Sunday, June 21, 2009

What a friend brought Part I

If you’ve followed our blog since the beginning, you will remember that in the darkest days after surgery, when Mike was at his weakest, Satan ramped up his attack on my husband’s assurance of his eternal security.

Mike became the target of doubt and fear. Doubt of all he had learned and embraced during his life. Doubt that he was, in fact, a child of God, loved by God, guided by God, and headed to his Father’s side. And the existence of that doubt seemed to underscore its reality. How could a believer doubt? If he does, does that not mean that he is NOT a believer? Blackest fear.

Catch 22. The Evil One has read the book.

Satan is a coward who targets the sure thing. This time it was this very ill man who was facing his mortality with immediacy. Why not torture a man who has a very real interest in where he may be heading after death?

Mike asked. He asked me. He asked family. He asked pastors. He called out to God.

And God surrounded him with many voices of believing friends who tried to show him, from scripture, from the evidence of his life, from the reports of his peers, that he is, indeed, a child of God.

One friend came to visit, a gruff, large bull of a man, a Harley guy, and a Christian. He has known Mike for much of his adult life and before coming to Christ, had need of a lawyer from time to time. Mike had served as an example to him in his difficulties and in his triumphs. Now, here was this example, wiped out physically, emotionally, spiritually.

This man joined the chorus in assuring Mike that he is God’s man. Even his voice could not take away the doubt and that frustrated him.

I wasn’t in the room but I’m betting it went something like this:

“Dang it, (or perhaps something a bit more colorful) Bolinger! What would it take to convince you that you are a going to heaven?”

“Oh,” weakly from under the covers, “I guess if I saw writing in the sky that said ‘Mike Bolinger is a Christian,’ that would do it.

The room’s conversations continued for a while and then all visitors went on with their lives. Except this guy. He spent a restless night, turning it over in his mind, what could he do to help his friend. He prayed for guidance and with the dawn of Friday morning, God gave him an answer.

He called a local artist who had not heard of Mike’s illness. Explaining what he wanted, he commissioned a drawing and told her he needed it ASAP. She jumped at this project and by Monday, she called the biker, he picked it up and delivered it in person.

The last few months have brought opportunities for people to express concern and kindness. Many of these events have brought us to tears. The drawing was the first.

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