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2012-07-19 digital edition

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2012-07-19 / Church

THEY SAID IT

(Life Lessons from Hospice Patients)

New Levels, Bigger Devils

Danielle is a blast to be with. The minute she sees me, she grins and shouts, “Hello, my dear friend Gary! The Lord is good. His love endures forever!”

Danielle is in her fifties and suffers from cancer. I’ve seen her sick and exhausted. I have yet to find her discouraged. Her faith seems to overpower any darkness that threatens her.

I remember one visit in particular.

“Hello, Danielle. How are you doing today? I asked.

“God is taking me to new levels,” she replied. “But those new levels come with bigger devils.” She closed her eyes and shook her head. “New levels, bigger devils. Um-hum,” she continued.

She looked at me, eyes shining, and laughed. “Bring ‘em on!” she exclaimed.

Five minutes with Danielle can boost me for a week. She lets nothing and no one steal her joy. Growth comes with a price, and she is more than willing to pay it. Fierce challenges are a part of life. Hardships and trials are daily affairs.

Danielle knows God can handle it, and that makes all the difference.

I once bought a book for its title: I Eat Problems for Breakfast. I want to be that way. Steady. Peaceful. Surfing the waves as they come. Though the difficulties will only increase, I want to live with greater integrity.

“New levels, bigger devils.”

So be it. God can handle it. We eat problems for breakfast.

Thanks Danielle.

Gary Roe is the Chaplain of Southern Care Hospice and is Minister at First Baptist Church in Lexington

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