Pain and suffering loosens lips for Jesus …

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!

Bernie

About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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