and they continue to stay in the game and fight until the final buzzer when Jesus will say, “ It is finished. Well done, My good and faithful servant. You have fought the good fight, you have finished your course, you have kept the faith. Now enter into your reward.”
NOW THAT’S WORTH CHEERING ABOUT!!