But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side,but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. (2 Corinthians 4: 7-12)
In January 2000, I had contracted the ‘stomach flu’ which caused 2 rips in my poor abdomen – a double hernia – which had already endured too many surgeries. The pain was unrelenting and too profuse for it to be a textbook case. 29 doctors in Ottawa did not know how to deal with it.
That was the first time I had camped out on 2 Corinthians Chapter 4. It was the favourite passage of Scripture that my then pastor read to me when he visited.
I did not know what God was teaching me at that time. I had lost all control over my life and was often in despair. Then one day in the hospital, three months after my ordeal started, my family doctor witnessed my crumpling into a pitiless heap of tears and hand-wringing, 1 hour after the strongest pain medication they prescribed failed. She at last prescribed morphine. Thank God for morphine!
My life changed, giving me a little more control. When I took the morphine, I knew I had a little window of relief enough to get some housework done before I had to hightail it to the couch… my favourite resting place.
I would get up and use that window of relief to clean the kitchen, wash dishes, cook a meal and start some laundry. And all the while, I would be repeating, ‘Redeeming the time for the days are evil…’ (Ephesians 4 16). The context of that passage was so apt. However, I just looked at the context again for the first time since then.
Amazing. I had learnt it as a child in the KJV: Here it is. Verses 14-16:
Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
And so, today, while I still have some pain (have seen the Chiropractor AGAIN), the opportunity is ripe and I am seizing the day… redeeming the time. That’s what I learnt from that experience.
I had lain on my sickbed for 13 months of agony, and vowed (to the Lord, and myself), that I would serve Him with every ounce of strength He gives me. I have no special secret to accomplish what I do, except to use my limited strength to point to a God Who promises to make His strength perfect in my weakness.
Knowing that, I am doing the ‘crazy thing’ AGAIN. I am planning some last minute tours of Parliament Hill because:
- The Centre Block of Parliament Hill will be closed for 10 years from January 31st, 2019;
- It is the only place on Parliament Hill which so clearly points to a Christian ethos in our history, when the architects and artisans printed the Scriptures in stone, brass and glass on the Peace Tower with art that reflected the culture of the times;
- I do not know when something else will knock me off my feet (the enemy is devious);
- I do not know how long I will be in Canada (Tim and I do not know the path the Lord has chosen for us)
So join me on the unknown journey which the God of all Providence has designed for us.
Sign up for a personalized group tour with me while you can. CLICK HERE for the offer.
If you are in Ottawa before January 31st and want something to do, check with me for availability. The spots are filling up quickly online for the Centre Block Tours. And remember, I am combining your experience with visits to other places of interest, and valuable extras like unique handouts to mark this memorable occasion.
See you in Ottawa!