|Partners Assisting the Lords Servants|
The Wonder Of It All!
Jo Ann Leavell
The advantage of aging is that you can look back and see God's hand so evident in your life. We are told often in Scripture just to REMEMBER, and then to pass on to your children and grandchildren. If the Lord knows my heart, He knows I have tried to make a pulpit of every occasion with my family and those of you whom I have loved and taught.
Let me remind you one last time of the wonder of GOD'S LOVE. The words of the old hymn come to mind:
Oh the Wonder of it all,
The Wonder of it all,
The Wonder that God loves me.
I've walked with the Lord since I was ten years old, often closer than at other times, but I've never gotten away from the "Wonder" that the infinite God loves and cares for ME. Is that awesome or what? There's the wonder of GOD'S CALL. God's call was revealed to me slowly as I experienced the "wonder" of married love. I committed my life first to Landrum Leavell and to his ministry, but I am so grateful in God's providence that his calling became MINE, a necessity for maximum usefulness. I've told the student wives through the years, "You ARE involved in ministry by virtue of marriage, but how much better it is when you are a willing participant!"
There's the wonder of GOD'S PROVISION. It has been awesome and wondrous how He has provided helpers for me. As I tried to improve the grounds which were much in need, improve buildings just old enough to need EVERYTHING, and begin a program to teach student wives the joys of ministry I had come to love, He was always there with people to help. I told Landrum if we didn't quit working our friends so hard, we weren't going to have any!
Yes, it has been a life of faith in God's provision. I've come to feel sorry for those who can just "hire" everything done; they will never know the joys and wonder of seeing the Lord provide. The best thing about my work is that it was free, and most of my helpers have worked with little or no remuneration "as unto the Lord."
There's the wonder of GOD'S FUTURE. It is such a comfort to know the work I began will continue. Because of the generosity of my husband, son, and certain friends who have added to a fund at Christmas and birthdays for me, my "shopping" ministry for student wives will continue.
We have left instructions for this not to be a cash gift, but an escorted shopping trip by either the next president's wife or some administrative wife. The personal touch is the legacy I want to leave. I am not afraid of what the future may bring. I've lived long enough to have a bank of experiences of trust in Him to draw on. In my book Joy in the Journey, I wrote about a shattering experience. As a paraphrase of John Bunyan's words in Pilgrim's Progress puts it: "I have touched bottom and it is sound." His grace IS sufficient. Whatever the future holds, I'm confident it will be one of WONDER as we claim the promises of God.
Jo Ann Leavell
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