THE TESTIMONY OF REUBEN GETSCHOW
I have been thru rags to riches to rags. Suffered with my wife and children as they experienced the loss of her family due to rejection along with the loss of their inheritances and dealing with a trying and debilitating illness of my wife. All of these events have coincided with the following:
- Loss of a church family.
- Loss of a job and profession.
- But that’s not the end of the story…
First, let me tell you about my conversion experience. As I read one of the devotionals in our study book, DEVOTIONAL CLASSICS, a few weeks ago by Watchman Nee I could identify with his experience. He talked about the prayer of his mother and father and his cry for God’s help.
My cry was similar in that I knew I was not one of his, and I wanted to depend on Him.
A few years later I remember sitting at a table knowing my material world was going to disappear. I started reading the Gospel of John. (In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the word was God). A peace came over me. It was like I had never experienced before. All guilt and feeling that anything depended on me disappeared. The scriptures were now mine, and I struggled with them for the next 10 years. The only framework I could hold on to was His love for me. I kept slipping back and forth, always questioning. (If there is a God …why have we experienced some tragedies?)
My intellect would not let me surrender completely. About 4 years ago I remember asking for some small favor that seemed impossible at the time. I bargained and never looked back. Holding on to prayer, the love of Christ, and this personal relationship concept was still a struggle.
I had asked for and received many things and after the problems were solved I behaved like the Israelites – forgetting or backing off from the obedience to know His blessings.
A little less than a year ago my wife had a reaction like a stroke that was probably drug induced. I watched her deteriorate to nothing in a three week period. The best diagnosis was that she suffered severe dementia..
I still can not get a clear diagnosis. As I observe her short and long term memory behavior, I know that it must be something else. When all of this happened, I could not sleep for more than an hour at a time. I was grasping for anything, watching info-mercials most of the night, reading books on drugs and medication and screaming out to the Lord for help.
I still have no clear picture of her true diagnosis. Last October my friend, Sam Cutler, gave me the book, Devotional Classics, so I could join in this study. I knew the names of a number of the writers. I started reading and found my focus was changing. For five months the selections kept reiterating how much God loves us. (unconditional love). It is a very humbling experience realizing this. Almost every selection I read kept telling me over and over again that I mean something to him.
Today, it is something I can finally talk and be enthused about. I’ve discovered that prayer and this personal relationship with God are the basic training principles in my spiritual walk. When I realized how hard it was to hold on to God’s Word and principles when going through a hard trial, I decided to purchase this book for each of my children at Christmas time I wrote inside the cover page a personal message to each of my children. I told them how much their mother and I loved them along with what the Lord means to us. I know they will keep the book because of the note and may have the occasion to pick it up in God’s timing.
I would like to close with my favorite piece of prose in our study book, a reading by Thomas Kelly.
“Deep within all of us there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center, a speaking Voice, to which we may continuously return. Eternity is at our hearts, pressing upon time worn lives, warming us with intimations of an astounding destiny, calling us home unto Itself.”