2 Corinthians 4: 8 ff
8: we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9: persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10: always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11: For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12: So death works in us, but life in you. 13: But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I BELIEVED, THEREFORE I SPOKE,” we also believe, therefore we also speak, 14: knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you.
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you WILL have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
An update on the last post here – I’m so, so grateful for the responses I’ve had from a good number of people to the huge and varied onslaught that was suddenly unleashed at me 10 days ago. The scriptures above have been reassuring – I know that in part what ‘hit’ me is what Jesus said – ‘you WILL have trouble’. That means that somewhere along the way the enemy has wanted to stamp his foot on who am I, what I do, and while I’d love to say that I could – from the start of the battering – say what Paul wrote in Corinthians. I know that I WAS crushed, in despair, and – being totally honest here, feeling that God was sitting on his hands with gaffer tape over his mouth… I’d like to say I won’t – haven’t – stayed there, but as soon as you get your head above the parapet again, you’re open to further attack…
I’m very much aware, as I wrote in a Facebook post, that some of what has blitzed me has come from a small number of jealous christian people (small ‘c’ on purpose) who in their jealousy have (and I know who they are) cursed me, literally: and while no weapon formed against us – me – will prosper, the Bible doesn’t say it won’t AFFECT you – just that it won’t last. If nothing ever affected us, why did Jesus say what he did in John 16:33? When in recent months news has spread about a ‘big name’ worship leader walking away from his ministry, church, and faith: a young pastor is California of a ‘thriving’ church committing suicide: a mega-church teaching pastor whose books influenced generations of young people admitting he was wrong and again, walking away from his church, faith, withdrawing all those books from publication – then there are clearly plenty of times when the weapons of the enemy – often directed, aimed, and fired by other believers – DO prosper and sometimes debilitate and damage us so much that we can’t fight back.
That’s why I’m grateful for the messages I’ve received, and the prayers of a number of people. Much of the onslaught recently has come from a very dysfunctional family situation, which for obvious reasons I can’t go into in a public blog. Those who know me well know my family situation – and a number of things have come into my line of vision that I knew nothing about that are devastating and emotionally incredibly distressing. A massive ‘revelation’ that totally blitzed me. Please – if you pray for me – pray for my family. It’s many years now since I saw my children – now 40, 39, and 37 – and I so want to believe that the story of the Prodigal Father is my story.
If you would also pray for something I’ve mentioned before – having had a ‘mobility-limited’ year, I seem to have fallen off of the ‘radar’ of a lot of people who previously asked me to minister in their churches and situations. My love for people, sharing a lifetime of testimonies, encouraging people to believe that miracles and healing can become a part of their life, and, of course, praying for people to be healed myself, is who I am… Being in constant pain 24/7 with osteoarthritis in both knees (not realistically replaceable through surgery) for some 25 years has heightened my passion to see everyone vI meet released from pain as I know how wearying, tiring, and – sometimes – demoralising it can be. If you’ve followed my escapades over the last 40 years – may be the last 10 more because of this blog – you’ll know that God has graciously used me to see tens of thousands of people healed of just about every type of sickness, disease, and pain, and to see – only because of God’s power – a few people raised from the dead.
My life for 41 years now has been dedicated to following God’s call on my life, and yes, it has cost me – everything. But God told me it would be worth it, and that I was never to ‘charge’ – ‘Freely you have received, freely give’ someone famous(!) once said, and while I’m unspeakably in debt to the few regular supporters I have, offerings and gifts from churches and groups are an essential part of ‘survival’ and funding overseas trips, where my passion is well documented.
Right now, I desperately need a permanent home – it’s 36 years since selling the last house I ‘owned’ (mortgaged!) – and God has assured me that a home will be mine again in the near future. It would be wonderful to have somewhere that I can crash out, and also have people to stay from time to time. Humanly – financially – it isn’t possible as I’m pretty unmortgageable at almost 67 years old, though I have no plans to retire even with the pain limitations my knees try and inflict on me – I think I fall outside of the category ‘first-time buyer’ at my age!
I’m just emerging – I hope – from the battering of the past two weeks: I know that God is the restorer of my soul, and I look to him to restore it more – and provide ‘the table for me in the presence of my enemies’.