|Words to Encourage Positive Living in a Negative World|
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CELEBRATING VICTORIES ~ Jack Albright
I launch my small boat laden with prayers that there are readers who will be encouraged to celebrate victories they have achieved this past year.
One year ago I was a resident in Atchison Senior Village. Although I was physically secure in a safe healing environment, I had the horrible feeling that I was suffocating in a miry quicksand pit of physical and emotional trauma. My only feeling of security was that God was securely holding me.
I look back on that experience and celebrate with the words of Jenny B. Wilson’s song: “Hold To God’s Unchanging Hand.”
“Time is filled with swift transitions. Naught on earth unmoved can stand. Build your hopes on things eternal, hold to God’s unchanging hand.”
Now, a year later, I give God thanks for many victories. Celebrating my ninetieth birthday at home with several friends, many cards, phone calls, balloons, and flowers was one of the most meaningful.
Another highlight was when we were invited to lead a worship service at Senior Village. It was during that service that I shared my great discovery. Senior Village was not the miry pit. I brought my miry pit with me when I came there to a place of comfort, compassion, security, and healing. I would have taken my miry pit into my own home if we had made that choice. It is true that we help to create our environment.
Physical illness and overwhelming depression were the two factors that brought me to Senior Village, The depression began when my son rejected me and took my granddaughter from me.
Another verse of Wilson’s song encourages me to more properly relate to this rejection. “Trust in Him who will not leave you, whatsoever years may bring. If by earthly friends forsaken, still more closely to him cling.”
Meditating on John 15:20 provided me with encouragement. “Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.” My son rejected me because he has rejected God. He is risking everything by trying to be an atheist. A God-hater.
On the cross Jesus was reaching from God in heaven to lost humans on earth. My new vision is that in one of his outstretched arms he holds Greg firmly and lovingly in his hand. In his other hand he firmly and lovingly holds me. He is a wise circuit breaker.
Although unseen by humans, God is doing his “God thing” of working out Romans 8:28 in both Greg and myself. This new vision comforts me.
My daughter abandoned me for a different reason. She feels that she was “religiously abused.” “Too much of Papa’s church.” She presently plays an instrument in a large church orchestra. I am at peace with her choice.
My age daily narrows my field of service but I maintain fellowship with several pastors. A major victory I celebrate is the loving relationship I maintain with hundreds of members of the churches who have called me their “supply pastor.”
I get hugs from babies, young children, and teens that stand taller than I, and college students and graduates. To all my old fossil friends I congratulate and salute. To the beautiful ladies who have reached full bloom I bow in love and respect. I love their hugs.
The last verse of Wilson’s song sums it up this way: “When your journey is complete, if to God you have been true. Fair and bright the home in glory your raptured soul will view.”
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