It is wonderful to experience miracles from God and to have great feelings about God.
But the lasting faith doesn’t come from experiencing the spectacular. That is a shallow faith. Lasting faith comes from trusting Jesus when we don’t see what He is doing. It is the “evidence of things not seen” (Heb.11:1
I want to tell you about a friend of mine by the name of Bettie.--- Bettie was raised in South Gate, California. I first met her and her sister Merrie while working in a hair salon. They married very young and were both recently divorced from their husbands. They were definitely two of the most fun and engaging people I had ever met. Bettie had a quick wit, was never at a loss for a clever comeback. Needless to say we shared a deep friendship that has lasted to this day.
Bettie’s life before I met her had not been as wonderful as one would have expected based on her upbeat happy personality As an unbeliever at that time I was unaware of Bettie’s unwavering faith and trust in her Savior Jesus Christ and the tragedy she had been through just a few short years earlier. This is her story.
Bettie married Leo Hinds when she was only 16 years old they had two sons, Steven and Ricky; the boys were 1 year apart in age. Steven was a normal child healthy and as active as any normal little boy could be. Ricky wasn’t,---------- Ricky was born with a rare form of Multiple Sclerosis. Unable to walk from birth he was completely bedridden. Bettie was approx. 18 years old when Ricky was born
Drawing on her faith in God, Bettie taught her sons about the love of Jesus, sharing Bible stories with them spending time in prayer with her boys and never at anytime giving up on Our Lords grace and Love to get her through this time in her young life.
Ricky was fun and a little spoiled, how could we not spoil with love when one of our children has such a terrible disease and would never be able to get out of bed. One morning as Ricky’s mom walked into his room, he said guess what mom, Jesus was here last night. Bettie replied how exciting you had a dream about Jesus what did he say?
No mom Ricky said, Jesus was here in my room He was standing right there by my bed and talking to me. Again just trying to humor him Bettie said ok what did Jesus say. He said I was going to get up, walk and play soon just like the other kids. Bettie believed Ricky and kept this in her heart, what she did not know at that time was that Jesus was preparing her and Ricky for what was to come. Ricky went home to be with Our Lord just 2 weeks later. He is indeed playing and walking with the other kids under the protective wings of Our Lord and Savior.
Six years later Bettie and Leo were divorced. The marriage was over I don’t know why -------if it was because of their youth or maybe the strain of losing Ricky.
It was at this time when I met my two new friends. I too was recently divorced we had a lot in common on that front. We shared many great times together.
One night Bettie met a man who was later to become her second husband. Bernie was his name. They were very happy and for awhile their life was pretty normal.
Bettie became pregnant with her 3rd child a little girl, they named her Christine.
She was happy and seemed to be healthy until around the age of 4. Christine was showing signs of something wrong, maybe just a little flu maybe a bladder infection. But something was wrong! Christine was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in the kidney. Surgery plus chemotherapy for a four year old little girl. Can anything hurt more than watching your child suffer and all you want to do is take the pain away, give the pain to me Lord let me go through this for her. Please let her live and end this nightmare.
X rays were taken MRI’s were given to examine how much of the tumor had shrunk.
What happened to the tumor it was here the other day?
How could it just disappear ? Doctors were baffled.
Now what we have behind the scenes out of the eyes of the ever watching Doctors and specialist were Christians on their knees praying for a healing. The faithful fervent prayer of a believing Christian group was answered.
Christine went home healed------
But not for long, the cancer came back this time on Christine’s lungs. Back to the hospital. Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. A very caring staff of nurses and doctors. There was sweet little Christine facing yet again another round of chemotherapy .
Well meaning friends along with parents going through the same horrible scenario tried to comfort Bettie, to their surprise Bettie began witnessing to them about the love of Jesus and how he sustains her. This might not surprise you, after another round of X rays and exams the tumor was no where to be found . God had healed her yet again.
Christine got to go home. She was a walking miracle.
About this time Bernie felt he was not able to endure the problems of a terminally ill child any longer ------------Bernie wanted out of the marriage!
He had made his decision and was prepared to end their life together. One last hunting trip with his friends though before he made his exit. Driving back home on a deserted highway Bernie’s car flipped over rolled several times throwing everyone out. Bernie suffered spinal injuries and was paralyzed from the waist down.
Bernie decided to stay in the marriage after all.
Here we have Bettie, a child seemingly dying and a husband who was forced to stay at home. Could she have felt anymore alone and unwanted?
I wish I could say Christine was healed completely once and for all, but she wasn’t . The fight with her cancer went on for 4 years, with our God continually healing her and the cancer coming back in other areas of her body.
Mom and dads prayers answered again and again,------------------------------------------- their final prayer was this. Father God you have faithfully answered our prayers for all of these years We loved our little girl and did not want to lose her. We were not considering that you wanted her also, you knew this was going to continue on and Christine would be suffering----------- so as of now we give our little girl back to you. Christine died shortly after this prayer and walked into the loving arms of our Father God.
I am convinced that God was allowing this to go on for everyone involved, along with anyone who heard about Bettie and Christine’s story they would know that there is a God in Heaven who loves us and is ready to heal our broken hearts and bind our wounds. A loving God who answers prayers from our lips and hearts to Heavens door, directly to Our Kings Throne.
Betty and Bernie moved to Santa Rosa California, opened a business were enjoying life, Bettie met a friend for lunch one afternoon, in the restaurant she suffered an aneurism in her brain and died. She passed away at the age of 54 years old. I wonder who was waiting for her when she entered Heaven.
Do you see any similarities in Betties life and Job’s? I do.
Job asked, who has hardened himself against God and prospered? Bettie might have asked why me Lord? I think we all at some time would ask that same question.
Tested time and again she never lost faith in Jesus. Right up to the end of her life she was teaching Sunday school classes at the Church she was attending. Being faithful in her service to Our Lord Jesus Christ.
As women of Faith keep this scripture in your heart and head. Isaiah 41:9-10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes I will help you, I will uphold you with My Righteous Right Hand.
Warren Wiersbe wrote, when trouble comes to our lives, we can do one of three things: endure it, escape, or enlist it. If we only endure our trials, then trials become our master, and we have a tendency to become hard and bitter. If we try to escape our trials, then we will probably miss the purposes God wants to achieve in our lives. But if we learn to enlist our trials, they will become our servants instead of our masters and work for us; and God will work all things together for our good and His glory.