Most of you know that earlier this year, Debbie and I have gone through some heart wrenching and soul searching times...
We had only been on holiday's in Rome for 2 days, when I woke up on day 3, my voice was totally gone. Over the next 4 days of touring I began to have a fever and spasmodic coughing. By the time we arrived in Venice, Debbie was looking for a clinic or hospital. We found a clinic that evening in St Marco Square and I received the medication I needed get the coughing under control. Then on our last 2 days in Rome we received word that Debbie’s Dad had suddenly passed away in the Prince Albert Hospital. When we arrived home on Friday, I heard from my brother Cory that my Mom was diagnosed with liver cancer and had only a few weeks to live. I had planned to speak the coming Sunday but my voice was still gone so Maurice filled in for me (Thank you Maurice). It was so great to be able to go away and know that everyone would understand and pitch in to keep things running. Debbie and I thank you for all your prayers and hard work while we are going through this difficult time in our lives.
The song that comes to my mind is one that my Mom always sang to me; “For I know Whom I Have Believed” by Daniel W. Whittle. It goes like this:
1. I know not why God’s wondrous grace to me He had made known, Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love Redeemed me for His own.
Refrain: But “I know Whom I have believed, And am persuaded that He is able To keep that which I’ve committed Unto Him against that day.”
2. I know not how this saving faith to me He did impart, Nor how believing in His Word Wrought peace within my heart.
3. I know not how the Spirit moves, Convincing men of sin, Revealing Jesus through the Word, Creating faith in Him.
4. I know not what of good or ill May be reserved for me, Of weary ways or golden days, Before His face I see.
5. I know not when my Lord may come, At night or noonday fair, Nor if I walk the vale with Him, Or meet Him in the air.
Debbie and I know that my Mom and Dad are now together in Heaven (The place where God is) and are enjoying a great reunion after 38 years apart. We also know that Carl (Debbie’s father) is also in heaven and is off somewhere fishing for the big ones. I know all the teachings in the Holy Scriptures and that they are with Jesus in eternity. I know that they are now in a place where there is peace and where pain and sorrow are no more. Debbie and I know all this theologically, however, we also know that we are not able to call them up tonight or next week or even next year for that matter. So while we wait for our turn to go to our “true” home we will mourn our loss, but not as unbelievers do---without hope. We buried my Father in-law (Dad) Thursday May 12, 2016 and I was able to do the Eulogy where I presented a clear Gospel message. We stayed with Debbie’s family a few days and then I went back to be with my Mom, however my health was deteriorating and so I came back to get better. Debbie stayed in Saskatchewan with her Mom and went back and forth between my mom and hers. Then on Friday June 3rd, my Mom passed away and we buried her Wednesday June 7, 2016 where I also did her Eulogy. Through this time of trials the passage of God’s Word in Hebrews 2:13-18 has been of great encouragement to me over theses last few days and I pray they will be of comfort to you as well.
Hebrews 2: 13-18 “I will put my trust in him, that is, “I and the children God has given me.”14 Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. 15 Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. 16 We also know that the Son did not come to help angels; he came to help the descendants of Abraham. 17 Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. 18 Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.