Friday, November 18, 2022

Like Those Who Dream: Chapters 30 and 31

Like Those Who Dream: Chapters 30 and 31
-Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow

Chapter 30: I Will Walk With You

God is with us, in good times and bad times; easy times and hard times; gentle times and turbulent times. When we face difficulties, God will sometimes remove them, sometimes He will show us the way to avoid them, and other times He will show us the way through them. Having God’s presence is more important than the circumstances we face or the people that are around us. We are much better off to face difficulties with God than to have an easy life without Him. When God tells you He will walk through something with you it means you have all you need—peace is there, strength is there, grace is there, love is there.  A sister in Christ once told me, “I have been through something that I never want to go through again. However, I am so thankful, because through it I have discovered how much Jesus loves me.”

A few years after developing my voice problem I faced another physical issue. I first noticed something unusual about my lungs after a winter storm. The storm had deposited a large amount of snow in our city and I decided to get a sled and take advantage of the opportunity. I took my sled to an area that had a long, steep hill with several curves. I positioned my sled at the top of the hill and jumped on. Within a few seconds the sled picked up an amazing amount of speed as I steered my way around the first curve. As the sled continued to accelerate, I took in deep breaths of the cold winter air. When I did, my lungs began to bother me. I thought it was due to the cold and shrugged it off as nothing unusual. Shortly after that experience, I began to wheeze when I went to bed. It seemed strange, but once again I didn’t pay much attention to it. Several weeks later, while I was driving into town, I got a tickle in my throat and started to cough. I put my hand over my mouth during my coughing spell and when I pulled my hand away it had blood on it. I knew then that something was seriously wrong.

I made an appointment with our local doctor and told him about the things I had been experiencing. He suggested I go to a specialist and take a test that would allow the doctor to observe my lungs through a device he would put down my throat. I couldn’t imagine such a thing, but I agreed to the test when I found out I would be medicated and wouldn’t remember a thing.  On a Friday, Char and I went to the hospital to meet the specialist. After the test, while I was recovering in another room, the specialist told Char his findings, “I’ve located a tumor that is in one of Roy’s bronchial tubes. I’m not sure if it’s malignant, but I’ve taken a biopsy of the tumor and sent it out to be tested. I won’t know anything until the first of next week. Please don’t say anything to Roy until we know more. I will call your doctor as soon as I get the results.”

I went home not knowing anything about the tumor and waited for the results of my test. The weekend was much harder on Char than it was on me. Here is her account of that weekend…

Probably one of the most emotional and heart wrenching moments I have had was when the doctor told me Roy had a tumor in the opening of one of his bronchial tubes. I was torn to pieces. I loved Roy so much and couldn’t bear him suffering. One day during this time, I stood in my laundry room and the questions came. Are there any cracks in God’s character? Does God make mistakes? Is there anything that goes past God that He doesn’t see? Is there anything that God misses concerning us? A couple of minutes later my answer came from the depths of my being (I could feel it rise up) and I said out loud, "NO! He does not make a mistake; no, there is nothing that slips past Him; no, there are no cracks!" Peace flooded my heart and being! A question the Lord asked me was "Am I enough?" A tough question in that moment as I did not know what the results were going to be from the tests. I answered “yes” and from that point on, to this day, He has revealed Himself to me in ways beyond what I could have thought—His presence, His inner-voice, all such a privilege to experience and know.

On Monday, I went back to my regular doctor to find out the results of my test. He told me about the tumor that was found and the biopsy that was taken. It was a good news and bad news report. The good news was that the tumor was not malignant; the bad news was that it was located in a very dangerous place and needed to come out.  When I asked what needed to be done, I was surprised to learn they would need to remove two-thirds of my left lung. I asked many questions and tried to explore other options, but surgery remained the only medical option. After praying and being prayed for, I sensed a peace from the Lord to go ahead and schedule the surgery. As the date drew near, I had the assurance from the Lord that He would hold my hand and walk through this surgery with me.

Apart from having my tonsils out as a young boy in New York, this was the first time I had been in a hospital for surgery. I was rather na├»ve about the whole procedure and was surprised by the amount of pain I experienced when the surgery was completed. It was a long, hard recovery and the pain lasted for months. I discovered later on that lung surgery is one of the most painful surgeries a person can experience. Before the surgery and afterwards, I spent time reading through the Psalms. I put together a collection of all the Scriptures that spoke to me about God’s promises for difficult times. That list of Scriptures was a source of great comfort and encouragement to me and was something I could pass on to others for their comfort.

Chapter 31: The Ministry of Writing

I am convinced that we don’t have a ministry because we decide to have one; we have a ministry because God gives us one. Our calling, our work, and the fruit that comes from it is God’s doing, not ours. Our privilege is to obey what God tells us to do; our responsibility is to serve Him faithfully and obediently, whether it is a hidden place or a public place. His blessing and His anointing comes to us when we are living in agreement with His will. We cannot manufacture God’s blessing and anointing simply by being ambitious, highly motivated, or hard working.  The anointing and blessing of God come through the work of the Holy Spirit, not through our own efforts. An ounce of obedience is worth more than a pound of strife and a ton of self-effort.

My office at DaySpring was located at the edge of a meadow. There were three large windows on the outside wall of the office that provided a perfect view of the meadow and the trees that bordered it. It was a great place to work, not only because of the view, but also because of the quietness of the location. One day, our local newspaper wanted to do a feature article about me and my work. When the reporter came to see me she was immediately impressed with the location of my office and the setting. She started off her interview by asking me if the meadow was the source of my inspiration. I told her that I enjoyed the view of the meadow, but that it had nothing to do with my inspiration to write—inspiration can take place anywhere, on a plane, in a car, at home, and even in an old Arcade building in Covina, California. 

“My inspiration doesn’t come from things, but from the Holy Spirit,” I explained. “He can speak to me at anytime, anywhere, about any matter.” I then went on to explain the importance of Scripture in my writing and that without it I would have nothing to say. The interview was a good reminder to me that my ministry of writing was not about my talent, but it was about a gift that God had given me to make His heart known to others through the ministry of hope and encouragement.

By the mid-80s DaySpring made a major decision to become a full service greeting card company. The biggest difference was we began selling card footage (permanent card displays) into the stores instead of just individual cards or card lines. Card assignments kept landing on my desk and my writing assignments increased to about sixty cards a month.

As I sat in my office one afternoon I was handed a folder with a job ticket requesting a general birthday message that could be sent to anyone. I had written many birthday cards over the years and wondered what I could write that would be new and different. I had recently been thinking about the teaching of evolution and the impact it was having on people’s lives. “There are so many people who find life meaningless,” I thought, “they need to know that life is not by chance and that God has created them for a purpose that can be known and fulfilled in their generation.” I decided to write a card message that would address the need of meaning and purpose in someone’s life. The message was titled Just Think.

Just think, you’re here not by chance, but by God’s choosing.
His hand formed you and made you the person you are.
He compares you to no one else—you are one of a kind.
You lack nothing that His grace can’t give you.
He has allowed you to be here at this time in history
to fulfill His special purpose for this generation.
 

Just Think can be divided into three main sections and each section is based upon a key Bible passage:

Section 1:
Just think, you’re here not by chance, but by God’s choosing. His hand formed you and made you the person you are. He compares you to no one else—you are one of a kind.

Psalm 139:13-15 NLT, You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.”

Section 2:
You lack nothing that His grace can’t give you.

2 Corinthians 9:8 NKJV, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”

Section 3:
He has allowed you to be here at this time in history
to fulfill His special purpose for this generation.

Acts 13:36 KJV, For David…served his own generation by the will of God…”

 *

When the Christmas season came around I needed to write some new Christmas card messages for an upcoming card development. As I began to work on the assignment I went back to Scripture to read the accounts of the birth of Jesus. I decided to write a card that would focus on the reason why God sent His Son to be born of a virgin and live among us. I realized that the message needed to address the deepest need within the human heart, and not the superficial needs the world puts the focus on during the Christmas season. The result was a message called God Sent Us a Savior which was based upon Luke 1:11, “ For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

God Sent Us a Savior

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator.
If  our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist.
If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest need was forgiveness, So God sent us a Savior.

*

What excites me about writing is not the style or ability to write, but the subject matter (the content) of writing. I have been given the privilege of writing about the heart of God expressed through the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. This is, without question, the greatest subject anyone could ever write about, and it is a subject that can never be fully expressed or explored.  “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” John 21:25 NKJV

(Join us next week as we continue this journey of Roy's memoir, Like Those Who Dream. The book is available through DaySpring and Christian retailers everywhere.)

#memoir #likethosewhodream #meetinginthemeadow #roylessin #roylessinmemoir #cofounderdayspring #dayspring 

©2022 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. ©2021 DaySpring, used with permission. 

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