In many seasons of life, there are times to laugh and times to cry, time to heal and a time to rebuild. There is a time for everything. There is a time to plant and a time to harvest. There is a time to keep and a time to throw away. There is a time for war and a time for peace. This is best described in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 by King Solomon. He emphasises in verse 11 that God has made everything beautiful for its own time. When we have God’s Biblical, perfect perspective we not only agree with His Word, but we willfully and joyfully submit to His Word, in all seasons. It is never easy to surrender, but again, when your point of view is heavenly, it’s always an adventure.
“Through whatever betide, the Scripture assures us, troubles assail and dangers affright, though friends should all fail and foes all unite; Yet one thing secures us, the Lord will provide.”John Newton
This adventure of moving my family by faith to northern Idaho started on my knees in a hotel in Oklahoma. We heard of a need about a brother and sister in Christ who had a family business that was looking for a new employee to take the place of another who was leaving for ministry. Little did I know that when I had prayed that prayer, I would be the one to fill this void. So away we drove planning just to visit, encourage and pray with them and upon arrival, unexpectedly I slid right in and started working within a week. Two weeks later God did what He does and gets us into an apartment in another impossible way. Things go pretty well with the job. I quickly learned the accoutrements of the trade installing garage doors. While working I’m still able to equip the saints, edify the body of Christ and evangelize everywhere I go, one garage door at a time. Yet everything changed unexpectedly, and painfully, Friday December 4th.
Every week the company I work for would get a shipment of garage doors from a semi-truck which would need to be unloaded and either delivered to other garage door companies or we would load them in our shop for installation at a customers property for another day. Wednesday December 2nd we had our regular delivery but this day was different because we had 16 doors to unload (due to being backed up from the Thanksgiving holiday) with an average of 10 panels per door with one door as long as 22 feet. In total the weight of the panels is equivalent to lifting around 3,200 lbs in just 90 minutes. Unknowingly I tore muscles, tendons and pinched nerves all on my left side (back, shoulder, neck and arm). During our travels across America, I saw a bumper sticker on an old Volkswagen Beetle that said: “NO AIRBAGS, we die like real men” and this was my thought process when I had fiery pinches all over my back and shoulder. I needed to suck up the pain and continue to work. And I did, from Wednesday and all of Thursday but it wasn’t until Friday morning that I blacked out and decided it would be best to go to the hospital. I had no idea how badly I had injured my body but I would soon find out.
X-rays were taken, I got to pray with one of the nurses and after about a hundred questions that I pretty much just said no to all, I was released with the statement that “only time will tell how badly you hurt yourself” and I must undergo many treatments to know the severity of my injury. When we set out on our journey to Idaho, this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. The question that remained was, am I still in full obedience equipping, edifying and evangelizing everywhere even if this happened? I am here to tell you, YES! Just because you’re following the Lord and walking in obedience doesn’t mean that everything will be peachy-keen.
Need I remind you that in our obedience to sharing the truth in love in D.C. Everett fell out of a 4-story window, I was threatened by a family member to “stop living in this fantasy of faith and get a real job like a real man otherwise I’ll call C.P.S. and have your kids removed from you and I will take your wife from you,” lost all support from churches, many family and friends slandered, abandoned, shunned and ostracized us. We became poor, hungry, and a very few times were “rich” and full; all for the sake of preaching the Gospel to everyone we encountered across the world in Washington D.C.. Yet, besides those external things, there was (and still is) the daily and inescapable concern for all those that I have ever met. Our continued prayer is for them to grow in grace, holiness and godliness by sparing no effort studying God’s Word so that they may be continuously transformed into the image of Christ for the glory of God.
Now returning to my most current suffering, I conclude this post about being broken yet restored. I do not know yet how much I have damaged my body nor do I know if there is permanent injury. Time will tell how long this restoration will happen and through a whole lengthy process will I find out how God is using this for my good, my previous boss’ good (for I have lost my job as a result of my frail body) and to the glory of God. Just as God through Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:30 “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my infirmities.” I am made weak and contemptible in the eyes of the world for the sake of Christ in order that God makes it known that only He can do these impossible works. Furthermore, God through Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:27 “God has selected (selected meaning: He deliberately chose), what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame.” This describes the ministry of our family since December 2014. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:9). In summary, the Lord gave and the Lord has taken it away so that I may do another work for His kingdom unbeknownst to me yet. Praise the name of the Lord! Until that new work of ministry begins, I will be seeking the Lord through prayer and fasting. Studying to show myself approved to God during this time while I await my Commanding Officer’s next set of orders!
“Be on guard; stand firm in your faith in God, by respecting His precepts and keeping sound doctrine. Act like mature men and be courageous; be strong in the Lord.”1 Corinthians 16:13