One of the first friends I made after moving to Minnesota was a sweet, godly lady named Arlene. She understood me well because she had a chronic illness, too, only she was more sick than I am. She was a godly example to me of what it means to suffer well. She lived Romans 12:12, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" (NIV 1984).
Arlene was homebound, and since I am mostly homebound we didn't get to visit with each other very often. Will would go to visit her when I couldn't, and I would hear about how she was doing and what she was praying about.
One specific request that was on Arlene's heart was a lift chair for me. She knew that I was having trouble with my muscles. There were days that I really struggled to get around our small house, sit down, and stand back up. She prayed faithfully that the Lord would provide a lift chair for me.
Last month Arlene went home to be with the Lord. I really miss her, but I am so happy for her! She is no longer suffering terribly as she was here on earth. She is with Jesus, right where she wants to be.
Arlene no longer needs her lift chair, and her husband, Gary, generously gave it to me. "It's what Arlene would have wanted," he said. What a blessing this chair has been to me! This particular lift chair doesn't just lift me up when my muscles need some extra help; it also reclines all the way. I can lay down completely flat or even have my feet slightly elevated above my head if necessary!
Adelaide calls it my "elevator."
As I sit in my new chair, I remember the godly woman who used it before me. I am reminded of her faithfulness, her love for the Lord, and her love for people. I am challenged to be "joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer" just like Arlene.