Friday, May 1, 2015

Advancing Through Adversity

Thirty-one years ago on May 7th of this week, Ted and I drove into Bear Valley, California from Houston, Texas. We came to build a church.  The greatest evidence of my Ted's agape love for Christ and for me was to leave our two grown sons standing in a parking lot in Houston, Texas, waving  to us as our cars and moving van headed west.  They told us later they felt like two little kids whose parents had abandoned them.. Their words to each other: "What are we doing here? Let's GO!"...and they did. God's right time. Daughter Dee had preceded us all back to California a year before.

My Ted's pastoral message title for the Book of Philippians sticks in my brain. We suffered what to many would have seemed like reasons to drop out of ministry altogether during sixty years of full time work for the One Who had lifted us out of the muck and the mire of the world and placed our feet upon Him, the Solid Rock. My Steady Teddy's faith that never faltered was a comfort to all who knew him.

Alone since June of 2010, I am growing in faith of my own.  No longer do I wonder why the Lord took my Ted first.  As I sit down at my computer to write what He wants me to write in this blog, in front of me are individual pictures of the five of us in the Ted Stone family. Four of us relied on our Dad's faith to pull us out of the adversities that are a part of life on this planet. We didn't even know we were doing it, until he was gone.  Doug, alongside his dad's hospital bed for months was the one the Lord chose to see his Dad open his eyes, look up in the corner of our bedroom,  smile, and take his last breath. During the next eleven months Doug suffered unbearable pain from cancer that was invading every major organ of his own body.  He grew in faith during those months, probably more than he ever did throughout his 59 years on this earth. We have all grown in faith of our own. We have learned to rejoice in our insufficiency. 

"I waited patiently for the Lord. He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire. He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a 'hymn of praise' to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord."  Psalm 40:1.   Note that God requires of us only one thing: "waiting patiently".  While we are learning to do that He is doing six things:  What are they?

Love, Jo