For Such A Time As This

28 08 2011

“And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites… And [he] saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” Mark 12:42-44

     One of the hardest things we learn to do is to trust God. We often look at bad things in our lives(supposing from our point of view that they are bad) and we say “well God allowed this” but we never really move beyond acceptance into the realm of rejoicing. God is sovereign and therefore all things need to be looked at as not just God allowed it but God gave this to me. Once we do that we move from accepting it to rejoicing in it and being thankful for it.

     One of the best examples of this is a story related by Corrie Ten Boom. Corrie’s own story is encouraging enough but this particular story demonstrates the sovereignty of God in a powerful and distinguishing way. While traveling in the region of Lithuania, on the Baltic Sea, she and her traveling companion Ellen had to sneak in to visit this lady at night to avoid detection(this was during the dark days of the Soviet Empire) They climbed a steep set of stairs and entered a one room apartment through the back door. The couple had once lived in a bigger house during better times and so the small apartment was jammed with furniture.

    The old woman who lived there was lying on a small sofa, propped up by pillows. Her body was bent and twisted almost beyond recognition by the disease of multiple sclerosis. Her aged husband spent all his time caring for her since she was unable to move off the sofa. Corrie relates, “I walked across the room and kissed her wrinkled cheek. She tried to look up but the muscles in her neck were atrophied so she could only roll her eyes upward and smile. She raised her right hand, slowly, in jerks. It was the only part of her body she could control and with her gnarled and deformed knuckles she caressed my face. I reached over and kissed the index finger of that hand, for it was with this one finger that she had so long glorified God.”

     What was her ministry that could be accomplished with one finger? Beside her couch was an old vintage typewriter. Each morning her faithful husband would rise, praising the Lord. After caring for his wife’s needs and feeding her a simple breakfast, he would prop her into a sitting position on the couch, he would place pillows all around her so she wouldn’t fall over. He would then move that ancient black typewriter in front of her on a small table. From an old cupboard he would remove a stack of cheap yellow paper. Then, with that one blessed finger, she would being to type.

    All day long and far into the night she would type. She translated Christian books into Russian, Latvian, and the language of her people. Always using just that one finger – peck… peck… peck – she typed out the pages. Portions of the Bible, the books of Billy Graham, Watchman Nee, and Corrie ten Boom – all came from her typewriter. That was why I was there – to thank her.

     Corrie said of this womans love for the Lord, “She was hungry to hear news about these men of God she had never met, yet whose books she had so faithfully translated. We talked about Watchman Nee, who was then in a prison in China, and I told her all I knew of his life and ministry. I also told her of the wonderful ministry of Billy Graham and of the many people who were giving their lives to the Lord. “Not only does she translate their books,” her husband said as he hovered close by during our conversation, “but she prays for these men every day while she types. Sometimes it takes a long time for her finger to hit the key, or for her to get the paper in the machine, but all the time she is praying for those whose books she is working on.”

     This dear woman had every reason to feel sorry for herself and do nothing, but she chose to give what little she had and spent all day typing with one finger, one letter at a time. Her condition was a blessing because the secret police never would have suspected this invalid old woman, in this cramped apartment could ever accomplish anything. Her condition was no doubt given to her “for such a time as this.”(Esther 4:13-14)

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