On The Receiving End - by Lester Zimmerman

For over 40 years, my wife and I have been pastoring and caring for people. We have taught, encouraged, prayed, dedicated, married, counseled, buried, cried, laughed, and worshiped with people who we have served and loved. It has been a joy and privilege we will always cherish.

But now we find ourselves in a new season of life and on the receiving end of care from those we have cared for. In many ways it feels strange to have people caring for us. Since my wife has been diagnosed with cancer and has been going through treatments, we have had many people reaching out to us. We have been blessed with meals, cards, gas money, and the prayers and encouragement of many.
 
It feels strange being on the other side of the care ministry. But it also feels good. We are right in the middle of treatments, scans and more scans, and trips to the doctors. There are many unknowns ahead of us, but let me share a few things Erma and I have come to know in a new way.

  • We know the value of Christian community and friends. The support we feel helps us to keep going and get up in the mornings. It’s so powerful to know we are not on this journey alone. The relationships a person took time to develop before the crisis are what will carry them through the crisis.
  • Just knowing people are praying gives hope that things can get better. Prayer is our lifeline to an all-powerful God. I remember telling people who were in crisis and feeling guilty for not having the emotional energy for consistent prayer to let other people carry them with their prayers. The days we are depleted are so much better knowing we are covered and carried with the prayers of God’s people.
  • Hope is powerful. Listening to the many doctors and hearing their medical opinions can be overwhelming and discouraging at times. It is amazing how we grab hold of every little word or nuance that offers hope. And how we gravitate to hope inspiring people. We all need hope to help us dream and enjoy life. Yes, we need to embrace reality, but hope helps us perceive a higher reality where God rules and reigns and has the final say.
  • The Scriptures are medicine to the soul and health to the body.  I am watching Erma soak in God’s word and seeing the strength it brings to her. After everything is said and done, it is God’s word that provides refuge and strength. He communicates his thoughts to us through his word. His word is life and Jesus is the living word to us.

Thank you all for your prayers and support!
Pastor Lester Zimmerman