We still have that letter … and it is reproduced below with hopes and prayers that it will encourage anyone going through a difficult time in their life. Notice the continual dependence upon and use of the Holy Scriptures, the inspired, powerful Word of God. I am very thankful to God, as is Joel, that my parents wrote this letter. May it bless you as well.
WALTER A. MAIER
12017 Westwind Drive
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46845
November 10, 2004
Mr. Joel D. Maier
2573 Ayrshire Dr.
Lansing, Michigan 48911-6489
Greetings from Fort Wayne, and Grandma and Grandpa Maier! We’re sorry that you weren’t able to attend yesterday’s banquet in Lansing, but grateful that you’re feeling much better after your visit to the hospital and reception of the intravenous nourishment. The Lord be praised for this blessing!
Your not being present with your family and friends at the banquet is simply a part of the whole trial that God has permitted to come into your life at this time. We’re sure that the questions have arisen in your mind: “Why?” “Why me?” This is very understandable, and we all wonder about the same thing (Why Joel?). In our consternation it is well for you, and us all, to remember the words of Jesus, who said – and His statement is applicable also to a situation like yours – “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this,” John 13:7 (NKJV). For the present, however, we have the magnificent assurance penned by the apostle Paul, Romans 8:28, that “All things work together for good to those who love God.” This must be our confident trust under all circumstances, even when we cannot fathom our Heavenly Father’s dealings with us at a given troubled time.
Through your faith in our Savior Jesus, kindled already when you were baptized, you have been and are wholly righteous in God’s sight, your sins have all been forgiven. Our Heavenly Father has loved you with an everlasting love. Already in eternity, before there was a world and there were people populating it, He chose you to be His own dear child, His beloved son, the apple of His eye. He determined that you would live on earth to His glory. For this reason nothing but His goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life, and you can exult with the Psalmist David, “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
All of our Heavenly Father’s loving concern for you means also this, that, painful as your ordeal at times may be, God will never give you more of suffering than you are able to endure. Therefore, never give in to the evil of discouragement. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:13: “God is faithful, who will not allow you to e tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” This is the apostle who experienced a “thorn in the flesh” (we don’t know what this serious affliction was), which the Lord saw fit not to remove from Paul. Instead, He gave him the power to go on in his ministry despite his plaguing problem, granting him this guarantee: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness,” 2 Corinthians 12:9. Paul found this divine promise to be true and declared in the following verses: “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast of my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities … for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I an strong.”
Elsewhere Paul wrote, “I can do all things through (literally, in union with) Christ who strengthens me," Philippians 4:13. Your faith in Jesus will enable you daily to make the same triumphant exclamation! That loving God pledges to you: “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” Hebrews 13:5. Again: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand,” Isaiah 41:10. Again: “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me,” Psalm 50:15. What mighty, blessed assurances of the Word of God!
There is one difference, we may add parenthetically, in Paul’s situation and yours. Whereas Paul had to continue dealing with his thorn in the flesh, yours will – God granting His benediction – have a terminus in due time. When all your treatments are finished, by His grace your health will thereafter be fully restored, with the terrible, debilitating cancer banished forever from your body. We all give thanks to the Lord for this!
Our prayers and those of many, many other persons known and unknown to you are with you each morning and evening.
With much love,
Grandma & Grandpa