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  • Rhonda Kelley

My Mother is Glorifying God Through Coronavirus



One week ago today (Sunday, March 22, 2020), my healthy 93-year old mother was not feeling well. The day before, she had enjoyed her normal activities, even walking 5,000 steps. On Monday and Tuesday, her symptoms worsened…fatigue, no appetite, fever, shortness of breath. On Wednesday morning, she was taken to the hospital by ambulance, admitted, and administered both oxygen and antibiotics. On Thursday, test results confirmed that she was positive for the Coronavirus.


Mother lives in New Orleans and in a retirement community that have been devastated by the vicious virus. She must have been exposed to the disease before her facility was locked down in an attempt to control the spread. She has not seen her family in weeks but has been in constant contact by phone. While she is definitely in the high-risk group due to age, her body is strong. (Mother was named “The Healthiest Girl in America” by the 4-H Club when she was 15.) Her faith is even stronger than her body. During this illness, she has said, “I am in God’s hands. I am ready to be with Him. But, if He wants me to live, I will give Him the glory.” She has been glorifying the Lord even in her illness and isolation as she demonstrates her total trust in Him and experiences perfect peace from Him.­­


Hundreds an­­­d thousands of people have joined our family in praying for Mother to be healed. We are praying for God’s will but desiring for complete healing. She has influenced so many people through her steadfast faith and unselfish service, so we selfishly pray to keep her here. Her pastor pr­­­ayed this morning: “God, we pray for our own Joyce Harrington. Work in her life, preserve her strength and her health. Sustain her and encourage her spirit. We love her and want her and need her in our lives. We pray for healing.”


In his message this morning, our pastor of First Baptist Church in Fairhope, Alabama, Dr. Eric Hankins, reminded us how to pray from his biblical text in John 17. According to Scripture, Christians should pray for ourselves in the way that Jesus prays for us. In these challenging days, I am using this model of prayer from Jesus to guide me as I pray for my mother.

1. Father, glorify Your Son as you heal Mother (vv. 1-5). “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may also glorify You.”

2. Father, guard Mother in Your name (vv. 9-11). “Keep through Your name those You have given me.”

3. Father, gird Mother with Your truth (vv. 17-19). “Sanctify them with Your truth. Your Word is truth.”

4. Father, gather Mother in Your unity (vv. 20-23). “I do not pray for all these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may all believe in Me.”

A mark of true faith is the desire to glorify God in good times and bad. We easily praise God in times of blessing. We must learn to trust Him in times of struggle. My mother has taught me by word and example how to praise the Lord at all times. Even as we, our families, our nation, and the world face the pandemic of Coronavirus, let us glorify the Lord together with my mother!!!


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