Today marks the 42nd anniversary of the death of my mother, Marian Greene McLean. Her presence and absence in my life has been defining in many ways. I revisit her devotions periodically and find new things each time I hear her voice.
You may listen to her devotions using the link below.
You are missed!
December 8, 1972
And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus
It’s interesting to take a verse like this and hold it up to your life through the years and see how your understanding of its meaning develops as you mature. Not too long ago I would have had great reservations about sharing with you as I am going to do today. I would have thought of how terribly careful you have to be when you talk about these things. But now the experience has become so compelling that I’ve lost the reticence. In fact there is so definitely a Force and Personality outside my own at working me that I almost feel detached. Where my will is involved in this is that I ask for and expect this miracle to be taking place in my life. And it’s just as fascinating to try to catch all the ways this is happening constantly.
A couple of conclusions have come through loud and clear. One is that neither sickness nor any other bad thing is part of God’s will for us ever — but they do happen. His part is that He can and will help us to bring surprising good out of these bad things. The other is that death is not the enemy — and neither is it a far-away place.
Another thing I know is that I’m not telling you something you aren’t aware of — many of you have gone through things much more difficult than this — and sometimes the everyday challenge of nothing in particular is more wearing than a big problem. We all come to know God from different vantage points — and this is mine.
Last December you gave me a symbol of the Holy Spirit — then I said that nothing could have been more appropriate as far as what is important to me is concerned.
And that was last year!
Well, have I got news for you — He is real — He is here and He is now. Through the years I have had brief encounters with Him — but this year He has become my Constant Companion.
Two years ago the time sequence of the mastectomy was great — I got the word Thursday — it spread over the weekend — and by Monday night I was receiving such strength and support from your prayers that that was more real than the bed I was lying on. Next morning before going to the operating room I had an experience I can only call His Presence. There were no words — but I was aware of a great power and of receiving complete assurance that no matter what happened I would not be alone and would be seen through whatever I might have to go through — not necessarily that it would be good — but that I would not be alone. That assurance remained with me through the cobalt, recovery, and the gradual realization that medically it should not have turned out so well.
Last winter when this round came up I again asked for — and received the Gift — but the form it came in was quite different. This time it was a dream in which Jesus Himself was beside me under an olive tree in the Garden of Gethsemane. We were overlooking a peaceful valley which seemed to represent my future — again not necessarily good — but something I wouldn’t have to do alone.
For about two weeks, while my family and I were working our way through the various possibilities we knew there were, He was with me constantly night and day. My brother said it was a living experience of the 23rd Psalm.
During this time I went to the hospital chapel to surrender myself. Counting on His guidance and pledging whatever I had to give made it seem that He and I were embarking on some fantastic adventure — as indeed we were!
At this point Dick told me not to make it sound all sweetness and light because it isn’t — and that’s the truth. It’s also the point of what I’m saying. No matter how hard it is, there is always help that makes it possible, bearable, and even pleasant in unexpected ways. The biggest problem for me to deal with has been the side effects of the medicine. It appears to be doing its basic job of attacking the cancer — meanwhile it is also rendering me progressively lamer. This makes my world smaller till now my days pretty much center around the bed in the dining room. I used to take a long walk when things got thick — now I take a long bath — and that’s when I also do some of my most fervent praying.
Each day does bring new rewards — big things like deeper relationships and fresh insights — small things like a new bird at the feeder or a purring cat on my lap — al kinds of things that might have been taken for granted before.
When Jesus physically left His followers He promised to send them a Comforter. That promise — made and kept — is the way that this verse has been fulfilled for me — yes, my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Jesus Christ.