Remember the old saying ‘Loose lips sink ships’ …
Well, starting in the hospital even before my surgery, I found that ‘Once the pain and suffering ship sets sail, it loosens lips for Jesus …’
And let me be the first to say … that lip-loosening began with me … long before it began for those who observed and became concerned for my well-being and the course change of my ship as we ventured out into the storm-tossed waters of the sea of cancer.
Let’s be real for a moment … when we find our ships sailing on smooth waters we frequently take credit for our roles in plotting our courses and for the resulting good fortune we have encountered. We tend to become secret agents for Christ Jesus sailing on ships of our own making and flying banners of our own colors. And oftentimes we take all the glory for what we have done … without ever giving God even a sliver of credit for all the incredible blessings He is bestowing upon us!
But once our ships set sail under distress, all that changes.
As people would approach me just prior to the surgery concerned for my well-being, it became so easy to talk about Jesus and my trust in His care and provision regardless of the outcome of my surgery.
In an earlier post, I mentioned how out of the blue, just as I was to be wheeled into surgery, my surgeon of four years who I had nary a hint regarding his faith (shame on me), offered up a precious prayer in the name of Jesus on our behalf.
Throughout my stay at the hospital, I had conversations with many of the nurses about their faith, their personal church life, their family life in church, their struggles with getting back to church. I even encountered a nurse who attends 12 Stone at the Lawrenceville campus … and as big as the campus is she knew a couple I was close to as a youth leader during their high school years. So cool!
Because of my cancer, family member who haven’t talked in months if not years are communicating, comforting each other and praying for me and my wife. Because of my cancer, family members who have rarely discussed their faith IN Christ find themselves encountering Jesus on a regular basis.
Also suddenly I find myself in faith conversations with people I’ve known for decades never even realizing they were followers of Jesus (and I imagine they are probably also saying “Well, I didn’t know Bernie was a Christian.”) Praise the Lord!
Based on all I have described above, I wouldn’t even remotely consider trading my current circumstances for my previous smooth-sailing circumstances . In the midst of these trials, I have seen Christ Jesus more clearly, I have seen Him more often, and I have celebrated Him outside the church walls more often than ever.
Nope, “I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now.”
Thank you Lord!