Take Heart, Take Courage…

“Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; He will come and save you” (Isaiah 35:4).

How often have we felt our hands weakened from the trials of the day, our knees about to buckle under the strain and weight placed by hardship of ill-health, or even the evil of man? We have all felt to some extent or another the pain of our infirmities, and should not that be enough to cause our hands when empowered and knees when strengthened to help alleviate the trials and hardship of another?

“Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.”

Isaiah 35:3

I recently attended the funeral services of a good sister who I knew to use her gifts of strength and empowerment to lift and serve others. I can name many circumstances when I witnessed Claudette Bigler perform kind and profound service to others whose heads hung low and needed lifting. One such service she provided was to my dear mother.

I was in the midst of my own service preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to the children of God in Paraguay. Being far from home I was not so much able to provide the comfort and care of my own mother in a circumstance when she was in need. These being the days prior to email, and most homes in Paraguay not even having phone service in the summer of 1983, I was not aware when my mother had to undergo a serious surgical procedure back home in Sanger. She shared with me by letter and later in conversation the very kind and personal loving care that she received from our good friend Claudette in the days following her surgery. It was profound for my mother and therefore profound for me.

Claudette Bigler and Dorene Malcolm

I have long known Claudette Bigler, since my youth and into adulthood. She is the mother of some of my dearest and oldest friends, and the wife of a trusted mentor. She, as much as anybody I have known, endured her own great trials during life, and when her hands were strengthened to serve, and her knees reinforced to lift, she served and lifted my mother. Never was my mother alone, and one reason for that is a good woman represented the Lord and performed His work when needed. For that service I am heartened and ever grateful.

Unto the Prophet Isaiah, and therefore we all, the Lord Jehovah commanded, “Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, ‘Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; He will come and save you’” (Isaiah 35:3-4).

He did come. He came in the meridian of time, born a little baby not in the seat of earthly power, but born of a people under the crushing tyranny of a government of man. He suffered every deprivation, every infirmity, and every pain and persecution any man or woman would ever know. Yet His name is renown, and remembered long beyond the tyrants and hypocrites of any day, with joy and thanksgiving. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

So take heart, all ye with weakened hands and feeble knees, and take courage all we strong and able to serve the same, those of a fearful heart. “Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; He will come and save you” (Isaiah 35:4).

He has come to save us, and He will come again. He will never let us down. Let us like Claudette Bigler to my mother be counted on to be His hands, and His knees, to lift our voices in sincere proclamation, that those weakened and feeble will feel His strength and comfort, and hear His voice, even unto His glorious, triumphant and personal return. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Daniel Malcolm is an entrepreneur, journalist, photographer, husband to Monica and father of twelve. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is a witness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.