“…Jesus [H]imself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know [H]im.” Luke 24:15 b.-16)
“[Mary Magdalene] turned herself back and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Women, why weepest thou? [W]hom seeketh thou? She supposing H]im to be the gardener…” (John 20:14 b.- 15 a.)
“But when [H]is brethren were gone up. then went [H]e also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.” (John 7:10)
Years ago, I was in the middle of switching my employment. The trouble was, as is with most persons, the insurance. The company I was leaving would cancel my insurance and the company I was going to work for could not cover me for (3) months. I am a husband of (1) one and a father of (3) three. Insurance was important. My wife and I could not afford the “Cobra” payments that would cover me until the new employer could. We decided that this job change was of God and that He would cover us, as He is so very faithful. On my last day of work, I was driving home and full of excitement. I was talking to my wife on the cell phone, as I was sitting at a red light and………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..abrupt silence was all my wife heard…………… I was hit from behind by a work van, I was in a little Ford Escort. The car was totaled, every thing crashed forward like a giant wave of “geographically”organize stuff………..Yet, I was fine. We collected the insurance money on the vehicle, which I no longer needed, as the new employer would supply me with a company truck. The money was used to “Cobra” my insurance.
The event that totaled my car was no accident, it was my Lord in disguise. Our Lord is always with each of us, as He promised. We love Him, Whom we have not seen, but we know, through His gift of faith, that He is our ever-present Help in times of trouble, times of need, and times of peace and joy. Though we may not recognize Him, for He is disguised.
In 2007, I was assaulted by Pancreatitis and was hospitalized for just over (3) three weeks. I was out of work for, around (4) four months. I could not eat, I was fed through a tube that went into my nose down to my stomach. It was now 2008 and eventually, I went back to work and was released as my position was no longer needed. Many people were let go at that time. The terminations were due to the economy collapsing. So, here I am with no job, dealing with chronic pain, via Pancreatitis, and I have (1) one wife, (3) three daughters, and a ministry. This ministry was in Joliet, or at least the church services were. We were paying ($375.00) Three hundred and seventy-five dollars a month to rent the facility. So, with that, we had no money saved up for a time such as this. What to do…What to do…We did what we have always done, we waited on God. OH! and then, I had another pancreatitis attack which landed me in the hospital for another few weeks. What to do…..What to do…. We waited upon God.
During this time of 2008, I had no job, though I was looking, I continued to have assault after assault after assault. In total I was hospitalized (28) twenty-eight times. Each hospitalization lasted anywhere from (1.5) one and a half weeks to (3) three weeks. The bills are piling up and remember….no job, which means no insurance, credit cards were maxing out to cover necessities. My family, helped where they could…they were generous. Thank you, family, I love you all……. What to do….. What to do…… My wife, what a strong and loving saint she is. She was with me through it all, as were my daughters…..What to do…..What to do….
Another assault happened. The doctor decided I was unemployable….the state agreed. All the hospital bills from the past and the present were now covered completely. The country was still suffering from the economical meltdown and jobs were being lost by the millions. Yet here am I, a husband of (1) one and a father of (3) three. No job, Chronic and acute Pancreatitis, but all was well. Was this a terrible time in our lives? Humanly speaking, yeah. But in the bigger picture…..it was my Lord in disguise.
Irritating and annoying people, circumstances and situations that befuddle us are not irritating and annoying people or circumstance and situations that befuddle us…It is our Lord in disguise. These people and situations are allowing us to exercise the fruit of longsuffering, which is an attribute of God. These circumstances teach us patience and forbearance. Our patience and forbearance brings glory to God and to Christ, our Redeemer. The physical maladies we suffer remind us that His grace is sufficient for us and where His grace is, He is Present. Like Jacob’s soar thigh. Jacob’s limp states, God was and is here.
During all my pancreatitis issues I was apprehended and taken captive by the pain medications. It was awful. Eventually I had had enough and I laid in my bed, sweating, shaking, and vomiting for over a week and a half. I was in withdrawal and it was horrible. Words cannot describe it. The addiction advocates say that no one can get away from addiction by themselves. They say it is impossible. I agree and I know whereof I speak. It was and is impossible, but……….with God all things are possible. I was not suffering withdrawal, spiritually speaking, it was my great Physician and Advocate attending me, though He was in disguise. He saw me through it all and I give Him all my praise, every ounce of love and worship, that I am able, which is His due. My Lord, my Master, my Saviour, my God may come to me in disguise, but He can’t fool me. I know Him, Whom I have believed. I know Who it is I love, though I haven’t yet seen Him…….I am able to sit still and know that He is God and that He is so Good.