“I John your brother and companion in tribulation.”
One of the themes of the book of Revelation is grace and peace to those in tribulation, specifically to those who suffer for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. And we all face pressures . . . psychological . . . financial . . . physical, etc. Some of those in our church family face daunting physical ailments. One of the sisters has been in the hospital for over a week. And it might yet be another week.
I think back to an ancestor of mine who was dying of Tuberculosis. The brother, Erastus Lee, of my great, great, great, great, great grandpa Eber Lee writes to beloved Betsy Ann Lee. Eber Lee was the son of Elon Lee I. I have Elon’s cane, dated back to 1762. Erastus writes to Betsy:
“May He direct you in wisdom, what to do for the attainment of health. If He directs the means, and gives His blessing, you will soon have health. Let us therefore seek His grace, for He alone is sufficient for all our wants. But let us beware of hypocrisy; and go before Him without any covering for our souls, save the robes of righteousness wrought by our glorious mediator, seeing it is only in and through Jesus our Redeemer, that our surety, and in our name has paid our debt to justice; may we not now, “come boldly to the throne of grace, and obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Heb. 4:16
“May God grant you so much happiness as a mortal can enjoy on earth; and the full fruition of perfect blessedness, when you pass the bounds of time. This, my beloved, is the sincere prayer of my heart. With what earnest desires, with what sincerity of heart, these petitions are offered before God, He knoweth.
“And now, will Betsy unite with me in these or similar supplications? Bowing ourselves before the throne of His glory, let us worship Him with ardent devotion; and humbly entreat His favor, that He would be our joy, our rejoicing, our all in time, and prepare us to glorify and enjoy Him, when time shall be no more. And when we leave these present scenes, may our God receive us, where we shall have no more pain; no temptations; no sin; no trials, grief, or trouble of any kind. But where all is perfect purity, holiness, harmony and love. Where we shall see as we are seen, know as we are known, and love as we are beloved. And may that love of Christ be shed abroad in our hearts even now, constraining us, that we may love our God supremely; and each other with purity and fervency; and our fellow creatures with Christian benevolence. And now, blessed Betsy, I commit you to God, and to His holy keeping. Farewell. Yours truly, Erastus Lee
This is an excerpt of one of the letters (July 31, 1841) written by Erastus to beloved, beautiful Betsy. She died two years later.
I cry, Maranatha,