Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Mrs. Bright on Trusting God's Goodness

Leslie Basham: Vonette Bright wants you to know something.

Vonette Bright: We are, in a real sense, prescription babies, in that God has a custom design for every individual, equipping each of us for specific achievement and purpose. And even the greatest tragedies can be overruled or transformed to good within the providence of God.

Leslie Basham: It's Thursday, July 22nd; and you're listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

All this week, Nancy, we heard an interview that you did with Vonette Bright. Yesterday, we talked about how we should trust God no matter what.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: That's right, and when I had this conversation with Vonette Bright in her home, she was in the midst of one of the most difficult tests of her life. Her husband, Dr. Bill Bright, had been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. He was oxygen-dependent; and it was just, in fact, seven months later, a year ago this week, that Dr. Bright went home to be with the Lord.

I think you'll be touched, as I was during this conversation, by some of the insights Vonette shared during this difficult time, insights that she has gleaned from many years of walking with God, as well as some of the things that she has learned in the school of suffering.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Has there ever been a time in your life that you say you've learned that God is trustworthy, and you don't need to worry have there been any times when you felt that maybe God wasn't coming through, that you were perhaps disappointed with the outcome or tempted to doubt?

Vonette Bright: Oh sure. And I think that's a part of the learning process, that I doubted, that Bill's faith was so strong. He's always been so strong. And I've learned from him to trust.

And he'd say, "If this isn't what God wants for us as we're praying this way, then He has something better."

One of the crises that we faced was with the purchase of Arrowhead Springs, our conference center that God had provided in a very unique way, and someone had offered a very large sum of money that would help to pay for the property if we raised the balance. And the deadline was approaching and actually was there, the very date.

Bill had kept saying, "God has not called me to raise money. He has called me to minister to people, and He will raise this money." It was 9 o'clock at night. And Bill came home, and I said, "Well, the money must be in."

He started getting dressed and ready for bed. He said, "The money isn't in."

And I said, "Honey, how much do we lack?" Well, it was something like $70,000, but $70,000 then was like 7 million or something [now]. But he said, "If God doesn't want us to have this property, He has something better in mind. I can't imagine what it is, but" he says, "I've done everything that I know to do, and I'm going to bed."

And so he proceeded to go to bed, and I started walking the floor. I know we have 70 friends that we can call and say, "Can you give us a thousand dollars?" And we've got some jewelry. You know, I'd give my wedding ring. It would help a little bit.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: You want to figure it out.

Vonette Bright: Anyway, it would be the only time I've ever been willing to give up my wedding ring. I didn't know what was going to happen, but I knew that we had to do everything that we possibly could to make it happen, following God's leading, if we were going to.

And at that point, I saw some things that I thought we could do. Actually, as it turned out, Bill made some telephone calls and we began to talk and talk things through and think of who we knew and what to do and so on.

That money was provided about two minutes before midnight, which was absolutely fantastic. Then, that involved some sale of the property, that was the plan that was worked out at the last minute.

The man who was giving the money said, "Bill that was not the agreement. I did not mention about the sale of property. I told you to raise the money."

So it looked like here we had announced all over the world that we've made it, and he withdrew his offer. And it's the only time I have seen Bill Bright discouraged, and it was just for about five minutes.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: In a lifetime, that's not bad.

Vonette Bright: I had fixed dinner outside on the lawn, for him to come home because it had been, you know, such a time of rejoicing. I remember we were just out on kind of a point where we lived at Arrowhead Springs. I was so excited about his coming home. He came home and sat down and he said, "Well, it looks like the deal is all off. It looks like we failed."

So I looked at him and I thought, Oh, I've never seen Bill like this.

He said, "But God knows. He has a way of putting this together. He must have a better plan, and off we went."

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Just that quick.

Vonette Bright: Just that fast. That's the only time I have ever seen Bill discouraged in the 54 years of marriage, to the place we he gave an appearance as if it were a little bit of despair. But it was just that he realized what God had done.

That's a very unusual man, but that's been a walk that's been so consistent. I've learned so much from him and through him and trusting him. Sure, there are times when I've been disappointed or I thought, you know, Why is this as it is, but in learning that God's way is best, whatever the tragedy we're going through, something good is coming out of this, and He has a plan that's going to be better.

I don't think He takes us away from this world until He has finished what He wanted us to do. Psalm 139 is so great in telling us that we are uniquely made and God knows the number of hairs on our head and He has a specific plan.

I love the footnote in the King James Women's Study Bible, that's an excellent Bible, by the way, well, in this footnote in the passage of Psalm 139, particularly in verses 13-18, it points out that God has His eye on us even before we're born.

And these verses avow that personhood does exist from the moment of conception. Then it goes on to say that we are, in a real sense, prescription babies, in that God has a custom design for every individual, equipping each of us for specific achievement and purpose. And even the greatest tragedies can be overruled or transformed to good within the providence of God.

We praise God for the wonderful way in which He has fashioned our bodies and our minds and our spirits. And we recognize that God isn't going to take us one minute before our lives have accomplished His purpose.

I look at that with tiny babies. You know, even children that, in terms of miscarriages, God uses that in our lives, if we will but recognize that He's protected us from something. It just hasn't turned out right, that it was the loss of children or whatever it is. The faster we are able to praise God for the situation, the faster we're going to be able to see His answer.

It doesn't mean that we do not grieve. I've learned that God gives us the liberty to grieve without guilt, and it's healthy to grieve. It's also healthy to rejoice in trusting God to know that He has something better or He has something specific in mind.

I, right now, don't know what the future holds; but I know that He has something for me to do if He leaves me here longer than Bill, that He has a plan; He has a purpose or something that I am to accomplish.

Who knows? I might go before Bill does. You can never be sure, but I know He's not going to take me before He's finished what He wanted me to accomplish.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: If you could rewind the tape of your life, anything you'd change?

Vonette Bright: I would just be quicker to respond to the leading of the Spirit of God. I'd be quicker to respond to my husband's desires, I think, in every way. I just think I could have made myself more, you know, I would have believed God faster. I would like to have responded more positively to my husband in some of his ideas and some of the things he wanted to do and he has done.

I wouldn't make such mountains out of little things, particularly with my children. I wouldn't get so upset over things that I thought were big at the time that really were not so big.

I think I would have trusted their judgment a little bit more, and I would desire to have even more time in the Word. I would devote myself more to Bible study and so on. But if I'd done that, maybe I wouldn't be able to do some of the things that God has had me to do.

I've really endeavored to please the Lord. He has made "the crooked places straight" (reference to Isaiah 45:2). I've made lots of mistakes, but it all comes out, in the end, okay, as long as we're trusting Him.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: How do you want to be remembered?

Vonette Bright: Oh, I think I would want to be remembered as a woman who had committed her total life to Christ, was dedicated to my husband and my children and to the achievement of the staff and to other women, to help other people reach their full potential. And that anything about my life that could bear fruit in theirs...

The greatest satisfactions, I believe, come in what we have reproduced of ourselves in someone else and, most of all, through our family.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: If you could give a single word of counsel, wisdom, advice to younger Christian women today, myself, young wives, moms, what would you say to us?

Vonette Bright: Well, the first thing that comes to mind is serve the Lord with gladness, and just give yourself in total abandonment to Him. Whether you're single, whether you're married, whether you have children, whatever ages your children are, do it all to the honor of God and just serve Him with gladness.

As long as we base our decisions and base our walk with God on the principles of the Bible, we can't make many mistakes and then, giving ourselves to the ministry of the Holy Spirit, allowing the ministry of the Holy Spirit to dwell in your life and to follow His leading.

God doesn't want us to work for Him; He wants to do His work in and through us. As we make ourselves available to Him, allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives from the tops of our heads to the tips of our toes, then He's going to do what He wishes to do through us. That will be serving the Lord with gladness.

Leslie Basham: That's Vonette Bright in an interview that Nancy Leigh DeMoss recorded in the home of Dr. and Mrs. Bill Bright. Bill went home to be with the Lord one year ago this week. This interview was recorded in the months leading up to his death.

Nancy's conversation with Vonette is a great example of the command we read about in Titus 2, for older women to teach younger women. If you appreciate the wisdom Vonette has to offer, we hope you'll order the entire conversation on CD for a suggested donation of $8.

We don't have time to air the complete interview, but when you order the CD, you'll hear everything. Just order on-line at ReviveOurHearts.com or call 1-800-569-5959. 

Tomorrow, Nancy will catch up with Vonette Bright and get an update on how she's doing, as we remember the anniversary of her husband's homegoing. Please join us for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.