Some of you will remember Elton, the stranger who became a dear friend when he stayed with us for six weeks this time last year. Traveling for the first time from his city of Harare, Zimbabwe, much less on a plane to the United States, Elton came for major surgery at RUSH hospital in Chicago. Since we have a son with hemophilia, the same condition as Elton’s, we volunteered to provide hospitality. Little did we know how God would use Elton to enrich our lives.
Those of you who followed our daily posts will recall the wonderful and sometimes dramatic events that unfolded during those weeks. Over the last twelve months, since Elton returned to Africa, we have enjoyed periodic updates and are happy to report that Elton is still walking without the use of his crutch. Thankfully, despite the economic turmoil and harsh realities of Zimbabwe, Elton and his family are doing well.
So what’s the greatest lesson that we learned from Elton? Reflecting upon this question this morning, I’d say the answer is best described by the Apostle Paul in 2 Cor 4:8-18:
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies…. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”