April 2010

Along the way of life we have the privilege of meeting special people who are a blessing to us, even though we are endeavoring to be a blessing to them.

A girl whom we have known for years got married. Her life had been filled with tragedy. Her mother had suffered a violent death at the hands of hoodlums. Her home was filled with unhappiness. She now has children and we determined to break through the somber loneliness of one of the children. We would hug this little girl and express our love to her every time we saw here. Finally, one day she gave me the biggest and most precious smile! We pray that God will use us to bring some sunshine into that girl’s life!

A second person who likes to talk spiritual subjects with old white hairs came into my focus. I look for young people to encourage in the Lord. We’ve had many of them through all these years. We love to talk to them and challenge them spiritually. This young lady wrote us a beautiful letter of thanks with the following poem she had written on her 17th birthday. I thought it was beautiful and got her permission to share it with others:

Summer’s Seventeen

I’m seventeen in a moment; full of plans for the future.
Anticipations and rosy-tinted dreams.

I’m seventeen for a moment.  Life loves me   and I love living!
Life’s full of riches, and I am young and free.

Summer’s only beginning.  But in this long lazy summer
I must remember how brief this time will be.

Just seventeen for a moment.  Can’t waste it idly and happy.
Feasting on summer and summer’s best fruits in their prime.

I’m preparing for later, living life to its fullest
By living for Jesus.  What else counts in wintertime?

Life’s like a transluscent vapour;  here, then gone in a moment.
Man’s days are number and I know You’ve numbered mine.

Accept my first fruits of summer.  Can’t give You just what’s left over.
When life’s half-finished, please take my best from me.

While I’m young, while I’m free.
Lord, if I have any use.
Do whatever You want with me.  Take my youth, my plans, my dreams.
Here’s my best, here’s my summer at seventeen.

The final person I’ll mention is a young man eighteen years of age who had been diagnosed with lymphoma. He is a member of a professional football team at the beginning of his career. He had undergone a heavy regime of chemotherapy treatments. I’ve known him all his life, having married his parents years ago. I asked him what was the greatest lesson he had learned through this entire experience. His answer was along the following lines. He had lived for football (he had been a good testimony for the Lord along with it). His attitude toward this disease was that of quiet submission but with the thought of getting through the treatments as quickly as possible and getting back to his great love of playing professional football. In the middle of the treatments a test showed that things were not progressing as hoped and that other adverse things were happening with the cancer. This strong and youthful footballer returned home that day from the doctor devastated.

He got alone with the Lord and prayed, “Lord,  I don’t know what You are doing in my life, but I want to truly surrender all to You at this moment. You can now take football from my life, You can take my very life if that is what You think best. Everything is now Yours and not mine any longer!” This greatest lesson resulted in a heavy load immediately being lifted from his heart and a fullness of joy regardless of what happens.

There are others, but these three young people blessed me immeasurably and brought tears to my eyes!

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