Set Aside, But Blessed

by AliceMae Favro

Editor's note: The following reflection was written by AliceMae Favro, who of late has been in great pain and experiencing much suffering due to osteoarthritis. Before this, she led an active Christian life and ministry, traveling with her minister/evangelist husband, Earle T. Favro, pioneer radio broadcaster and Bible conference speaker, during the 43 years of their marriage-including painting baptismal murals in more than two hundred church buildings. and after her husband's death in 1987, she carried on with multi-media presentations and a tape ministry. She also taught for fifteen years in two Christian Colleges, and published a book on the harmony of mathematics and the Scriptures. AliceMae was also a frequent traveler to the Holy Land environs, including following the journeys of the Apostle Paul. But it was only after osteoarthritis and then deterioration of the spine ravaged her body with incessant  and unrelievable pain these past several years, and she was driven to Christ for solace and endurance, that she has "come to know what true life in Christ entails." She explains that "as I sought the Lord's will for my last days-or years-and was convinced by His Spirit we can serve Him by being, and becoming the servant of Christian character and devotion He willseven in a place of inactivity. I had to be laid low with incessant  and unrelievable pain these several years before I came to know what true life in Christ entails. How I wish I had learned it half a century ago!"

Here are AliceMae's reflections on turning 86:

                

I've learned during these latter years, that this Christian life is not first about being "happy"-nor even being healthy-but it's about being holy.  Holiness is the product of embracing all that this life brings-the painful as well as the joyful-and choosing to grow spiritually through everything we experience in this earthly life.

We don't really understand true joy nor comprehend purpose in life (to glorify God) unless and until we have suffered deep pain, and so learn of true life in Christ.  Sometimes I think that is the only reason I'm left on earth, having lost the glorious privilege of serving Him in the body of Christ for so many years, but now "shelved," though more accurately, "shut in with God."

And so, "set aside" I've learned, too, that serving Him is not necessarily or wholly doing but also "being" and becoming, under His tutelage, the servant He wants us to be. And through it all, He gives us "bonuses" in precious Christian friends who love and care and uphold us.

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