My wife and I were enjoying the scenery that flashed past our windows as we headed home early yesterday afternoon after we went out for a few supplies and the evening’s dinner meal. We had originally planned to do some major grocery shopping, but since Piper was having an exceptionally weak day, I decided that it would be best to take a short trip and just pick up the items we really needed for the next couple of days. When I was helping her into the car she collapsed on me and in pulling her back up and into the car I did a number on my right wrist and elbow – YIKES! That smarted! So a quick trip was necessary so that I could ice my arm as soon as we returned home!
I had decided to take the long way home on some of the beautiful back roads from the town of Fuquay-Varina. To be honest… on the way into town I noticed that they were resurfacing the opposite side of the country highway and I didn’t want to take the chance of getting fresh tar on my Mustang!
So as we drove down Wilbon Road I looked over at Piper and studied her for a few moments. I was saddened because her facial features have changed so much with the onset of the Alzheimer’s. What was so visibly apparent was the sad look on her face.
To anyone who knew her before, this is TOTALLY different than her normal happy, encouraging and joyful countenance.
No one could spend more than a few moments in her presence and not find a smile breaking out on their face! As I thought about it, a righteous anger grew up from deep inside me. My first thought, besides that “this is not right” is that the enemy of our souls was not going to steal her joy! And Nehemiah 8:10 immediately flashed across my mind where the Prophet tells the saddened Israelites as they looked at the destruction of their beloved Jerusalem: “Don’t be sad because the JOY you have in the Lord is your strength.” (God’s Word ©)
So yeah… she was weak and looking sad, but according to the Word what is the cure? The JOY of the Lord! So what did I do? With the windows down and we motored down the road, I began to sing aloud… VERY LOUD… all the songs that I could think of that talk about the JOY of the Lord! And I kept it up as we passed the folks tending to their country yards, those standing in line at the Taco truck in front of the Wilbon Mini-Mart and the crazy driver in front of me in the blue mini-van who kept putting his brakes on every five seconds and begin to pull over only to then straighten out, until he FINALLY did pull over and let me zoom past him and get (as fast as I could…) to the posted 55 miles per hour (there is definitely a rush in being sucked back into your seat as the V8 revs up and the tuned exhaust screams its wonderful notes through the chrome tipped duel tail pipes…)!
Then, before I fully comprehended what was happening, I noticed a visible change in Piper. Her eyes began to shine again and the very tip of her mouth begin to tilt upward, and I could not help but burst forth with almost uncontrollable laughter! Isn’t God good? For the next few moments after that we simply drove in quiet solitude and enjoyed the freshly plowed fields as they transitioned into an area forested with tall Broad Leaf Pines.
It was then that I suddenly noticed the freight train meandering down the semi-hidden tracks between the tall trees. As I settled into the comfortable red bucket seat, I turned to Piper and with a sigh asked her, “Don’t you just love this place?” It all seemed so idyllic with the wind swishing past the open windows, the beautiful green trees on either side, the sights and sounds of the train clacking on the rails, the warm spring type weather, and the happy sense of God’s peace that radiated from deep inside of us, even though from the look of our outward circumstances, things did not seem so rosey with the attack on Piper’s health.
I was reminded of Paul’s letter to the Philippian church… the letter that some refer to as the “Joyful Letter.” Here we find Paul under house arrest, living in what some thought to be a one room house, chained 24/7 to a Roman Guard. Living a daily life that was not very encouraging or fun with a future that could only be considered as being rather bleak, BUT YET he still found the ability to rejoice and tell his followers to do the same!
WHY? Because he was LITERALLY living and experiencing the “peace which passeth all understanding…” (Philippians 4:7 KJV) As far as he was concerned, his present and future wasn’t dependent on what he saw with his natural eyes. It was fully dependent on the TRUTH of God’s Word… and you know? After our experience on that idyllic country road yesterday… I cannot help but say the same thing about Piper and me!
Well, Piper got stronger as the day progressed, slept comfortably through the night and woke up without any negative incidents. And my arm also feels a lot better! I’m sold on God and His Word as being the final Word in our life! Would you be able to say the same thing? LET ME KNOW….
Have a great weekend. Keep your eyes on what God says about the situations you face each day and as you do, keep asking yourself… Who or What am I expecting to have the final say-so in my life today?”