This story has always encouraged me since the first time I heard it. It involves a special seventy-year-old woman named Mamie. Her faith in God had always been strong. But when declining health required that her family place her in an assisted-living home, Mamie began to go downhill— manifesting things like resentment, suspicion, and emotional withdrawal.
Her kids felt burdened and wondered what had happened to the once hope-filled mom who had raised them. Mamie’s daughter JoAn thought back to how her mom had frequently encouraged the family members to, “Trust the Lord to enlarge your territory.” She knew her mom’s territory had become confined to a small room in a small assisted-living home. But JoAn also knew that the truth of this principle could meet her exactly where she was.
The next time JoAn visited her mom, she reminded her of this precious principle.
Not long after, JoAn was delighted to see the bitterness and despair lifted from her mom’s face. Mamie had felt she had lost everything of importance— her home, her possessions, her independence. This loss led her to believe she had nothing left to live for. But her facial expressions and temperament began to change as she was reminded of this all-important perspective on life and on God.
Friend, God is faithful and He loves to use you for His purposes. He will be with you as you step out boldly in faithful obedience, no matter where you are. The promise of Jabez is a promise for you. No matter where you are. No matter how limited your surroundings may seem.
1 Chronicles 4:10 is bold in its truth:
“And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!’ So God granted him what he requested.”
God had set Mamie right in the midst of people who needed her most. She had just failed to recognize this reality because she focused more on her loss than on her location. In the assisted-living home, thirteen other women lived with Mamie under the same roof. She was perfectly positioned to bring all thirteen women the encouragement and life lessons she had been sharing with so many others throughout her years.
Once Mamie realized this, she was a restored woman filled with both hope and purpose again.