If you read my previous post, perhaps you were inspired to be like Jesus, lay aside your royal identity and selflessly serve those around you. Chances are that there is someone in your life who is like the men and women Jesus encountered - struggling to make ends meet, hungry, poor, tired, in danger, under attack, sick and even dying. How can you demonstrate selfless faith to these?
My first love letter is to one of the most selfless and faithful men I have ever known. My husband, Dennis, has been given the gift of serving by the Holy Spirit. To know him is to be served by him. While this is one of the things that attracted me to the man in the first place, it was also the source of much frustration in our early years together! I can’t tell you how many times he showed up hours late for our date because he was helping a little old lady stranded on the side of the road, or he had picked up a hitch-hiker and gave him a ride. No matter how I tried, I could never justify being angry with him!
Another strong gifting in his life is faith. He never doubts - never waivers - in his belief that the Lord is working all things for his good, (Romans 8:28) and that God is faithful to keep His promises, (I Thessalonians 5:24.)
Needless to say, when we were first married nearly 17 years ago, I did not know that these qualities that attracted me (and sometimes frustrated me) would be the very qualities that I would need to uphold me.
I remember clearly the day I found the tumor in my breast. Previously, whenever I took a suspected ailment to Dennis he would shake his head and tell me that the swelling or bump or wound that I was experiencing was completely normal and nothing to worry about. This day he did not. Instead, he set to work, serving me by making appointments, calling doctors, insisting that I needed to be seen immediately.
After the diagnosis of breast cancer he spent countless hours researching treatments, both dietary and medical, and hospitals and doctors, both near and far. During chemotherapy and surgery, he took over nearly all the household chores: washing the dishes, doing the laundry, cleaning and cooking. He spent a large portion of his day juicing carrots and kale to resupply my body with the nutrients that chemo was stripping away. I drank gallons of carrot juice - so much that I looked like I had a beautiful tan!
When we were discussing chemotherapy options he told me that he believed the poison of chemo would take me to the brink of death, but He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God would bring me back to life. He never doubted. He still doesn’t doubt. Despite what the doctors said and continue to say, he has faith that the Lord has healed me completely. In my darkest moments when I dared to begin to wonder, “what if?” he never let me falter in my faith that the Lord was working in my body.
We all need a Dennis when we are struggling. We need someone to come alongside to selflessly serve us and build up our faith. I am so grateful that God provided a servant husband for me years before I knew how much I would need him. My prayer today is that I can stand as a woman of selfless faith and meet the needs of others.