Life is the Perfect Prescription
My grandfather, H. Verlan Andersen, and founder of American Heritage School, was a tremendous example to me throughout his life. I remember two quotes Grandpa Verlan would often say related to trails. To his competitive grandchildren who had just lost a competition or game, he said, “Just think of how happy you made the other team!” Regarding more legitimate trials he counseled, “Every trial is either good for you or you deserve it!”
I recall a time when my mother, LaDawn, had given birth to my younger brother. After three girls, this was the first boy in the family. My mother was concerned, however, for the baby was born with a cataract in one eye. Upon finding out that the condition was untreatable and that the boy would be blind in one eye, Grandpa Verlan comforted my mother by saying, “You do not know the purpose behind this condition. Perhaps, the Lord has a purpose for this as well.” Interestingly enough, Grandpa Verlan himself was blind in one eye, due to a boyhood injury. During World War II, many of his friends were drafted but they would not let him join the army because of his eye. Grandpa Verlan counted this as a blessing, especially because most of those friends suffered through Pearl Harbor and the Bataan Death March. His life was preserved because of a condition that could have been seen as a trial.
Grandpa Verlan eventually passed away from the effects of bone cancer. Watching him go through such pain at the end of his life was extremely difficult for our family. Of course we visited him often and asked him how he was doing. To which he would always respond, “I’m getting better and better.” Once, my mother was visiting him and heard his powerful testimony of trust in the Lord. As he took his pain medication from the nightstand, he told her, “The Lord has the perfect prescription for each of us. He gives us the perfect challenges, trials, blessings and mission to prepare us to return to Him.”
I’m grateful for the example that my grandfather set of submission and trust in the Lord through each experience that we have in life. He knew that in the happy days, and in the difficult days, God is always good and that each experience that we have is an opportunity provided by Him in His beneficent love if we will receive it as such.
By Elizabeth Jacob, Grand-daughter of American Heritage School founders, H. Verlan & Shirley Andersen