Some people are adjusting to retirement and some know it is just around the corner. Some are in awe of this world. Some, perhaps, take it for granted. Whatever the case, we praise God for being in control, even when we have our times of weak faith.
I have been ill, so much so that some of my friends hardly know what I look like anymore. Others hardly speak – and I don’t blame them. It has to appear that I don’t want to be involved with them, but that is not the case. Since 2000 I have been diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure and fibromyalgia. I have either been in surgery or recovery myself or with my wife, Regina, off and on for the past seven years. Both of our moms died of cancer in 2005. Mom was mad at me so she left me nothing. It hurt. I had kidney surgery in 2006 and prayed with Regina and she battled cancer in 2007 and 2008. We had a young man hit us nearly head on in 2007 and put us down for a while. Regina went through cancer therapy in 2007, finished healing in 2008. I had shoulder surgery in 2008. I spent most of this year in physical therapy, yet was privileged to serve as interim pastor to First Baptist Church, Bakersfield, while their pastor serves in Iraq. I am having surgery again this month on my other shoulder which I severely injured during the ice storm earlier this year. This means I’ll get to meet a new group of folks in physical therapy in 2010.
Regina recently received a cancer-free report Nov. 17 and we praise God for that. The next day we celebrated Regina’s birthday only to come home and discover that our home had been burglarized and we had been robbed.
Despite the adversity, we will continue to praise God because He has been so good to us. I’ve spent a lot of time on my knees the last few years and I’ve discovered that when a Christian is most down, it is precisely during our prayer time on our knees with God that we have the best view – looking up.
I have griped more this year than one could imagine, just because I am sore and I hurt. But I also know why I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The troubles of this life pale in comparison to the blessings that I am allowed moment to moment as I serve the Lord. I am ashamed for griping so much and am so thankful to my Savior who sustains me and my family. I am also thankful for the many friends He has sent our way and for the privilege of ministering to the people of this area.
Who knows what 2010 will hold? We are ready and we are prepared. God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good!
If you’ve been through some serious events in the last decade, do not forget that God is in charge. It does not matter how bleak it looks at half time; remember how it will all end – we win!
Let us strive to make a difference in the lives of others and continually give thanks to God for the greatest gift of all – Jesus Christ! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! (Bob Wood is director of missions for Howell Area Baptist Association.)