Thursday, April 23, 2009

I Won't Complain

I just had to share this testimony this evening, and I pray it will be a blessing to you. So often, we say "I won't complain," but mean it only as a cliche or a leading phrase to spark questions and gather sympathy from our audience. In this society and this economy, it is so easy to forget how blessed we really are. It's easy to take God's many blessings for granted and concentrate more on the things we lack.

Yesterday, I met a new friend. This woman of God is 96 years old, and has been given less than 6 months to live. When I first walked into her hospital room, she said in a loud and jovial voice, "Who are you? Sit down. Make yourself comfortable." Then, she just began to talk. She was so excited to share her testimony. She told me tales of her days as an army nurse. She told me about her humble childhood and the days she spent with her siblings, who have all passed on. She spoke of her mother and her father, and repeated "Thank the Lord" after almost every phrase. Then she would giggle and say, "And I love them all, Miss Joy, I love them all. And I love you too! I love everybody!"

As I sat and laughed with my new friend, I just began to feel tears running down my face. This woman never married and never had children. She told me how blessed I was when she asked me about my own children. Then, she asked for my husband's name. When I responded with "Chris", she said, "You'd better treat him right, or I'll come and steal him." Of course, she then giggled and said, "Thank the Lord!"

This woman could barely breathe. She's not able to walk or sit up on her own. When she asked me to rub some lotion on her itching arm, I saw her skin literally rotting. Her arms were covered with boils and mold. I prayed as I rubbed the lotion on her arms. She grabbed my hand, and said, "Miss Joy, I want you to know that I thank you, and I love you. Thank the Lord!"

I left that room with many feelings stirring inside of me. I prayed for that woman of God, and as I prayed, it was as if I could hear her praying for me. She had a joy that could only come from God. When I arrived at her hospital bed, I was tired. I was worried about the bills, about the church... trying to figure out when I would catch up on my studies from school. Yet, she reminded me of the things that are most important - love and thankgiving to God.

I must admit that every time I thought of complaining today, her sweet face entered my mind. I thank God for this friend, who is full of wisdom and joy. I thank God for a woman who refuses to complain, but will always proclaim "Thank the Lord!"

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