Gone With the Wind

The Christmas Star was not published in 2018 or 2019. If you missed it we apologize. But those years, along with 2020 have been years of great loss for us in the Landry family. Those losses included: The deaths of both my mother and father, the death of our beloved dog, the passing of Mauriene’s mother, the loss of Tim's childhood home where we were married, the loss of our residence in Burbank, the closing down of our business, and the loss of my job of 25 years. In addition we are also forced to put our current home up for sale. Plus, in 2018 I was hospitalized and in a wheelchair, unable to work for three months. And now our nation and liberty are about to be sacrificed to the destructive demon of Socialism. One couldn’t blame us for feeling a little bit akin to the prophet Job, whom God allowed Satan to torment in order to prove a point.

All that was our life...is now gone. All. Gone.
And yet…

We are reminded that nothing happens that is not under God’s control. Whatever happens is because He wanted it to happen and made it happen. We may not enjoy it or understand it. But He’s God and we’re not. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those that are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Accordingly, here is a list from John McArthur of some of the purposes and uses for which God puts us through Trials and hardship:

1. Trials test the strength of our faith.
2. Trials humble us.
3. Trials tend to wean us from worldly things and…
4. Trials call us to an eternal hope for heaven.
5. Trials reveal what we really love.
6. Trials teach us to value the blessings God gives us.
7. Suffering helps us to empathize and help others in their time of need.
8. Like exercise, Trials help us to develop enduring strength for greater usefulness.

Jesus himself admonished us many times to not worry: “Do not worry, then, saying ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For…your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:31-33)

The Psalmist confirms Jesus’ point:
“I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
Or his descendants begging bread.”
(Psalm 37:25)

And practical experience proves this truth further. Even in all our great personal losses, the Lord continues to provide for the Landrys. We have a comfortable dwelling for now, Mauriene and I get to spend a great deal of time together. And He has provided our every need and comfort—including a heavenly perspective that focuses us ever more on the great Provider.

It’s no wonder, then, that we celebrate at this time of year, the coming of the One who would take away all our sins and offer us life in full abundance with Him.
Jesus says “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

Revelation 21:4 tells us: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

We can only say: “Come, Lord Jesus.”
The Vigil
This is what love looks like.

The Lion's share of the task of watching over Tim's parents in their final days fell on the shoulders of Mauriene. Dad was very ill in Fall of 2017 and then Mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer just as Dad was recovering. She passed in January of 2018. Then in late 2018 Tim's Dad got very ill again and passed away in January 2019.

They lived in Colorado Springs where we would travel several times a year to clean their house and take care of whatever we could for them.
In October of 2017 Tim was working so Mauriene drove to Colorado alone, expecting to stay for only a few days as she needed to return to California to take care of Bed & Breakfast guests.

That few day stay turned into 5 months of shuffling a very ill Dad to various homes, facilities, and doctors, while fending off Mom, a stroke victim who was suffering dementia.
Many were the nights Mauriene stayed by Dad in facilities where the care was marginal. Some neglected to provide even a chair for her. Sometimes she slept on the floor at the foot of his bed.
It was a grim, grueling, sleepless, thankless ordeal that brought her to the brink of breakdown.

These are not happy memories. But neither of us would have it any other way.

This is what love looks like.