The Wetzels have been busy the past couple of weeks! We have been hard at work with our marketing team at Hachette to get our book ready for launch, we started a new school year with our girls, and our Walter Reed baby turned 7!! We are also covering our university in prayer as students return to Auburn and the SEC attempts to have sports this fall. Josh is certainly about to sail some uncharted waters with Auburn Athletics. Please continue to pray for teachers and students of all ages.
I shared this sermon on our Facebook page last week. This was such a good word on how we can navigate today by keeping our eyes on tomorrow. While we all feel backed into a corner, we have choices that we have to make. If there is anything we hope people can take away from our testimony it's that the choices you make in a hard season are the ones that matter most. The truth is, there will be people ten years from now that will still blame 2020 for ruining everything. Things are changing but it's our choice to call them ruined.
Charlotte Gambill is one of my favorite speakers. She is lively and she truly digs into the word of God in those often unappreciated texts such as this one. In 2 Samuel 4, Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul, was orphaned, crippled, and moved from his home in the palace to a place called “Lo Debar,” all in one day. Lo Debar was a place of "no pasture," completely desolate and lifeless. Mephibosheth was also lame in both feet from being dropped as a baby. Both the situation and the season were bad for Mephibosheth. I want to speak on Charlotte's final point in this message which comes from 2 Samuel...
2 Samuel 9: David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” Now there was a servant of Saul’s household named Ziba. They summoned him to appear before David, and the king said to him,
“Are you Ziba?”
“At your service,” he replied.
The king asked, “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show
Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet.”
“Where is he?” the king asked.
Ziba answered, “He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.”
So King David had him brought from Lo Debar, from the house of Makir son of Ammiel.
“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and
you will always eat at my table.”
Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”
Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s steward, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.”
This wrapped up the message with a great final point:
Your infirmity is not your identity, but it can become your place of authority. -Charlotte Gambill
My favorite part about this story is that God did not heal Mephibosheth of his handicap. If you look at the life of Jesus, he also did not heal every single person that asked for physical healing. This sounds unfair, but until I heard this sermon, I never thought about what it would be like if God physically healed everyone of their infirmity.
When Josh was injured. I immediately began asking for healing, but what did even mean by that? I knew I wasn't praying for his legs to grow back or be reattached so when I asked God to heal Josh, what did I mean? At the time, I truly didn't know. Today it means exactly what Charlotte said. That an authority would be made out of something Satan wanted to use to create an identity. Evil would love to label us so we know exactly where our limits lie under the pretense that God can only use those that have what we don't have.
In our early days at Walter Reed Medical Center, Josh's mind wasn't very clear. He was on a lot of drugs and got little sleep. Josh was also not very strong in his faith. We were not Bible-readers or even church-goers when we got married. However, one thought could always surface no matter what kind of day Josh was having. Josh would always say "I know I can do more for God without legs than I ever could with legs."
Sometimes asking for healing is a request to leave behind other people that can only hear God from someone like you. This is how the Lord works through people. Maybe life is a lot more about finding a way to move forward while reaching back for those that need God too. For Josh and I, faith has always mirrored that of military training "leaving no man behind." Of course, we've had to walk away from situations and set boundaries for some people, but we never stop praying for the souls. We are always prepared for that prodigal son moment of repentance, no matter how the relationship has been. Like Mephibosheth, there are lost souls out there that identify with their sins and their problems more than they do their own name. We have to save a seat for them because someone once saved a seat for us. Josh found the strength to get up and try new things because other amputees encouraged him; not doctors, nurses, or physical therapists. This opened the door for what God was doing and what Christ had already done.
When Jesus asked the Father to take the burden of the cross away from Him, the Lord did not grant the request. What would hope would we have if Christ was relinquished of the pain He was destined to endure? What would happen to veterans if other veterans didn't care about them? To heal is to accept and move forward. To heal is to reach back and help others heal. Can you see your ailment as a source of hope for someone else? What if it was the exact reason someone chose Christ?