Over the years, Sandy ministered to many people. She was a nurturer, mothering individuals and pointing them to Christ. An outgrowth of her employment was helping to take care of the company’s workers from Central America. Sandy had a big heart. One time she took on the local justice system when one of the employees wound up in jail. If Sandy thought something was wrong, she would go to great lengths to make things right; she was a tigress.
It was quite a shock when what Sandy was diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctor at first thought it was just an infection, but after an unsuccessful course of meds, further testing was done and she was given the diagnosis of cancer. Sandy had a mastectomy and then started the dreaded chemotherapy. She would have a course of chemo, get quite ill, start to feel better and then have to go for more chemo. The chemo was followed by radiation. During the course of these therapies, Sandy’s lovely red hair fell out and her skin developed nasty painful rashes. She had always been strong physically and now found herself imprisoned in a sick body, alien to her. Through the relentless progress of the disease, Sandy endured. That final summer of her illness we conversed on the question, “What do you do when everything else is gone? What happens when all the physical things you have counted on, go up in smoke? What happens when all there is left, is God?”
Have you eve thought about Jeremiah of the Bible? Have you ever thought about how Jeremiah felt when he was sunk in the slimy stinking mud of that cistern? It had not been a winner season for him. A look at Jeremiah 37 bears witness to a most disheartening progression of events. As a preacher, Jeremiah faced a audience that didn’t pay any attention to his message. When God turned up the heat on Israel with an invasion by the Babylonians, Jeremiah was falsely accused of being a turncoat, beaten, imprisoned in a dungeon for a lengthy period, given a brief reprieve, and then thrown into that terrible cistern. The narrative tells us that he was so mired in the mud that when he was finally released it took thirty men pulling on ropes to lift him out of the mud’s suction.
What did Jeremiah find in that dark cistern? What happens when all you can hear is the dripping of water and help seems miles away? What happens when all light is gone? There is hope. Please watch for Part 2 of this story.