Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Delightful Surprise

When we entered the chapel at a local nursing facility where we do ministries, a surprise in the form of a couple and a gentleman were sitting in the front pew.  They were no strangers to us, in fact, one sight of them brought big smiles to our faces.

Yvonne and her husband, Whaddie, as well as Bob Williams, were there to surprise us.  We have known these dear Christians for years.  How we came to know them, though, was through difficult,  and often for them,  painful circumstances.

Yvonne's mother Adel had been in this nursing facility for years and they attended the chapel services together each Sunday until Adel's passing to be with the Lord.  Whaddie was often present with them, though his work obligations sometimes kept him away.

Bob's wife and also his sister were residents there at the same time and he also attended the services with them.

To say that Bob and Yvonne came to the services is not sufficient.  They ministered to everyone in that nursing facility.  Bob would frequently go up and down the halls bringing other residents to the chapel for our church services.  Yvonne spoke to everyone there, met their needs in anyway she could and just generally loved them all.

Time went by and eventually Adel, Bonnie and Pat all passed on to be with the Lord.  The days of having Yvonne, Whaddie and Bob in our services were gone, although they have been known to pop in for a visit every now and then, but never all together.

As it turns out, Bob has briefly been in this nursing facility for rehabilitation while we were on vacation and is looking forward to his discharge this week.  He called Yvonne and Whaddie and arranged for them all to be at church to surprise us.

It was so touching for us to see them again, but I was also aware of the fact that the only reason we even knew them was because they had loved ones who were in difficult, painful circumstances.  Out of the pain these wonderful care-givers experienced, they ministered life and joy and comfort to everyone around them.  These dears trusted the Lord, and the abundant provision of grace and joy and comfort He shed abroad in their hearts they were able to turn around and share with others.

Theirs was a special blessing to share with others, one born out of pain, as is the comfort our Lord shares with us "abundantly above all that we ask or think."

"Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, 
that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, 
by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." 
2 Corinthians 1:4

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