Faith, Grace, Love, Relationships, The Treasure of Relationships, Words of Endurance
Next to God Himself, we need each other most.
The Treasure of Deepened Relationships
Michelle Dacus considers the time spent with her mom during her long and difficult recovery from life-threatening surgery* to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. “The treasure of spending that enormous amount of time with my mom impacted our relationship for the rest of our lives. Her selflessness was amazing. I never would have known the depth of her love without this experience. One of the greatest treasures God showed me in the darkness was to spend quality time with the people you love, to invest in those relationships and not to take them for granted.”
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7
The Treasure of Grace
Karen knew about grace, but she didn’t realize what a powerful treasure it was until her best friend’s family was shattered by divorce. “Every time a family member would call, all I could do was pray under my breath for grace. I didn’t have answers, and they didn’t want them. I couldn’t share wisdom because I didn’t have any. Each family member’s faith was shaken. What they needed – the only thing I could give them – was grace. Until I walked through this devastation, I had no idea how powerful grace is or how quickly God could send grace to you and through you to nurse the wounds of the brokenhearted.”
And God is able to make all grace abound to you.
2 Corinthians 9:8
The Treasure of Learning How to Love
For more than half of their 32 years of marriage, Rick Rood cared for Polly as she battled a degenerative illness. Rick came to realize “that the burden we had been handed was also, in some mysterious way I could not yet understand, a ‘gift’ from the Lord…Five years into Polly’s illness it dawned on me what God was doing in my life…When Polly became ill, God enlisted me in a life-shaping process. Part of this process involved His gently and patiently chipping away at qualities that He knew needed to diminish in my life. The other part was gradually instilling in my heart the qualities He wanted me to acquire…the most important was love. I loved Polly before, but God used this illness to transform my love for her.”
Love never fails…and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:8,13
The Treasure of Seeing Others Grow in their Faith
“I wouldn’t give up one thing I have been through,” Joanie Thompson, who suffers from a chronic lung disease, explains, “if it meant my children would not know what they know today and would not have experienced what they have experienced…I watched them plead with the Lord to heal me…I’ve seen them allow the Spirit of God to empower them…and that probably is the greatest thing that compels me to keep going.”
I will gladly spend myself and all I have for your spiritual good.
2 Corinthians 12:15
The Treasure of Compassion
Before she became a quadriplegic, Joni Eareckson Tada, president of a respected and influential ministry to the disabled, confesses that she “could have cared less about people in wheelchairs. But when God awakened me from my spiritual slumber with an ice-cold splash of suffering in the face, my thinking changed real fast. God used my pain and my heartache to cause me…to care about other who are hurting.”
He (God) comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
2 Corinthians 1:4
The Treasure of a Testimony
A pastor once told his congregation, “Your best argument for your faith is your testimony: how God met you, changed you and continues to impact you daily.” Michelle Dacus would agree wholeheartedly. “My greatest tool and treasure for reaching the lost is my testimony. For the rest of my life, I’ll be using it. It’s a treasure I will pull out every day…a gift God gives me to share.”
Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me.