Today’s content is an inspiring, modern-day testimony of ordinary folks like you and me. It shows that responses to disappointments and unknowns in life can be a true story of faith. While struggling to find good answers, hoping for best outcomes, accepting developments that alter one’s path – faith still matters and steadies your steps.
(This is Part 7, the final article, in a series on faith. See below for the entire Faith Series articles/podcasts links.)
Before we get into the story, let’s remember –
- Life is hard.
- Trials you never suspect alter your path.
- Tensions and disappointments rise in difficulties and challenge your desire to live well.
- Engaging good responses keeps your spirit healthy.
- Faith in God is your lifeline.
- Hope in Christ gives perspective, peace, and practical help.
- God loves you – so much!
Back Ground Of A True Story Of Faith
He fell in love with her in their youth. They both knew the Lord and had given their lives to Him. So, they hoped for a good life as they began to build together.
He was a capable, smart guy. Strong, good-looking – a farmer with a huge enterprise. A “can-do” kind of fella. Hard-worker, planner, strategist. Social, supportive and kind, providing help when needed. God had given him wisdom to provide for his family as their kids were growing up. Being a farmer, he knew dependence on God for many acres entrusted to him. He also knew long hours working the land. Trusting the Lord for weather patterns and the miracle every seed needs, this young farmer proved through the decades of his life – God is faithful.
She was the kind of woman you just want to be around – and beautiful! Positive, super kind, ready for adventure. She was strong, capable, flexible, and supportive to him. Creative and pleasant. And what a mom! Her kids had it good. So did other women in their community – because she was a gifted Bible teacher, encouraging and training women in Scripture for many years. She trusted the Lord for mentoring lives in her family and her ministry. Through the decades of her life, she proved – God is faithful.
Together, he and she built something, even in hard times. They chose Jesus as their foundation. On this Rock – they erected a sturdy framework for the challenges and joys of daily living – together.
As he worked the land, she supported. As she tended the family, he supported. When he helped others in need, she smiled and blessed him. When she studied and then taught groups of women hungry for God’s Word, he knew she was in her element.
Their children grew up with many of his and her qualities (observed and copied, I suppose): strength, perseverance, creativity, kindness, hope. In this way, their kids multiplied the harvest of their parent’s lives.
The True Story Of Faith
That was their start. Sounds like a good one, don’t you think? But life is hard. He and she both had their troubles. Difficulties and obstacles. Disappointments and discouragements. Yet, they had The Lord Of The Harvest (him) – The Best Bible Teacher (her), and God’s Love and Presence (together).
So, seeds of faith sprouted and grew sturdy in the soil of their lives. During storms of life, he and she guarded young shoots of faith God was growing.
Sometimes gentle rains brought a rainbow. Many days radiated the warmth of the Son nurturing faith in God. But winters and storms were hard. Bitter, sometimes – lasting far too long. Still, the hope of spring came in season.
Seeds fell on good life soil and produced a crop a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown. (Mt. 13:8) They were building for God – together.
Then Life Changed
The day came when she was diagnosed with diabetes and kidney failure. This news pierced their hearts as ramifications fully landed. Everything would change for both of them. They would be planting a new field together in unbroken soil they’d never worked before. However, as you’ve already learned, they had developed skills they would need.
This new faith planting was one of suffering for both him and her – one to display God’s glory. (Is. 61:3)
She would know discomfort and pain she’d never known before. Fragility would ravage her body though she was otherwise healthy. Suddenly, limits would become boundaries of what she could and could not do. Things in her normal day would shift. Three times a week, she would travel from their lovely farm to a city hospital for dialysis – just to stay alive. Her faith stretched in a season of growth that few know about.
He would know the sorrow of watching her suffer. His strength could no longer intervene. Only his faithfulness, kindness, and love could provide comfort. And to this new plow, he put his hand. Life changed drastically for this farmer who knew hard, long days on the land and equipment. This new season was like throwing an anchor out of a speed boat, yet it was still packed! Very much like Jesus would, he drove her three times a week for treatment.
Fiery Tests of Change
He and she were tested beyond what they ever dreamed. Hopes of healing took on a new look. Though they were on the list, the wait for a kidney donation was years out.
Both had aged well. Handsome and beautiful still. Both radiated the strength of God’s planting even in trials. Their hearts were ripened from seeds of suffering life had planted in their personal fields . . . and they were ready for harvest.
In the years they would finally have had time to do things together with the kids raised, they found themselves tied to a disability. How disappointing – locked into not knowing if or when she’d rise on the list before aging indicated a kidney transplant wouldn’t be recommended.
She saw the overwhelming challenge for the rest of her life – and rose to it with tenacious faith. One day, she explained how three times a week, medical staff hooks her up to lines and machines that take out every drop of her body’s blood to filter it – and then pump it back in. This cleansing gives strength for 2 more days when the process is repeated.
She also joyfully described opportunities to share her faith in Jesus to other dialysis patients. A beautiful testimony through a planting she didn’t want. The resolve to maintain a lovely, positive, energetic perspective of faith in God gave her a platform to proclaim – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!” (Heb.13:8)
Everything else remains “unknown.”
He noticed a sadness in his soul as he walked the new field they were planting. A “hard-times” soil. This farmer had worked rich, fertile land and commanded the earth to cooperate under God’s original design. Gen. 1:29-30 says it like this – “God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth . . . I give every green plant for food.’ And it was so.” This man was a successful master over many acres God had entrusted to his care.
One day, he described – “Dialysis is today. Yes, I know my schedule for the next “X” amount of months and “X” amount of years … only the Lord knows how long. This is the responsibility He has given me to do, and I must carry out that task. I do feel His presence and strength during this time . . . sometimes I am mentally exhausted, but my strength is refreshed by the Lord when I need it.”
Everything else remains “unknown.”
What I See
I see Christ in these two people. A suffering servant in her – willing to do Father’s Will no matter what, with no understanding or guarantees. She still teaches women’s classes on her “between dialysis days.”
I see a compassionate servant in him – willing to serve his bride like Christ serves His Bride, in a field of suffering. He fills the waiting time on dialysis days by connecting with others and engaging productive resources.
I’m honored to introduce you to Ken and Debbie – the couple of today’s true story of faith. He and she continue to trust in the Lord despite life’s ups and downs. May their story be an encouragement to you.
Application From This True Story Of Faith
- What do you see in your life as you look at your acres?
- What have you been planting in your life soil?
- Do you have hard ground to break up in a new field you did not expect?
- What opportunities do you have to speak of God’s faithfulness even when you suffer?
- Do you know God’s presence, peace, and strength even when you are mentally exhausted?
Why not build a true story of faith in a good God? Faith matters!
Here are links to the entire Faith Series articles/podcasts. Lots of encouragement, help, and hope!
- Ever Run Out Of Heroes?
- Faith Jump
- Fresh Faith For You
- Grow Up In Faith – 4 Tips
- Faith and Family
- Who Can You Trust These Days?
- True Story Of Faith
Visit our website for devotional materials, articles, podcasts, and resources to help grow your faith in God. Pursue noble character and an Alive and Active Life.