Oct24MonOctober 24, 2016
Jordan and I had just completed a roofing job on Wednesday and it was that time of the week to switch gears, focus on the Manor Ministry and make plans for visits etc… However, that evening I didn’t sleep very well and complained to Sharon about stomach cramps, but tried some natural remedies like “apple cider vinegar and raw honey” mixed in a hot drink. I was good to go and went about my errands and activities on Thursday. When I arrived home around 6pm, the cramps were acting up again and I had no desire to eat supper so I headed upstairs feeling like I was dealing with some kind of stomach flu. I tried to curl up in a ball on the bed and felt my cramps intensify to the point where I started to heave and vomit a lot, 6 or 7 times all the while thinking that this too will eventually pass… I just needed to get it out of my system. I know many people would not think to turn experiences like this into a spiritual one, but I did this time. I remembered just being on my knees over the toilet and saying LORD this is what I want to remember about my new nature… that it won’t stomach the presence of sin in my life and personally I don’t want the sinful nature to have any grip on me! So I kept hurling and kept praying through all of it. I know weird maybe, but that was my experience. It was also interesting to note that I had been reading earlier in Romans 6 about dying to sin and being made alive in Christ.
Around 10pm the stomach pain I was experiencing was like no other flu bug I had and there wasn’t even a reprieve like you sometimes experience after vomiting. I knew I had to get to emerg and I off I went to Guelph General where they told me pretty quickly that I wasn’t going home that night and placed me on morphine for the pain. They suspected appendicitis and after the CT scan in the morning it was confirmed. Then the wait began until the surgery was performed. It was a busy Friday and it wasn’t until 2am Saturday morning that I went under. In the meantime God allowed me to have some amazing divine appointments with the nurses and staff who looked after me.
Now on the other side of the surgery, I have a number of limitations, I move around gingerly and I’m not standing on my feet for great lengths of time. As I went to the Manor Church on Sunday, I didn’t do any of my normal setup duties. I’m not allowed to lift 30lbs for at least 3 weeks. All I could do was just show up and sit down, but it was another good experience for me. It allowed me to have more meaningful conversations with many of those who attended and also learn to receive love instead of just looking to show love.
As Matthew 11:29,30 states in the Message, God is showing me “how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.”
Fridays with Roger…
My most recent conversations with Roger have surrounded the theme of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year as he has passionately shared the significance of these holidays and his own focus on being prepared for Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, as well. As he clearly wants to honor his roots and his background, he has taken time to go to services where the Rabbi has shared and then return to me for more discussion. It’s always a lively discussion, but never more meaningful to me when I can show him how Jesus has paid the price and there’s nothing that we could ever do to measure up to the ultimate demands of a holy Father. So there is definitely a battleground on mindset and where the assurance of our forgiveness comes from but it was great just reading Psalm 103 with him to show the power that God has to remove our sins from us as far is the East is from the West.