My father had just retired. He and Mom had saved their money and made their plans. They wanted to visit every national park in their travel trailer. Then came the diagnosis: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease), a cruel degenerative disease that affects the muscles. Within months he was unable to feed, dress, or bathe himself. His world, as he knew it, was gone.
At the time my wife, Denalyn, and I were preparing to do mission work in Brazil. When we got the news, I offered to change my plans. How could I leave the country while he was dying? Dad's reply was immediate and confident. He was not known for his long letters, but this one took up four pages and included the following imperative:
"In regard to my disease and your going to Rio. That is really an easy answer for me, and that is Go. … I have no fear of death or eternity … so don't be concerned about me. Just Go."
Dad lost much: his health, retirement, years with his children and grandchildren, years with his wife. The loss was severe, but it wasn't complete. "Dad," I could have asked, "what do you have that you cannot lose?" He still had God's call on his heart (see today's Key Bible Verse).
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Heavenly Father, you tell me in your Word that you can bring good out of the worst situations (Rom. 8:28) and that nothing can ever separate me from your love (Rom. 8:35-39). Help me to believe and cling to these truths and promises, especially when major disappointments and devastating news come my way.
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