Once a month, I receive a small magazine called Guideposts. When reading through the editorial, one point in particular caught my attention; he said, “We are our stories.” That brings me to my devotion today: I would like to share a small portion of my own story.
I grew up in a home where my mother was a woman of strong faith, and, even though some people say you cannot bargain with God, she always claimed that she did. In the 1940’s, she was critically ill with a burst gallbladder and was not given much time to live. When she heard the news, she was devastated! There were four little girls at home who needed her. Her own mother and baby brother had died in the flu epidemic in 1916. Consequently, she and her sister were separated from their other brothers and were placed in separate foster homes. Her father did not think he could raise girls on the farm without a woman’s influence. Mother was placed with an older couple and, though it was a good home, not much affection was passed around. She did not want that for her girls, so she prayed earnestly and told God if He would spare her to raise her family, she would see to it that we were raised to know Him. The doctors decided to try a new experimental treatment since they had nothing to lose and gave her a new drug on the market called Penicillin. It was touch and go, but she lived to keep her part of the bargain.
We read in Hebrews Chapter 11 that, by faith, Enoch was taken up to heaven and did not see death; by believing God and building the ark, Noah saved his household and became an heir of righteousness; by faith, Sarah conceived a child past child-bearing age; by faith, Abraham sojourned in a foreign land and offered up his only son, because he believed God could raise him from the dead and would keep his promise to make of him a great nation; by faith, Moses became the son of Pharaoh and the deliverer of Israel out of Egypt. Each of their stories have become the stones of remembrance and the building blocks of faith for all generations to come.
By faith, my mother believed in a merciful God and that set five young women (her fifth was born after her illness) on the paths of their own stories—filled with joys and tragedies. Each one of us are able to rely on the foundation of faith that she passed on to us and can give testimony to God’s presence in our lives today.
I believe it’s been said that you cannot bargain with God. I think if my mom were here today, she would say, “I don’t know about that.”
– Judy Flieger
JUDY AND HER MOM