“The scripture says that He fills all things,” my mother, Elaine Knadle, said, throwing the last of her toiletries into her suitcase. She leaned over to zip it closed. “So I am just going to believe God to fill my tooth.”
“Mother!” My voice jumped two decimals. ” You should have said something before! You cannot go back to Israel without having that tooth tended to. And besides, you’re taking that scripture out of context.” I paced around the room, making sure she saw my frown. “Sandra has to take you to a dentist tomorrow.” My sister, Sandra, was picking her up in less than an hour.
“No. Tomorrow is the only day I have before I fly out. And besides, I can’t afford it.”
I let my breath out in a huff. It irked me that we couldn’t afford it, either, but I would willingly put it on my charge card if my husband said okay. Except I knew he wouldn’t. He’d just say if she believed God would take care of it then don’t mess with her faith.
She picked up her bag and walked to the front door, setting it near-by. “And God’s promises are to all of us. He’s no respecter of person. If he said he fills all things, he’ll fill my tooth.”
This was another fight I’d lose—as I’d lost others in this same vein. When she returned from overseas nine months later, I took her to the dentist. The cavity—a big one in a molar that I’d seen before she left—was gone. Filled. The tooth was whole.
Mother’s type of uncommon courage (faith) began about the time she reached 50. From 50 to 70 years of age were her main years of overseas ministry. Even at 79, she was still being asked by the pastor in Indonesia to return and minister! I think about what God did in her life, and I am astonished.
And then to think of her words: God is no respecter of persons. He tells us that, too! I–and you—are as important to Him as my mother was. And while I’ve never felt called as a missionary to go overseas, I do want to be used. I want to have the passion for Him that she had.
We serve an uncommon God who can give us uncommon courage. Mother’s ministry in her “senior years” shows the miraculous power of our God. Sometimes we ask for too little and expect less. We need to reach out to God and ask him to reveal Himself to us. We need to see Him for Who He is not who our human minds think he is. And what do you think?