Upon retirement a pastor and his wife moved to their new retirement home at Lake Junaluska and became immersed in Long’s Chapel United Methodist Church. They were inseparable. The pastor’s years as a bishop had brought much travel to his ministry, his stretches at home with his family were few and far between. Thus his retirement led them to a time when they were enjoying one another’s company and all was well. Until a year or so into their new life chapter the wife was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.
When the diagnosis came, one of the pastors went to their home for a pastoral care visit. As the visit drew to a close the husband followed the visiting pastor to his car.
As they stood there in the darkness, the young pastor said, “I just can’t believe this is happening to the two of you. You don’t deserve this!”
The wise retired pastor replied, “You know, at first when we got the news I found myself crying out to God, ‘Why her? Why us? Why me?’ As soon as I uttered those words the reply that flooded my soul, that had to be from the Holy Spirit was, ‘Well – why not you? Are you better than anyone else that walks in this journey of life.’ It was in that moment that I realized we all have pathways that lead us to True Light. It is on those pathways that we will find periods of loneliness, struggle, and complete darkness. We each face them. This time of cancer is ours . . . but I know that it will not win. Even though life as we know it together will win, Love wins in the end. So why not me? Why not her? Why not us?”
Oh to be able to embrace every period of darkness and challenge as an opportunity for growth closer to The One who leads to life!
Thoughts to Ponder:
- Is there a time in your life when you have asked “Why me?”
- What was the response you heard from the Spirit when you asked the question?
- Sometimes when we find ourselves asking that question, after we live through that season of difficulty, we can look back and see that even in the absolute and utter sadness, there were glimpses of love that carried us through the darkness. Would that be possible for you now?
If not – if you are not to the “other side” of the darkness, perhaps ask a friend or the staff at West, to cover you in prayer. Prayer has a way of bringing healing to all things.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”