Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 17 Number 10 October 2015
Page 8

Priscilla's Page Editor's Note

Seeing God in My Rearview Mirror

Lisa Coil

Lisa CoilFor anyone who has ever traveled the stretch of interstate known as I-40 West connecting Nashville to Memphis, Tennessee, one can truly understand just how long and boring those 200 miles can be. Perhaps it’s because there is virtually nothing from Nashville to Jackson, few towns and fewer exits. It was July 2005 and my two children and I were traveling from our home just outside Memphis to visit my parents slightly east of Nashville for a little summer vacation. The weather was beautiful, the sky clear and sunny, and so began our journey as we had done many times before. However, on this particular trip, from the driver’s seat of my Saturn Vue, I caught a glimpse of God in my rearview mirror that I had never seen before. Let me tell you what I saw.

This story really began in 1997 when my husband was preaching in a Gospel meeting near Manchester, TN. He left our home in East Tennessee to go begin the meeting when near Monteagle Mountain his car broke down. He was stranded. He finally got the car to a station only to find out that it would take a few days to repair it. He called one of the members of the church where he was scheduled to preach that next morning to come get him. When the elderly gentleman arrived (a longtime friend of ours), his daughter and new grandson, Will, were with him. Evidently, Will captured the attention of my husband in a most unusual way. When my husband called me later that night, most of the conversation was about the young Russian boy, Will, who he had met earlier that day. My husband had excitement in his voice that I had never really heard before. As the week continued with Gospel meeting, I continued to hear about Will almost every night. Will had been adopted from Russia a few months earlier, and he now had a wonderful Christian home.

At that time my husband and I had been married for about ten years. We had gone through endless fertility treatments and drugs. We had exhausted every resource we could find to help us conceive a child. We knew God was in control of our lives, and we trusted in His promise and plan for us. “And we know that all things work together for the good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). I had longed for children it seemed my whole life. I had never really desired a sophisticated career or to be a professional. I had always wanted to be a wife and mother, nothing more. I had a hole in my heart that nothing seemed to fill. My husband was very happy with our life, just the two of us, but he was keenly aware of my heartache. He tried everything to fill my void, but nothing worked. We had spoken about adoption, but until he met Will, we had never gotten beyond the words. We kept holding out hope that I would conceive. We continued to serve God in every way we could, always believing that He had a plan for us and that someday He would fill the hole in my heart.

After the Gospel meeting ended, my husband returned home. His meeting Will led us to a decision that would change our lives forever. We contacted Will’s parents and obtained as much information as we could about their adoption process. We had many conversations with them and made the decision that God was leading us in this direction. So, the exhausting, yet fulfilling adoption process for us began!

On Friday evening in mid-October 2000, our adoption facilitator called us from her office in Murfreesboro, TN to see if we could meet her for dinner. She wanted to introduce us (via photographs and video) to our son. He was the most beautiful, black eyed, brown haired baby boy we had ever seen. He was about 7-months-old, and we could bring him home, hopefully, by the end of the year.

The next morning, my husband and I went on our usual 3-mile walk, and I was skipping and leaping through most of it! The hole in my heart was beginning to close! My husband couldn’t stop smiling, showing off the pictures and video to anyone and everyone he could. Through exasperating paperwork and red-tape, through long and extensive trips to Russia, through snow, ice and 14-hour long train rides, and more experiences than I can recount, we arrived at Nashville International Airport on December 23, 2000 with the greatest Christmas gift that anyone could imagine. Our son had made it home! He was ours, he was safe, and he was loved beyond measure.

In 2003, our son welcomed a baby sister! We traveled again to the other side of the world, Siberia, to embrace the baby girl that God had entrusted to us. She was 5-months-old and tiny; she was an angel – she was perfect! She was blond-headed and blue-eyed, and now the hole in my heart was filled and began to overflow.

So you ask. “What did you see in your rearview mirror on that long boring drive on a July day in 2005?” I saw two sleeping angels, nestled snuggly in their car sears, heads turned to either side, and I knew beyond any doubt that God is love (1 John 4:8). I saw His love and goodness. He longs to satisfy the desires of His children. I saw how He heard and answered our prayers. “The effectual fervent prayer of righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). I saw how He cared for us like no other, how He hurts when we hurt and rejoices when we rejoice. I saw how He has a plan for us in His time, and in His way. I saw how He blesses us beyond what we can ever begin to comprehend or imagine. I saw His gracious gifts. I had received two of them!

That drive for me isn’t so long and boring anymore; I just take a few quick glances in my rearview mirror to remind me of all my Heavenly Father taught me that day. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be the glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world with end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20).

Take Comfort

Beth Johnson

Beth Johnson“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17). One brother may say, “Light affliction! You mean that suffering at the hands of my coworkers because I am a Christian is light affliction? They reject me, slander and mock me day after day. How can I keep from worrying about these things?”

A young Christian teen may say, “Ever since I became a member of the church, my school friends have left me. They will not invite me to go with them anywhere because they know I will not participate in the things they do. That is hard to endure when we were so close before. I worry about losing my friends.”

The heart of a young mother whose husband has not embraced the truth may be torn because her husband is trying to undermine the teaching she is giving the children. She may be the object of mockery or rejection by her relatives and in-laws or by her own children. How can she endure and focus on the eternal things when her earthly trials are so heartbreaking day after day? How can she keep from worrying?

The apostle Paul was the one speaking in 2 Corinthians 4:17, and the trials which he endured, to most of us today, would seem to be anything but light. These trials consisted of want (maybe even near starvation), danger, contempt, stoning, toil, weariness and the scorn of the world. He was constantly exposed to the threat of death by land and by sea (2 Corinthians 4:7-10; 11:23-27). Yet, these trials, even though they continued many years, were spoken of as light when compared with that eternal glory that awaited him. He dealt with them as they came and did not worry or waiver in his faith. Trials had followed him ever since he began to preach the Gospel, and he expected that they would follow him to the end of his life (Acts 20:23). However, all this was a momentary trifle compared with the eternal glory before him.

We also need to focus on the eternal glory that awaits us rather than the temporary burdens, so that we can win the battle against Satan. If we allow ourselves to worry and fret about the temporary, those things will overshadow the eternal. We cannot gain the victory that way.

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