Our kind Father has invited each of us to take shelter from life’s storms in the shadow of His wings. What a wonderful place to ride out a storm! When our only child was stricken with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis we were devastated. JRA not only cripples, it also can cause blindness and/or death (it attacks organs as well as joints). There is no cure. Watching our son gradually losing mobility in his knees was heartbreaking. Then he developed a problem in his kidneys — then his eyes — then his back… it was an ongoing nightmare! While whirling through the chaotic throes of this nightmare, one evening I caught a glimmer of hope and beneath the roar of the storm I heard a still, small voice say simply, “He’s allergic to onions. Take him off onions. It will get worse before it gets better. Trust in Me. I love you.” The nightmare was over!!! It was still dark. It was pitch black! But it was no longer a nightmare. My heavenly Father had heard the cries of my heart.
From that moment on as I watched the disease progress (it did get worse before it got better) I was faced each day with a choice: I could either let the circumstances overwhelm me, or I could seek shelter in the shadow of Father’s wings. I sought shelter. Each and every day I was tempted to doubt, to fear, to run away; but with each temptation the One who loves me made a way of escape. As I continually chose to take refuge in Him, He led me beside still waters. While my son’s body was being unmercifully ravaged by an unrelenting force, the One who loves me was restoring my soul and renewing my strength. And today — my son is a healthy testimony that God comes to the aid of a broken and contrite heart whose hope is in Him!!!
The sun of righteousness has risen with healing in its wings.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd cares for His sheep. He leads us beside waters of rest. If a storm arises and we find ourselves tossed about, we’re not following where He leads. The choice is ours — we can either sink, or we can walk on water. Wait patiently. The One who loves you is closer than your own thoughts.
Rev. Jon Banks
P.S. I always let my wife read these letters before I publish them. After she read this one I noticed that she was troubled and asked her about it. She said, “Words can’t describe the pain we endured. No one will have a clue of how painful it was.”
You see, we watched JRA attack our son for over a year. We endured the first five months without a word from God. After He revealed his allergy to onions, we literally hoped against hope for another nine to eleven months in God’s faithfulness to confirm His word to His most unworthy servant. At the time of the revelation our son could straighten his legs all the way, but couldn’t bend them all the way. By the seventh or eighth month he could bend them even less and was beginning to lose the ability to straighten them. By the tenth month his ability to straighten his right leg had decreased quite a lot and his ability to bend both legs had drastically reduced. He was slowly but surely becoming crippled right before our eyes.
But we walk by faith and not by sight — and the Lord had said to trust in Him — and we did. Each day we endeavored to look past what our eyes saw and unto the hills from whence our help came. And by the grace of God, the darker the night became — the brighter His light shone; the more deeply our pain stung — the more compassion His presence exuded. To our most kind and gracious and loving and wonderful Father be glory and honor and praise forever. Amen. He is so good, so wonderfully good. We are forever indebted to Him for this kind work He did for us and in us — so indebted and so thankful.
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