The month of July brought forth many blessings and yet it reminded me of the words, “when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot Thou has taught me to say, ‘it is well, it is well, with my soul.”
But now you ask… how can you speak of both blessings and sorrows in the same breath?
Seven months ago I was struck by the hand of God with a stroke. That was the beginning of the lesson pounded in me for the rest of my life. The words from 1st Thessalonians 5: 18 became as natural as my breathing. “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
I give thanks that as the months have passed, I have made a full recovery from that stroke. For this I give praise and thanks to the Lord.
Almost exactly seven months later, the Master’s Hand touched me again and this time it was my heart. I was rushed to the hospital on July 3rd as my pulse slowed to heartbeat of 28 to 35. The rhythm of my heart hovered there for the next 8 hours. It was decided that between my AFib and the slow rate of my beating heart, I needed a pacemaker.
Did I want a pacemaker? NO! Was this the will of God concerning me in Christ Jesus? YES! Could I truly give thanks?
I did, and it became the most incredible experience of my life! I was not only able to give thanks for those 8 days in the hospital, and the mistake that was made when they punctured my lung during the implant or my collapsed veins due to being NPO with no fluids causing it to be nearly impossible for the techs to insert the IVs … BUT… I was given a tremendous JOY with each passing moment.
Where did the joy come from? It came from the Lord God, who made Heaven and Earth! My joy came in proclaiming Him to medical professionals. As each cardiologist or doctor entered my room I would ask them, “Are you a praying man?” Being in liberal New England, the majority of them responded with a “No” and with that, it was a God-opened door for me to proclaim the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth to them. I next would ask each of them, “How can this be? You didn’t make my heart; you didn’t fashion or design my heart. Should you not be talking with the One Who made it? You do not know me or my heart, but you are the one person that has God-gifted wisdom and knowledge, and the delicate hands to be used in heal me. You are absolutely nothing, but in Christ Jesus, you can become everything. You will become much better if you talk to the Creator, the One who molded me and fashioned me in my mother’s womb and the One who knows my most inner parts better than even I do.”
Time after Time, with every new medical professional that entered my hospital room, I had the privilege with a tremendous amount of joy to proclaim my Lord. I felt an identification with the Apostle Paul who proclaimed our Lord while in the confinements of prison. It was another opportunity for me to live and experience His Word, In everything give thanks for it is the Will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
I truly believe that God’s plans are not to harm us but that we might prosper… and there is no greater prosperity on this earth than pure joy!
I saw rain drops on my window, joy is like the rain
Laughter runs across my pane, slips away and comes again
Joy is like the rain
I saw clouds upon a mountain, joy is like a cloud
Sometimes silver, sometimes gray, always sun not far away
Joy is like a cloud
I saw Christ in wind and thunder, joy is tried by storm
Christ asleep within my boat, whipped by wind, yet still afloat
Joy is tried by storm
I saw rain drops on a river, Joy is like the rain
Bit by bit the river grows, till all at once it overflows
Joy is like the rain.
(Medical Mission Sisters)
I continue to run the race before me, strong and brave against the foe, looking only unto Jesus, as I go! Now I am staying in the race with a pacemaker to keep me going and I indeed give thanks to God for it as it is the will of Christ Jesus concerning me.
I pray that you will permit God to draw you near to Him with every and all circumstances and that you will be able to see that His plans are not to harm you, but that you may prosper. As you see this, you can honor Him by giving thanks in everything, knowing it is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. May you, too, experience the tremendous joy that floods the soul when proclaiming the good news of Christ to everyone that God sends your way.
Blessings on your day,