I love being 80, but getting there was hazardous. Whoever makes it to 80 and beyond has nothing to brag about, because it’s only by God’s grace that anyone makes it to the lofty heights of being an octogenarian.
Just before turning 80, I had a major meltdown. Nothing in particular as far as I recall triggered it. From one moment to the next while sitting on a comfortable couch in our home, every bit of life was pulled, drained out of me. For the next three weeks I was like a dead man walking. I tried to understand what might have triggered it, but had only marginal success. I now know that the meltdown was “God-orchestrated.”
Meltdowns happen to everyone sooner or later; but few have the courage to talk about them. That’s a shame, because we can help each other by making ourselves vulnerable and transparent to one another. This letter from our friend Dick gave me that 20/20 vision – wisdom that I needed to understand what happened and then heal:
Dear Brother Peter,
How honored we are to be a tiny part of your expanding ministry, how kind of you to use our photos in your most recent epistle. Words fail to express the encouragement you have been to us across the years from our first encounter with you and Rebekah. Your prayer for us that day (1995) has had a life-changing effect. Ever so often the Holy Spirit brings some of the exact phrases of that prayer to the forefront of my memory.
You prayed: "Father, Dick's tub is full of the befouled water of hurts and battle scars of the years he has spent in ministry. Lord, would you pull the plug and drain out all the stained and tainted water and refill it with the fresh, clear water of your Holy Spirit. Let his ministry be such that all those who touch him will be refreshed and encouraged to a closer walk with You."
Few prayers have had the lasting impact on my life as yours has. Please know you are loved and appreciated.
Dick & Martha Lupton
Jesus pulled the plug on the befouled water in my tub; then He scrubbed the hell out of it before refilling it with clean, pure Life from heaven – His Life! Without Him, I would be a dead man.
(Continued on next column)