Here I sit at the end of another long day of rehab looking out the window on a very rainy Friday evening. Visitors are not allowed to enter the facility, but they are allowed to come to the window.
Visitors are not allowed inside the facility, so they visit like this.
It’s been a long two weeks from being admitted to the hospital and then transferred to inpatient rehab. I have promised myself I would not give the devil any self-gratification for what he put me and my family through. This has become personal. I want to glorify the Lord, my miracle worker, my healer, and great physician. What the devil meant for evil our mighty and merciful God has turned all things for good.
First, I moved very quickly from wheelchair status to walker status to now walking status. To God be the glory! In fact, when I took my first few steps unaided I had a moment and could not stop weeping from the elation of it. When you have been as healthy and active as I am for most of my life and then confined, well, unless you’ve been there, it’s difficult to explain (perhaps some of you know).
I don’t have time nor space to tell you all the ways our loving Father intervened in this affliction, but it was miraculous from the beginning to where I am now. His hand of goodness and tender mercy spared my life and got me to the best human care I could possibly get.Let me just say that if I had gotten in just 30 minutes later it could have been so much worse. Glory to Jesus! When I was escorted to the dining room at the rehab center where I presently am it became very evident the first day that there were patients here in far worse shape than I was. I cannot stop thanking God for His lovingkindness to me.
HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS
Now here’s the good news.
“But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear (Phil.1:12-14).
Yesterday one of my doctors said to me, ” You are a rock star around here!” I pointed to the ceiling and replied, “He’s my Rock!” The rock star status around here came from my therapists and nurses and all those working with me. They actually enjoy me, but they all know I am the preacher in the facility. Imagine that! They enjoy being around a preacher! That’s because I don’t preach to them per se, but I can say like Paul, that this affliction has turned out to the furtherance of the gospel from the hospital where I was first admitted the whole rehab facility. Of course, this is not a palace nor a prison that Paul at risk of being nartyred, but nevertheless, it was the devil’s doing. Many have heard my story and testimony of Christ in this place. I have many stories, but here’s my favorite.
Karen (not her real name) is an intern here with an infectious personality and contagious joy. She was my therapist for a couple of days, and a sponge for the gospel. I must of have testified of my life with Christ for 30 minutes straight uninterrupted. She kept asking me questions. Even though we are nearly 40 years apart in age we both graduated from the same university – my graduation being 40 years earlier. Now think about the odds of that! Furthermore, Husson University in Bangor, Maine is where I began my spiritual journey with Jesus that Karen may just be beginning. She got goose bumps upon hearing that and knows it was divine destiny that we even met. Yes, I was saved and baptized in the university swimming pool 40 years ago.
I could tell you more stories, but you only need to know that by God’s abundant grace, the devil has begun to pay for messing with me and my family. What was meant for evil and destruction has turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, not because I’m big and brave, but because Jesus designed it that way. I believe It pleases Him when we make the best out of a difficult situation. That instead of murmuring and complaining and wallowing in self-pity as Paul and Silas could’ve very well done in the prison, instead they prayer and praised God and miracles and conversions manifested there (Acts 25).
I by no means am comparing my situation to being in a prison, but the point is the same. We keep on glorying God in the situation and using it to further the gospel.
I’m ready for outpatient therapy where the gospel will be proclaimed again.
Glory to God!
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