January 1, 2014

Grace in Crisis

Sherry Schuermyer is well known in our Portland congregation for her delicious home-baked cookies. While my wife, Debbie, prefers Sherry’s chocolate chip creations with her glass of milk, my favorites are her peanut butter cookies… or maybe her oatmeal raisin. Well, her snickerdoodles are hard to beat as well! Many of us have enjoyed Sherry’s treats at Christmastime, retreats, youth activities, Sunday school, and other functions too. But make no mistake, life is not always about cookies and milk, as Sherry clearly describes in her story. When Debbie and I went to see her at the hospital before she went into surgery last year, many family members had gathered there as well. Amazingly, it was Sherry who was consoling and encouraging them, though she was the one about to be operated on for cancer! When her personal crisis came, so did God’s grace. It was manifested in her calm inner strength.

When it comes to crisis, it is not a matter of if it will come, but rather how you will face it when it comes. Debbie and I used to live in Eureka, California, where earthquakes occurred frequently. Local authorities encouraged Eureka residents to prepare for the eventual “big one,” which they predicted would shortly be followed by a tsunami. Some rations, a few gallons of water, and a planned evacuation route were a good start in terms of preparedness.

It is not difficult to get ready for a specific event that you have been warned may occur, but how does one prepare for unpredictable circumstances such as the crises that Sherry has faced over the years? While we cannot pre-plan for unknown future events, it is possible to be ready to face them. A right relationship with God provides the assurance that He will be our help and strength in whatever comes our way. Sherry has often given thanks not only for God’s presence through her times of crisis, but also for the support and prayers of God’s people. She never went through a chemo session by herself, although those appointments were five to six hours long. She says that the Lord helped her take one day at a time, and God always provided grace for that day.

Though crisis comes to each of us, we need not fear. Sherry’s story, and that of others who have gone through hard places, remind us that God will sustain us no matter what we face. As you read her account and other articles in this magazine, we pray you will be encouraged to look His way and trust Him for the future.

apostolic faith magazine