Grace for the Storm

Revelations 12:11 says, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Max and I came back to the Lord in 1993 after running from him for many years. It was a prosperous season for us in many ways. My wife Maxine owned a beauty shop in our little town of 2500 people. It was located in a strategic place one-half block from the main stoplight, across the street from the bank, and next door to the Post Office. Max was what I call the “hot” beautician in town. She owned the building and had a great business following. In April of 1995, I was invited to a Promise Keepers Wake-Up Call in Wichita. During a time of worship, the leader was saying, “God is looking for men who will stand and be counted as Leaders in their church, their home, and in their community.” I said yes to that call. It changed my life forever. Afterward, the Lord gave me grace to start a PK Men’s Group in our Church and then to become a PK Area Ambassador across parts of Central Kansas. I felt like I was running to keep up with all he was doing in my life. I became interested in Community Ministry as well, particularly with helping to unite God’s Church. It was a busy time of Ministry but also a time of storm as God did his work in us. A time of bittersweet. John 16:33 says, “In the world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

In October of 1995, Max was diagnosed with colon cancer. It resulted in her receiving a colon surgery which drastically changed her life. Then in August of 1996, she began to experience fatigue and aching throughout her body. She became unable to work so in October we decided to sell her Beauty Shop. It was a difficult decision to make. From the time she was a little girl, Max had always wanted to be a beautician. We bought her shop in an upturn season but sold it in a downturn season. We sold the building with all of its improvements as well as all the equipment for the same price we had paid for a bare building. Max’s illness persisted through the winter and in May she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The Doctor also said the inflammatory arthritis she had for several years was turning into rheumatoid arthritis. But then in August of 1997 in a church service, Max was healed of fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, a headache, and a urinary infection. We were so excited for what God had done in our lives! However, two months later, the doctors found three masses the size of a half-dollar in Max’s left lung. The cancer had migrated from her colon to her lung. In September of 1998, the doctors removed three-fourths of her left lung. After being told there was only a twelve percent chance the cancer would not return a third time, in September of 2020, Max celebrated twenty-two years of remission. We believe cancer will never return again. Only God knows why he chose to heal her of fibromyalgia and arthritis in a miraculous way but not the cancer. Perhaps it was to make her a testimony to our little town. After all, almost everyone in town knew her.

Those four years were a very difficult time in our lives but also a wonderful time as the Lord did his work in us. Three benefits were held for Max during that time, raising money to help us through some very rough times. A couple of other instances also stand out. Just before Thanksgiving in 1996, a couple knocked on our door and handed us a card. They said they just wanted to bless us. When we opened it, a one-hundred-dollar bill was tucked inside. In February of 1998, we received a money order in the mail for fifty dollars postmarked from a neighboring town. I still have a copy of it. The money order had no name and simply read, “Dear Vic and Maxine, God laid it upon our hearts to bless you because you have done so much to bless others!” We have no idea who sent it. Those were times when the money really came in handy. In 1997, we came to a place where we felt we had to sell our home. Our creditors were knocking. Again, we had bought our house in an upturn season but were selling it in a downturn season. We were only able to sell it for a fraction of the money we paid for it. We moved into a Mission for the homeless ran by our Church and served as Resident Missionaries for the next year and one-half until God called us to move to Grand Junction.

 

Maybe you are going through a storm right now. Maybe you have physical or financial problems. I want to tell you, God is faithful! We didn’t ask others for money or help. We weren’t raised that way. But God took care of us anyway. He sent others to help us at just the right times. He provided for our needs. We always had food and shelter. Our utilities were paid and we had what we needed to wear. We had transportation. We were blessed. He took care of us; he will take care of you as well. God used this time to mature us and teach us. He never left our sides. Although we were at times discouraged, he was the lifter of our heads. He sustained us. He also used us to be a testimony to others in our little town. He is using us to be a testimony to you right now. God will sustain you too. Call upon the Name of the Lord. He is faithful. A refuge in times of trouble. The righteous run into him and are saved.