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THREE STAGES OF LIFE

John Claypool, at one time pastor of the Crescent Hill Baptist Church, had a little daughter who suffered with leukemia. When she went into remission, everybody thought that maybe God had healed her. But on an Easter Sunday morning, she went into a terrible relapse.

In his book, Tracks of a Fellow Struggler, Claypool relates how for two weeks his daughter was wracked with pain, her eyes swollen shut. She asked him, "Daddy, did you talk to God about my leukemia?"

He said, "Yes, dear, we’ve been praying for you."

She asked, "Did you ask him how long the leukemia would last? What did God say?"

What do you say to your daughter when you can’t help her, and the heavens are silent? Emotionally and spiritually, he was exhausted. A few hours later, she died.

The following Sunday morning, John Claypool got into the pulpit to preach. He preached on Isaiah 40:31, which says, "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Dr. Claypool said something to the effect, "There are three stages of life. Sometimes we mount up with wings as an eagle and fly. We’re on top of the world. Sometimes we run, and we don’t grow weary. We just go through the routine. Sometimes it’s all we can do to walk and not faint, and I need your prayers and your encouragement."

(Source: R. L. Russell, "Triumphing over Trials," Preaching Today, Tape No. 119. From a sermon by C. Philip Green, "Transcending Tradition" 7/6/2009)

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