by Marilou Schnaderbeck
2 Corinthians 1:3-6 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the suffering of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.”
I wish everyone knew my mom, Betty Abel. She is pretty special. I may be biased, but I know I’m not alone in thinking this. Besides being singular in seeking and doing the will of God, she is gracious, thoughtful, has a great sense of humor (as many Norwegians do), can make the most mundane activity fun, keeps a charming home in which all feel so welcome, is generous with her time and money, loves to cook and feed people and I could go on and on. All that being said, what I have come to treasure the most about her is her depth of spiritual wisdom coupled with her gentle strength. In His sovereignty, God has allowed my mom to walk through some very deep and dark places; experiencing many different kinds of trials and obediently, my mom has allowed God to shape her through those times. Because I love Mom deeply, it makes my heart ache to think of her having to endure such struggles, but how very thankful I am for the richness and depth of spiritual wisdom that has come as a result of the refiner’s fire. I’ve been through some very dark places myself, several because of my own sinful choices, but God and His unconditional and great love for me has given me this beautiful woman not only as my mother, who has loved me unwaveringly despite my sins, but who can impart on me the things that she has learned from God, and about God, through these experiences.
During a particularly difficult period of time, my mom sent me emails, cards, and bits of paper titled “Manna”. Manna was created by God for the Israelites and it was meant to be enough food to sustain them for one day while they wandered through the wilderness. Then the next day He would send them just enough manna for that day. He continued to do this every day until He led them out of the desert. Why did He only allow them one day’s worth at a time? He wanted the Israelites to depend on Him daily for their most basic of needs. So during a time of wandering through my own personal wilderness, God promised me that He would sustain me one day at a time and part of that daily sustenance came in the form of my mom sending me ‘manna’… verses, writings, journal entries,poems, books, radio programs, hymns…all containing Truth that had been revealed to her through her own trials. What a treasure trove of encouragement, promises, and hope I have collected from her. My hope is to share with you, in days to come, what she has shared with me.
Thank you for Father for giving me my mom and for giving her the wisdom, strength, and perseverance to endure all that has occurred in her life and for allowing her to remember all that she has learned so she could pass it along to those who have the privilege of knowing her.
Thank you Mom for loving me well.