In 1979 Verna Bowman of Telford, Pennsylvania, gave birth to her fourth child, Geoff, and quickly learned from doctors the frightening news; the baby had defective kidneys. Writing in Guideposts, she tells that doctors ordered the child rushed to a children’s hospital in Philadephia, where he would receive kidney dialysis.
Still hospitalized herself, Verna prayed and prayed for her son, and as she did she soon felt God’s nearness. Unbidden, the words of a Scripture text began to repeat in her heart: “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God” (John 11:4). She wrote the words down.
Later her husband called to report on the baby’s condition: “It’s too soon to tell if he’s going to make it,” he said.
“He’s going to make it,” Verna replied, and she read him the verse that God had breathed into her heart. “I believe those words,” she said.
“So do I, Verna” replied her husband. “So do I.”
After three months of dialysis, Geoff’s kidneys, though still defective, began to function on their own. Throughout his childhood, Geoff took medication and tired easily. During that time Verna collected in her journal other Scriptures which encouraged her faith that her son would be all right.
When Geoff was thirteen, the doctors reported he would need a kidney transplant. Though unsettling at first, this news turned out to be the answer to her prayers. Verna herself provided the kidney, and the operation was a complete success. Geoff would be able to live a normal life.
Later Verna’s daughter suggested they do something special with the Scriptures that had meant much to them during Geoff’s long sickness. Verna often made quilts and her daughter was skilled at cross-stitch, so they decided to make a quilt that displayed twelve of the cherished promises from the Bible. Each Scripture was stitched onto white linen and bordered in a pattern of hunter green and burgundy. Three months later the quilt was completed and hung on the wall of their guest room. When others admired the quilt, it eventually was hung in their church as well as other churches in the area.
God’s promises had made a great difference for Verna Bowman. When she chose to have these promises stitched onto a quilt, she made a fitting choice. As comforting as a quilt on a cold wintry night, so God’s promises ward off soul-chilling fear. They warm the soul.