Isaiah said that the Lord spake to him “with a strong hand.” Isaiah 8:11. Oswald Chambers calls this ‘the pressure of our circumstance.’
I have a new friend whose life, a number of years ago, was indeed impacted by ‘the pressure of her circumstance.’ She was a farmer’s wife in a small Ontario town, the mother of three little boys, her life pretty much ordered by the daily demands of her situation. One morning her husband went to the barn to do the morning chores. When he returned to the house he found his wife blind. Their circumstances immediately changed, their faith and attitude toward God did not. They saw this situation as a message from God that would change their lives, though they knew not how.
I don’t know the detail of how they moved from this small Ontario town to a tribal area of Senegal in Africa.. I only know from the story that her husband told that they lived there for 39 years, that they never asked for a dime of support from anyone in all those years, that without medical training he did what he could to help the area sick and without flight training he flew supplies in to the impoverished people that they lived among. He ended his story by telling us that “the Lord gave me my wonderful wife for 49 years but now He has asked for her back”. He was telling us that his wife now had Alzheimer’s and was a resident in the Long Term Care Centre where I visit weekly.
I have come to love this woman dearly. I often find her with a huge laundry basket of cloths - brown cloths, green cloths, gold cloths. She is carefully folding them, stacking them, unfolding them and folding them again and restacking them. All this is done with a quiet concentration and joyful smile. You see, the children will be along soon and will need dry clothes. Do I feel sorry for this woman? Not a bit! Sometimes I have to stretch my imagination to it’s limit to join her in her world but it is always a world full of peace, of generosity, of gratitude for God’s gifts. She is always glad that she was home when I came down her road, that there is a pie on the oven almost done and wi will be able to share a cup of tea and a piece of pie in just a minute or so. There are clean sheets on the bed and if I would like I can spend the night. She has been praying for my boys (how did she know I had boys) and Jim has gone to help some folks but he will be home any minute. I hold her hand and stroke her arm and wander through her world with her, a world so different from many - a world free of discontent, of criticism, of complaint. When I go to leave and give her a hug, she always takes my face in her hands and tells me she will pray for me - often she tells me I am an angel sent from God and she hopes that she is home the next time I come down her road..
Circumstances! Do we see God’s hand in them moving us to places where He wants us to be, to attitudes He wants us to have? Or are they just happenings in our lives to us? This lady’s muddled mind has done more to change my attitude toward what my life is than probably anything over the 70 plus years of my journey. I am so thankful that He saw fit for me to know her............................Wilma Lansdell
P.S. Don’t ask me when or how, but somewhere along her journey her sight was restored.