Introducing his study on going through difficult times, titled "When the Going Gets Tough," Dr. Joe Stowell, president of Cornerstone University, says getting through a season of trouble is a lot like surviving a roller-coaster ride -- except that we do not volunteer for trouble and trouble was never intended to be fun, adding: "Trouble is filled with stomach-wrenching drops, dips, and sudden curves. And just when we think we've caught our breath, we're dropping again."
For many years, my work has brought me into contact with people who were going through times so tough that they've wondered if they could survive, yet many of these troubled ones have not only been able to survive but thrive because of the power of their faith in God.
I've never met this conqueror but was impressed by her reaction to great personal loss.
Evelyn lives in Tennessee and listens to my daily radio program, "Higher Ground" over "Sky Angel," a satellite carrier of programs called the Sacred Favorites group.
Her letter to me was to express her appreciation for the help the program had been to her during the loss of her husband of sixty years.
Evelyn is clearly a woman of faith.
I could tell this by her statement: "God has helped me and your program has helped." Then she added this line that challenged me and that I hope will do the same for each of the readers of this column: "I am asking you to pray for me that I can find a new way to serve the Lord and be useful the rest of the time I have to live."
Here is a woman, who, after experiencing the greatest loss of her life, refuses to allow the past to get her down. She's determined not to waste the years that remain and intends to make the most of her future. Most significantly, she's determined to serve God and others for the rest of her life.
Early in life, Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, developed a tract he titled "The Four Spiritual Laws" as a means of introducing college students and others to his Lord. Key among these laws was the statement, "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life."
Is this true?
Does God really care about the future of each of us?
And there is no age limit that forbids getting in on this exciting plan.
Retirement from the service of God by people of faith is unknown and, as Evelyn expressed so eloquently, regardless of age, the future can be as active and fulfilling as the past, so how do we get in on God's wonderful plan?
Evelyn chose to ask others to pray for her in her quest.
What's your strategy for finding new ways to serve God?
You may want to start by asking the advice of your pastor or other leaders in your church. Move quickly because there's a lot to do that will bless others...and you.
Roger Campbell is an author, broadcaster and columnist who was a pastor for 22 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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