by Rose Harmer
In our morning family devotional time, we read Luke 14, where, at the end of the chapter, Jesus talks about the cost of being His disciple. When we ask Christ to be Lord in our lives, I believe for some people He orchestrates circumstances to help us remember our commitment.
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight……… and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 KJV).
In the Living Bible the same verse says:
“Since we have such a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, let us strip off anything that slows us down.”
In 1995, perhaps it was our dream home built on a two hundred foot canal complete with a large swimming pool and all the possessions which people accumulate over the years that prevented us from “running the race set before us”. My husband Bob was given a diagnosis of ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with only one to three years to live. His prominent symptom was he could not lift his arms straight up – perhaps the “weights” we had accumulated was weighing him down. It is a disease which seems to occur more often in men involved in a career involving physical strength. Lou Gehrig’s is the street name for this disease and he was a very popular baseball player in the early days.
Bob’s dream, encouraged by the many postcards of traveling friends, was to take early retirement, buy a fifth wheel and travel throughout Canada and the United States. Since God is Lord, it seemed as if I needed to consent. At the time, I was the director of a nonprofit Christian counseling center which I had founded with 15 employees. However, my pastor and board encouraged me to take a six month leave of absence.
We did exchange our lovely home, gardens and possessions for a used fifth wheel and a new truck. God kindly allowed us to sell the house furnished in a short time. We adopted a simpler lifestyle for ten years – living in 300 square feet instead of 2400 square feet. But we have traveled to every province and state in Canada and the United States. We have seen God’s mighty hand at work in our lives with many prayers answered. Bob is still living after sixteen years with the disease.
Christ wants to be Lord. Relinquishment comes in many forms. Is there anything in your life which you feel God wants you to lay at the foot of the cross?
Rose Spillenaar Harmer
Rose was born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, to a missionary family. She speaks on many subjects related to marriage, family and mental health and still counsels but travels throughout North America in the spring and summer and winters in Cape Coral, Florida. Her published works include a short biography in Clayton’s Kids (2009) and a column entitled “Listening” which will be part of a forth-coming book. Contact Rose.