Lately I haven’t been feeling very worthy of anything, including approval by God. When I was a child, Church was something that was always important to me. As a child I believed that church was the only place to go that would bring us near to our Heavenly father. I took catechism classes and studied hard to ensure that I would pass the questions that were asked of a person before they could partake of communion. I was probably 8 or 9 years old.
I had finally graduated and was now able to take communion. I just knew that God was smiling down at me because I put a lot of effort into this endeavor. Then first Sunday that I was able to take communion, I awoke to about 8 inches of snow. I cried and couldn’t stop. The roads were impassable on our end of the street and I really wanted to go to church.
My mother called the minister and asked him if he was going to have services that morning. When he told her he wasn’t planning on it… because the roads were so bad and he didn’t believe that anyone would come, she explained how I felt about communion, and he said that if I could get there, he would hold a service just for me.
I excitedly told my mom that I would walk, but she wouldn’t let me go alone since I had to cross a major street to get there. I cried even more. I had to go, I just had to go I kept telling her. Finally my brother spoke up and said that he would walk with me if I really had to go to church today. Finally, mom said yes. The church was about 1½ miles; the snow was deep and the temperature below freezing. With both of us bundled up we started out the door.
Ronny and I trudged through the snow and made it in less than 1 hour. We both were wet and cold when we got to the minister’s house which is across the street from the church. He took us across the street after we warmed up. I knew that we were safe there in God’s house. I just knew that I did the right thing by going there.
We were the only ones in church that Sunday, and Ronny and I took communion. As soon as I took communion, I had a feeling come over me such as has never touched me to that depth again. Suddenly I felt clean, my body felt clean, it had never felt that way. My heart, mind, and soul had become truly clean. Now I finally felt as if I were nearer to God.
Years later I understood why. My God, who I only knew as the title God, had taken me by the hand that day and empowered me to make it to church despite the obstacles that had been thrown in my path. It was to be a reminder many years later. Here I am at the age of 66, and the memory of that one day has never come to mind for the first time since then. For this day today 59 years later God, (as I knew him then), has brought that memory back to mind. I no longer take part in communion because I learned what the true meaning of it is and I am not one who belongs to that group that was commanded to take part in the memorial bread and wine.
Lately, there has been a lot of stress and upheaval in my life. For the past 20 years there has been one tragedy after another. A quadriplegic premature not fully formed infant who was kept alive because the hospital saw that she was a fighter. I took part in her care; she lived into her 8th year. I took care of my mom with Alzheimer’s for 16 years. Also, I cared for my brother who died of cancer before his 52nd birthday. Now, for the past 5 years, I’m taking care of my husband who has dementia and is getting much worse.
Because of these things dragging me further and further into depression, it has gotten much worse. There has been no peace in my mind or heart lately. The anxieties of today have weighed me down to the point of desperation. I didn’t feel as if Jehovah (I learned this is God’s personal name,) was looking at me with a smile of approval any longer. I no longer felt as if I was worthy of being favored. Yet time after time I saw Jehovah’s long arm reach out and take my right hand once more. He was behind me whispering “This is the way, walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)
My sanity had almost left me, but Jehovah pulled me back from the brink of insanity once again. Then he brought back to my mind the memory of one snowy Sunday back in the 1950’s. The memory of how insistent I was about going to church even though there was 8 inches of snow on the ground. He also brought back to memory so clearly as to why I was insistent and how I felt after.
Today’s thoughts were as puzzling to me as the memory of that snowy Sunday. I have been thinking a lot about 2 accounts in the bible. One account was the woman with the flow of blood for twelve years. (Matthew 9:19-22)This woman knew that if she just touched the fringe of Jesus outer garment, she would be healed. In verse 22 Jesus told her that her faith made her well.
The other account was the widow with 2 small coins of little value. Mark 12:41-44 she gave all she had. Jehovah only expects us to give our best to him. Take that and apply it to my case so long ago when my brother and I trudged through 8 inches of snow to go to church even though we were the only ones there that day. I too just knew that God was smiling upon me that day. He knew that I gave all I had. I had nothing more to give at that time, and I have not much to offer today, but I still give it my all.
Today I can connect the two things together. Jehovah reminded me of that Sunday in relation to the woman with the flow of blood for 12 years. That woman was insistent on pushing her way through the crowd because she just knew that if she could touch only the fringes of Jesus garment that she would be well. She had faith, and Jesus told her that her faith made her well. She not only had faith, she acted on that faith by pushing her way through the crowd so she could get to Jesus. In the same way, Jehovah showed me that I had faith and always did. I too acted on that faith by trudging through 8 inches of snow because I knew that I wanted to feel closer to God and I had faith that he would be there.
Today I feel as if Jehovah called these back to mind and revealed again to me the true meaning contained in those 2 accounts. Hopefully I will always keep them close in mind and heart because these days are wicked and lacking encouragement. Jehovah on the other hand, is able to do anything. He is the epitome of generosity, mercy, compassion, wisdom, power and of love. He loves His creation and takes care of it in a loving way.