Saturday, September 27, 2014

Bowing Down to Rise Up!

It's time for this old horse to bow out gracefully!  Or should I say donkey because Guernsey folk are often caricatured as being stubborn like donkeys! It is vital for every servant of God to bow the knee before Him and say 'have Your way Lord!' and that's what I am doing right now. After 43 years of full-time Christian ministry in the UK, the Channel Islands, Seychelles and Zimbabwe, I will retire this weekend. BUT - I am not finished yet! My work is entering a new phase and I welcome the opportunity to see what God is silently planning for us in love. Romans 8:28 is still in my bible and I know that there is a plan in all this and that the important thing is to remain positive, hopeful and yet submitted to God's will. Diane and I are so grateful for all the prayer support and encouragement we have received over the years and are still receiving now, and boy are we going to need it over the coming months!

I had an MRCP scan at University College Hospital London this week and it revealed an extensive stricture or closing of my pancreatic duct with what appeared to be stones piling up behind it. This accounts for the severe pain I have been in for some time and means that in 3 weeks I will be having a surgical procedure to open this up and clear the duct, similar to one that I had some years ago and put me in ICU for quite a long while! Yet I have peace about this one and trust my loving Lord to watch over me that day. Then I also have to go back to Guys and St Thomas' hospital in London too in order to find out why the spinal neuro-stimulator fitted to relieve the awful pain of pancreatitis has failed - and if it is faulty as suspected I will have to undergo having the operation of last July done again. I am also waiting for all this to be finished so that I can have a routine plumbing operation in my local hospital! Plenty to be getting on with then!

I am still praying for healing and release from this every day, and look forward to the day when I can put all this behind me and press on to new and better things. When a horse is being trained, however, to be useful to its trainer there comes a moment when it is 'broken'. The stubborn will of the creature is won over, and it desires whatever its master wants it to do. Now we are not animals and God treats us very differently, inviting our love and joyful surrender as an expression of our partnership with Him in the redemption and recreation of all living things. But even Jesus went through the experience of 'brokenness' when He submitted to His father's plan for salvation. When we follow His example and allow God to master us and use us in His plan, then much can be achieved in and through us.