Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
Jeanne Wiger’s brother James, to whom she was extremely close, passed away at an advanced age. The siblings had always said, when one died, the other would not be able to last for more than another year. Jeanne, older than James, now found herself gravely ill. She underwent major surgery, and thought she would die soon, just as she and James had always predicted. But God had other plans for her. Jeanne’s bond with her brother released her from “the death message and (challenged) her to explore the hidden meaning in ‘saying hello after you have said goodbye.’” Jeanne calls this “The Fourth Act,” or “to live in a way that identifies, develops and activates new, unused or unrecognized life skills and opportunities.”
In Jeanne’s book, The Fourth Act (Third Child Press, 2013, available from the author), there are many examples from her years as a practicing marriage and family therapist of people who were given another chance at life when they thought they were certain they had no time left. The book also contains many stories from Scripture of God’s mighty saints who did great things when they relied on God’s strength and not their own. As I read this wonderful book, filled with tales of courage and practical ways to develop a “Fourth Act” in one’s own life, I realized that I had been given a chance like this following my survival of a sexual assault at gunpoint at age twenty-five. It doesn’t matter if the new opportunity comes as a result of serious disease, profound loss, unexpected trauma, or our own costly mistakes. God is always there, if we are looking for Him, and He gives us a “pass” to move on to the next miraculous stage of our lives with His blessing and His strength and love. Jeanne calls her experience “The Terrible Gift,” which she thought would be her death, but ended up being a wonderful opportunity to write, teach, and heal. What will be your “Fourth Act?”
Saving Lord, Your prophet Isaiah said You are “the Lord your God, Who teaches you what is best for you, Who directs you in the way you should go” (Isaiah 48:17). Help us to see new opportunities in our lives when we least expect them. Amen
To purchase The Fourth Act, contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org .