TO A BELOVED SISTER IN CHRIST

Foreword: Beth is a much loved member of our church family. She received a heart transplant in the spring and while her new heart is doing fine, her kidneys never began to function again after surgery and she is on dialysis three times a week. Recently she had to go on supplemental oxygen because her lungs were not adequately functioning. Please pray for Beth as she continues to put up a valiant battle that is an inspiration to all of us who know and love her. 

Beth posted this on FaceBook on August 31, 2021 and it is so typical of her witness:

UPDATE: Heart Transplant Biopsy # 10 Results – No rejection of the new heart. Praise the Lord! See Surgeon tomorrow morning at St. Vincent for consultation regarding the catheter for peritoneal dialysis. God has been and continues to be so faithful to me, even when I am undeserving of His faithfulness. And, that’s the thing… there is absolutely nothing we can do to earn His love, His mercy, His grace, His faithfulness, His goodness, His Salvation. If we could earn our way to heaven or earn our way to receive all His blessings, then we wouldn’t need a Savior. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness”. ~ Lamentations 3:22-23


Dear Beth,

I have a little brother, now in heaven, who loved the Lord with the same witness-to-the-world enthusiasm as you. He was my lifelong best friend. Actually John was just 16 months younger and from the earliest years we were the same size and very athletic, also like you. I’ve never met another man who claimed, as I do, that his little brother was his role model as to godly manhood, fatherhood, and selfless servanthood. He did not have a heart transplant as you did, but his heart was overhauled numerous times, and, like you, he had additional major maladies. He came back from hard knocks time and time again, just like you. Through it all he was a powerful witness to our Gracious God, to the very dying seconds of his life at the age of 70, when he silently raised a feeble hand off his death bed and pointed his index finger heavenward.

Beth, I never met anyone like him until I met you. You are living, breathing proof that being a Christian witness is not just about toughing it out in hard times. It’s much more of the opposite, in fact. It is a complete submission to the will of our Sovereign God, while recognizing one’s utter helplessness to draw as much as another breath against His will, and to cheerfully, gratefully proclaim the same to the world in the midst of relentless personal adversity. Those of us in your church family who know and love you shudder in awe and admiration at how our Lord is using you to show us how to be a joyful witness to Him in ALL circumstances. I thank God that I am blessed to call you my little sister in Christ. I pray He will continue to grant you an abundant measure of that peace that passes all understanding that you so winsomely exude. Our Sovereign God promises that His chosen will persevere. So very great is your reward.

“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:5–7).

Our God reigns,

JD

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