My mother-in-law was a classy little-old-lady. When I met her, she was almost sixty. With her lovely silver hair, she was the perfect mix of frumpy and spunky.
She was a theologian and my favorite seminary professor. An avid reader and student of the Word, she challenged me to read E.M. Bounds, Arthur Pink, A.W. Tozer, Charles Spurgeon and others. A few of her books are treasures in my library today, each with her memorable scrawls in the margins.
She had a knack for sharing the Gospel. The lady standing next to her in the grocery store’s checkout line was likely to hear about the Resurrected One. She was bold, with the Savior’s compassion overflowing through her acts of kindness.
Diagnosed with renal-cell carcinoma, kidney cancer, she died eighteen months later. She was ushered into heaven over thirty years-ago to the echoes of, “Well done, my good and faithful servant!”
We didn’t want her to die. More than anyone I knew, she deserved to live. We begged God to heal her. He did. Completely.
Peter had a mother-in-law. I rarely think of the disciples as married men with families. Peter was married and lived with his whole clan in Capernaum.
Immediately after Jesus exorcised the demons in the synagogue, he went to Peter’s home where he found mom, sick in bed, burning up with a fever.
Mark devotes only three verses to the entire event. Frankly, I think moms deserve a little more ink. Had the fever persisted for days? Had the local doctors done all that they possibly could for the old girl? Were they certain she was about to die?
“As soon as they left the synagogue, they went into Simon and Andrew’s house with James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law was lying in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. So he went to her, took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she began to serve them” (Mark 1:29-31, CSB).
Can you see it? Her hands were probably rough and calloused from hard work in the house and garden. As she lay there motionless, Jesus gently took her hand and helped her to stand. She must have been surprised, startled, shocked. One moment she barely had the strength to lift her eyelids. Now she stood, sturdy on her feet. A miracle, for sure.
Then she did what she always did. It came naturally to her. She served.
As she scurried about the kitchen, preparing and attending, she did so with a renewed purpose and devotion. She served her Healer. Her Savior. Her Lord.
Maybe her story wasn’t as dramatic as the blind man or the leper, but it was no less real. Jesus had healed her, and I’m sure, she never tired of recounting the story of that life-changing encounter.
Do you have a story to tell?
A note from the Blogger:
I started writing this blog on April 1, 2020, shortly after the world shut down and we sheltered in place. Since then, I have written and posted a short blog daily, seven days each week. Though I wonder if life will ever be “normal” again, I do sense things beginning to move in that direction. My life as a pastor is getting busier. Thankfully.
I have enjoyed blogging. It’s been a gratifying spiritual exercise during this season. As the Lord leads, I plan to continue blogging, but beginning this week, I will post only Monday through Friday.
Thanks for your expressions of encouragement. I pray that you would fall more deeply in love with Jesus and His Word as you read each day’s offering.
South Georgia Baptist Church
Mike Martin, Pastor