Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.2nd Timothy 3:12
So as many of you know, I’ve become an extremely devout Christian after two life changing events in my life. And nothing will deter me from my chosen path and the story I’m about to share should prove this to you.
This story contains elements that have been posted previously with references to those posts if you wish to read more. On May 27th 2014, as I sat in my jail cell trying to get my life back together, I gave my life to Christ on my 50th birthday. In that post you’ll read that I was writing a letter to my wife and told her I was giving my life to Christ before I told myself! It was just a few weeks after I’d taken a book off the jail library shelf and realized it was a Bible. And I couldn’t put it back down. It didn’t take long to get hooked on God’s Word, and the transformation of my life had begun.
A few months later I was released from jail a month early, something that rarely happens, but it happened to me. It was now time to prove to my wife and family that I was not the same person who entered jail seven months earlier. The person in the letters and in phone calls was really the new person I’d become. I made a promise to myself, to my family, and most importantly to Christ, that I would live my life differently and I did.
It started slowly, but slow was good. We began to attend church every Saturday (Sabbath) and became active members. And on July 15th 2017, I was baptized in the river at Camp Whitesands by the two Pastors who had helped to change my life. This was a major step forward for me as I was making a commitment to everyone that this is the new me. And it was!
Jump forward a couple of years and Judy and I again went to the Camp for the whole week in a rented motorhome. It was a week of renewal and rejuvenation in Christ. Every morning I took a 2.5 km (1.5 mile) praise walk. Every morning I joined in a special prayer meeting to pray for the meetings and the presenters. And every day was spent in meetings and services. As the week progressed, I realized that I wanted to take a larger role in our church, and I decided that it was time for me to do my first sermon. I also decided that I’d like to lead a prayer every week prior to the service beginning.
So when I returned home and approached our church elders with my prayer idea and they welcomed it and for two weeks, I led the prayer service at the opening of our church. On the third week though, I didn’t attend church because I had a nagging pain in my hip that had kept me awake all night. I spent the day resting on the sofa. On Sunday my hip was no better, but I did attend my sister in law‘s anniversary. But on Monday, a holiday, I again didn’t feel right and I spent most of the day resting.
On Tuesday I got into my truck and even though I felt worse, with numbness and weird feelings in my feet, I headed off to Saskatoon, about 6 1/2 hours away. When I was about halfway there I began to realize that I was much sicker than I thought and needed to see a doctor ASAP. This story is told here.
So if you’ve read this far and read the links you know that I was diagnosed with Guillain Barré Syndrome (GBS) an autoimmune disorder that causes the nerves to misfire. I ended up spending seven months in hospital. (God’s Perfect Number)
So that gets me to the topic title Persecution. As Christians we are warned that we’ll be persecuted for our beliefs and possibly even put to death. The first martyr for Christianity is Stephen who was stoned to death in the name of Christ (Acts 7:59). He was the first, but certainly not the last. Thousands of Christians have died throughout history defending the belief in Christ. And I almost became one of them. But my persecutor was not of this earth.
Not long after being admitted to the Health Sciences Centre (HSC) I was rushed to the ICU and intubated to keep me breathing. And this began my long road to recovery. My persecutor was certainly Satan as he saw that I was becoming too strong in my faith and it was time to knock me backwards. And while he did cause me to question my faith twice while I was in hospital, according to my wife, he failed because I held onto my faith through my hospital journey and my recovery. Today my faith is as strong, if not stronger, than ever. I praise God for my recovery so far and know He is going to continue to heal me.
Whether I get back on the road and drive truck again is not for me to decide. I leave it all in His hands and I’ll do whatever He wants me to do. But I do know one thing, that the persecution that came upon me was held back by nothing short of a miracle.