Pastor's Message - 2019 October Newsletter

 

2 Corinthians 7b-10-“Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.” took

 

I couldn’t help but think of these verses when I thought about what has happened to me in the last month-after an exciting and joyous churchwide assembly, and a bittersweet reunion with my sister (it was wonderful to see her, but hard to see her in such pain), I returned home to discover that I was getting more and more tired. On September 1st, for the fourth time (third time at Zion), I had to be taken out of worship and taken by ambulance to the hospital. In the hospital, they diagnosed me with gastritis and a low hemoglobin count-it’s unclear to me if one caused the other. As a result, I had little energy. My nephrologist had previously decided that I needed dialysis, and I was set to begin training the following week-but when I got in the hospital, the nephrologist at the hospital decided I needed dialysis right away-so we began what would become my normal routine-plugging into the dialysis machine every night and unplugging in the morning. Laura and I still had to go through the training so we could operate the equipment ourselves-we completed that training on the 13th. Since that night, dialysis has been a nightly reality, and it will be until I get a kidney transplant. The last time a kidney became available, I was told I was number 16 on the list-out of hundreds, so I am moving up, and the hope is that I will get a kidney within the next year. Although I am doing much better, I still need your prayers, as dialysis is not a permanent solution. Also, if you are between the ages of 18 and 65, and in good health, consider becoming a living donor. I need a kidney from someone with type B or type O blood, and if that first test is met, other tests are performed. If you can’t help me, perhaps there is someone out there that you can help. And if you haven’t filled out the donor card on your driver’s license, please do so-after you have gone to be with the Lord, you may be able to give the gift of life to someone else.

          As I have mentioned before, people wonder why God allows all of this sickness and suffering, and I don’t pretend to know all the purposes of God. As God said to Job from the whirlwind, “Where were you when I made the universe?” But I do know that God is love, and that God has a purpose for all He does, and all He permits. My illness reminds me constantly that I am not God-that if I am to serve Him at all, I do so in total dependence on Him-and that is a reality for all of us, both the healthy and the sick.

 

Thank you for all your prayers and support, and may God richly bless you.

Pastor Jon Anderson

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