Trusting God from Nazareth to Bethlehem to Lancaster

December 21, 2009 by Paul Chappell

A little over six months ago, our family had the privilege of visiting the little town of Bethlehem, about six miles southeast of Jerusalem. I still recall the day vividly. We drove through the terraced hills, past a security checkpoint, and entered the city. Looking past the political tensions of the present day, I allowed my mind to consider the rich history of this City of David. As we walked through caves there in Bethlehem, we considered what it might have been like that first Christmas morning.

As our family has approached this Christmas day, we have looked forward to the joy of the Christmas celebration. At the same time, our hearts have also been filled with the emotions and challenges that trials can bring our way.

Over the last several weeks, three members of our family have been taken into surgery rooms. We thank God that each of the surgeries were successful.

Larry and Ashley

Now we are facing a most serious surgery for our son, Larry, on Monday, December 28. It is our hearts’ desire to place our full trust in the Lord (Psalm 37:1-5) as we call upon him in faith (Jeremiah 33:3). We believe that we serve a God Who can and will do wonders (Psalm 77:4), and we are thankful for the tremendous grace and wisdom evidenced in the life of our son, Larry, and his dear wife, Ashley.

As we humbly ask for the prayers of our Christian friends around the world, we are also keenly mindful of the many lessons of that first Christmas story.

Mary also was filled with human emotion when Gabriel announced to her that she would bring forth the Son of God. The Bible says she “cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be” (Luke 1:29). Mary was trying to figure things out and could not quite put it all together.

Even as Mary experienced those emotions, the angel simply assured her, “Fear not.” Gabriel had the heavenly perspective—God’s perspective. Because of that, he reminded Mary, “For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37). What a wonderful promise!

With that reminder, Mary said the words that we have often spoken, but have sometimes found difficult to live out, “Be it unto me according to thy word.”

We thank God that in the fullness of time He sent forth His Son. Once again, we covet your prayers for our son during this season, and we look forward to seeing God glorified in ways yet unknown to us.


  1. Dear Pastor Chappell,
    My mom and I are praying and for Larry, Ashley, and the rest of your family. We are from Washington state. We are drawn closer to Jesus through your church’s many ministries: sermons, books, videos, blogs and so much more. I am also praying where God wants me to go to college. 1 Corinthians 12:26

    Comment by Charity — December 21, 2009 @ 10:50 am

  2. My Dear Brother,
    We are praying for your family and especially Larry and his wife.
    We have added him to our Church’s prayer list and spend time in prayer every Wednesday and we keep the people updated.
    We love you and your ministry. You have been such a help.
    At Church Triumphant 3 years ago at Dr. Ouellette’s, I had just lost my wife of 37 years and you came off the platform and sought me out to tell me you would be praying for me. That meant so much to me.
    Thank You and God bless you.

    Comment by Pastor Charles LaFave — December 22, 2009 @ 6:32 am

  3. Pastor and Mrs. Chappell:

    We are praying for your family at this time and for Larry and Ashley. We love you.

    Sisson Family

    Comment by Doug and Becky Sisson — December 23, 2009 @ 7:46 am

  4. Pastor Chappell,
    I as well as the people of Liberty Baptist Church in Durham, NC, are praying for Larry, Ashley, and your family during this time. We pray for God’s hand of protection and His will to be done.

    Comment by Josh Cox — December 25, 2009 @ 12:00 pm

  5. Pastor and Mrs. Chappell,

    We have been praying for Larry and your entire family. Sequoia Baptist Church has remembered Larry and your family in prayer all day today. We pray that the Great Physician will guide the hands of the earthly physicians tomorrow.

    Because of Christ,
    Mike and Becky Farrell
    Philippians 1:3-6

    Comment by Mike and Becky Farrell — December 28, 2009 @ 12:58 am

  6. I just read this and I promise to pray for Larry and Ashely and for the doctors today.

    Comment by Sarah Case — December 28, 2009 @ 12:04 pm

  7. Pastor and Mrs. Chappell,

    Patty and I are praying for you, Larry and Ashley and your entire family. Faith Baptist Church in Spokane, WA is praying also. We are praying for Larry’s healing and that God will give you grace and strength during this time. Thank you for all you do for others.
    Pastor & Mrs. Greg Boyle

    Comment by Pastor Greg Boyle — December 28, 2009 @ 4:04 pm

  8. Our son was plaqued with cancer as a 7 mon. old baby…..We praise the Lord God has given us almost 10 more years with him…I have only read your books….but..I did hear of Larry’s surgery today….God brought him to mind for prayer multiple times…trust all went well and I believe God can cure him just like he did our Jack….
    Denise Poynter
    Indianapolis, Indiana

    Comment by Denise Poynter — December 28, 2009 @ 7:48 pm

  9. Dear Brother Chappell,
    My mom and I are praising God that the surgery went well. Now we are praying for Larry’s complete healing. We pray that your whole family would be comforted by the LORD through this hard time and drawn even closer to Jesus. 1 Peter 1:6-7

    Comment by Charity — December 29, 2009 @ 10:38 am

  10. Dear Pastor & Mrs. Chappell,

    Jerry & I are faithfully prayinf for the both of you and for Larry & Ashley, and asking the Greatest Physician of all to completely heal Larry . We are so thnakful as to how his surgery went. may the Lord continue to strengthen you and encourage you with his amazing grace.

    Jerry & Nancy McKeehan

    Comment by Jerry and Nancy McKeehan — December 29, 2009 @ 7:15 pm

  11. Thank you for sharing so much of yourselves – so that we can pray more specifically. We are praying for each of you!
    Alice Bell (Chouinard 🙂 )
    Calvary Baptist Church
    Temecula, CA

    Comment by Alice Bell — January 11, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Comment Policy