By Nancy Allen
I have been reflecting back on one of my favorite sayings by my good friend Dr. Paul Francel, "I am His hands." In times past when I have complemented him on a job well done on a patient, he would often say that to me. It always reminded me of our relationship with God and our need to do his work in the world, and it made me appreciate the humbleness of Dr. Francel in not taking all the credit for things that he took part in. Those 4 words, "I am His hands" have really defined and molded my life in a lot of ways, always reminding me of the need for assisting others. I helped others a lot before hearing that, but that phrase really brought it all together in my head and directed my paths with additional clarity and with more passion.
Another favorite saying of Dr. Francel's was, "God did most of it." When he said that, I would usually smile and say "You and God work beautifully together." It was always a great reminder of how God works in the world. I believe at times God works directly and heals someone or does other things, but many times he depends on us to do his work in the world.
I know some of you have read those statements before by Dr. Francel on my website, but I wanted to bring the words into this page to share some more thoughts about them.
I believe as Christians God expects us to help other people and to try to make our world a better place. Sometimes he has made it so apparent what I was supposed to do that I call those "My Assignments From God." How do we know when something is our "Assignment From God?" I think it is when something very obviously needs to be done and we are the only one able and willing to carry it out. Also, I believe sometimes God speaks to our minds telling us or by nudging us in a certain direction.
One example in my story Happy Anniversary was when God made it quite obvious to me that my friend Billy was my "assignment" and I have had others before and since then. That experience with Billy made me realize the seriousness of things we need to be doing for the Lord, because my husband would be dead now for about 17 years if I had ignored what the Lord was wanting and was asking me to do.
I recently read some excellent comments from a good friend of mine, Rachael Merritt. They said, "Wherever God has put you is your ministry--in whatever capacity--in whatever way you can, minister to those you meet. You will never know how you might affect their lives by a smile, a kind word, or a short conversation. It might just change their eternity and it might just greatly bless you! PLEASE, don't be too busy to be a servant of God in your area of ministry...so many are hurting and so many are hiding it. Share God's love and his story while you can."
I love that! What Rachael was saying to me is God expects all of us as Christians to serve the Lord and help others. It isn't just a few of us. It is all of us. Sadly, I think many people think it is someone else's responsibility and they are exempt. Be sure and read Rachael Merritt's Story - Dystonia Treated with Deep Brain Stimulation - a great medical and love story. Click on the underlined part of the sentence above to go there.
Communication with God
I think it is helpful to explore the ways God communicates with us. That was brought into very sharp focus for me back in the early 1970's when I was in church and the pastor announced he was tired of preaching that day and he was going to call on members of the congregation to do various jobs he normally did during the service. And, you guessed it, I got picked for the job of giving the sermon. My mind raced to zero in on the topic and the text of my little sermon. I only had until the end of a hymn to figure it out.
Almost immediately the Lord laid the topic on my mind. It was, "How does God communicate with us?" I hope I can remember it all from that day. The most obvious was by reading the Bible and by going to church, Sunday School, Bible studies, and other church activities. Another good way is by reading inspirational stories in books or magazines like Guideposts. Visiting with other Christians is often helpful. Praying and listening back is another good way.
Then I spoke of one that may or may not seem familiar, but it has often worked for me. For lack of a better name, I have called it "Creative Thinking with the Lord." This has happened when I have prayed for God to tell me or inspire me with something. Sometimes I have had astonishing results with this method. The Lord has shown me so many ideas.
The most striking example of this was when I asked God to give me the words to write my first story called "Happy Anniversary" on this website which was shown on television nationally and internationally around the world. It was like a river flowing into my mind with so many ideas, words, and even images.
Also, in writing the first stories for my website, there were so many times at night I jumped out of bed with the latest thought or thoughts and rushed to write them down so I wouldn't forget them by morning. It was so exact at times that I knew I had to put a specific picture and scripture on a particular page with a story I was writing. If there was ever any doubt in my mind that God does speak through our minds, it was absolutely put to rest with that experience.
And making the website was also what I consider an assignment from the Lord. I was definitely not supposed to just sit back and enjoy my husband's healing. God wanted me to get busy and share it with world so many people would be inspired and realize that God still heals and helps people in our modern age. The time of miracles is not just in the past. It is now!
And, my friends, it worked wonderfully for me. It has been a tremendous experience sharing and making so many new friends through my website. Some people I have corresponded with for over 15 years. I have heard from people around the U.S. and in other countries. And, I should add, that was also part of the beautiful assignment the Lord gave me years ago, to communicate with people and give them support as a fellow Christian and human being. I am so blessed.
I would like to thank the Lord for saving my husband's life; Dr. Francel for his brilliant surgery, friendship, and his Christian inspiration; Dr. Vinko Dolenc for pioneering my husband's surgery, and the Lord for helping me make my website and reach out to others. It has been an incredible journey!
One More Thought For Today
I realize now, more than ever before in my life the need to speak out boldly on living the Christian life. I am seeing things in our world I never thought I would see in modern times. Christians and others around the world are under attack. It is shocking and horrifying some of the things that are happening. We need to stay true to our faith and share the Good News of the Bible and Jesus Christ when we can with others and live Godly lives. We especially need to be on guard for attacks by Satan. I feel we must fight back against this evil force and not let it win and take over our world and destroy it.
I Peter 5:4-7. Be careful--watch out for attacks from Satan, your great enemy. He prowls around like a hungry, roaring lion, looking for some victim to tear apart. Stand firm when he attacks. Trust the Lord.
Left to right - Dr. Paul Francel, Nancy and Arnold Allen, and Dr. Vinko Dolenc