The life-altering call came in February: “Mrs. Mayo, your husband’s had a car wreck caused by a serious stroke.” My heart stopped, and once I regained my composure, I quickly headed to the hospital.
I’m still hoping for a miracle for my amazing Sam, who served as a senior pastor for 50 years. Although heaven doesn’t operate on a brownie-point system, I secretly think, “Jesus, please let Sam’s faithfulness count for something here.”
Yet my hero has lost all short-term memory and needs 24/7 care. This morning, I had to repeatedly explain that it wasn’t Sunday, so we wouldn’t be going to church. Irritating? No. Heartbreaking? Yes.
A few people I mentor have quietly said, “Jeanne, talk to me out of the crucible. What reminders give you the strength to keep ministering, caring for Sam, and going on with life?” So allow me to share a quick trip through my mind when crisis comes knocking:
- Adversity introduces a man to himself. (Albert Einstein)
- He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. (Friedrich Nietzsche)
- God’s promises are like the stars at night. They shine best when it’s the darkest. (David Nicholas)
- In the game of life, nothing is less important than the score at halftime.
- Problems are to the mind what exercise is to the muscles; they toughen it and make it strong. (Norman Vincent Peale)
- We’re all a little like tea bags. We’re not worth much until we’ve been through some hot water. (John Mason)
- When the enemy throws rocks at you, pick them up. And with the Lord’s help, build an altar out of them.
- You may or may not be to blame for what happens to you. But either way, you’re the only person responsible for doing something about it.
I have two last thoughts from a handwritten note that’s tucked in my Bible. Lately, I glance at it often for courage. Perhaps the words will help you, too. Even if you aren’t facing a life-altering crisis right now, life will undoubtedly send you some curveballs: “Courage is not limited to the battlefield… The real tests of courage are much quieter. They are the inner tests, like remaining faithful when nobody’s looking, like enduring pain when the room is empty, like standing alone when you’re misunderstood.” (Charles Swindoll)
In these moments, remember: “The Bible was written in tears, and to tears it will yield its best treasures.” (A.W. Tozer)