The Apostle Paul wrote frequently about the danger of disruption of fellowship among believers in the local church. He knew the discouragement so easily fostered by the enemy in such things and its debilitating effect on individual believers. I became a casualty of that discouragement, but I also discovered blessings from it.
It started with a difference of opinion and moved to tension and hurt that interrupted a sweet fellowship. The hurt opened the door to an aggressive attack by the enemy upon my health. I was 80 years old at the time. As you may imagine, my eighty-year-old system was hit hard. I was admitted to the hospital with a severe infection that further complicated the sense of disconnect from my family of faith and threatened to end my life.
The medical treatment was effective and slowly led to recovery through an extended in-patient stay. During the convalescence period, God intervened in powerful ways.
First, He led me to deeper study of the scripture, particularly Psalm 23 and Ephesians 6:10-18. I hope you will read them. You may have a sense of how important they became to me as God healed my physical and spiritual needs including relearning how to speak, walk, and drive. I came to understand that God was extending my life to live and declare the works of the Lord.
My physician informed me that I should not return home to live alone. With family out of state, it posed a challenge. That introduced the second great blessing from God. My daughter made a random call to a church in our community in search of a safe companion who could rent a room in my home. The Lord directed that call to exactly the right person . . . a secretary in the church who knew of such a person, a schoolteacher who needed my room. That led to a meeting in the hospital. The matter was clearly affirmed by the Lord in those moments and a lasting relationship was formed. I want you to understand that I am accustomed independent living. God humbled me and taught me to receive help. All from a random call. God was working. It was so encouraging.
Then came the third blessing from God. He healed my troubled church. Now, three years later, The Holy Spirit of God…the Holy Ghost…has healed hurts and is blessing His church. Every Tuesday, this 83-year-old lady is teaching a Bible study about God’s love for His church. I am assigned to His work…to teach the Word; to pray the Word; and to teach others to do the same. The enemy was pressing me down. The Holy Ghost has lifted me up.
Margaret has lived in Alabama since 2001. Prior to that, she lived in California for over 40 years. At 83, she remains a vibrant believer in Jesus Christ and an active teacher of His Word. She says of herself, “I am just a strong believer!”