“This is the day that the Lord has made, and I will rejoice in it” Psalm 118:24
This is the very first Daily Blog that will journal my thoughts and walk with God through what has become the biggest trial of my life.
Twenty Four days ago I ended up in the hospital where my whole world would be turned upside down. God would take me on a journey that would become a Marker Stone and a reminder to me of His Greatness and how in His great love that the God who created the heavens and the earth and who ‘formed me, and knew me while I was yet in my mother’s womb’ would take the time to spend with me, up close, personal, that at the completion of this time, I would be like a reflecting pool of His love, hope, promise for me. He has compelled me to walk with Him and to ‘taste and see that He is good’
I invite you through this blog to join me as I share daily insights as to what and how God is working in more of Himself into my life.
My Pastor, Steve Mays shared last Sunday morning about his own medical journey, Four exasperating surgeries on his back that have changed his whole life and has brought him to clearer understanding of the fellowship between God and him. Pastor Steve said about these repeated trials that: “I have a broken body, but not a broken spirit” . To me, it says that even though my flesh may react to this closeness with God in a way that makes living in this body at sometimes miserable, it has not broken my spirit, my faith has become stronger in it.
Such a perspective would become to me a daily challenge, not to lose heart. Ultimately, God alone has authority over it all.
Although I can’t begin to compare my medical issue with anyone else’s , I can say this, that I can see through this trial that God is clearly at work in areas of my faith that I once thought were solid and secure.
I’ve learned to see that a physical trial brings on the ever ongoing battle between the flesh and the spirit into a more clearer picture. Ultimately, the flesh will do whatever it needs to do to get the most attention, and uses pain as a tool. However God is teaching me that it is my spirit that he is building up in faith not my physical flesh. ‘He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world’. Oh how the flesh always wants its way and yet it must succumb to the authority of God.
I think of my friends Margaret and James who recently have had their surgeries. I encourage them to look at this time in a very special way, that they not rush themselves into praying that God would get them out of it as fast as possible.
God has a time perfected purpose in the entire trial. From the onset, to the middle of it, to the end of it. Hang on, cling to the Lord, hold His hand and walk with Him in it, the result will be peace, comfort, healing.
There is a time when we get antsy and bored with the daily routines of recovery. Remember, it isn’t all about the physical healing, God is working a greater work giving your spirit a much needed time out of renewing and refreshing; something that the flesh in physical healing can’t figure out.
The days the times, are they not all appointed by God? And if so then how can I neglect so great an exhortation as this scripture: “This is the ‘day that the Lord has made, and I will be glad in it”.
I recall Pastor Greg Laurie using the quote from Jesus that “In this world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”
Greg said that “we are either going to be in a trial, or we will be coming out of a trial” And so wherever we are, in it or coming out of it, be assured that you’re not going through it alone, God is in the middle of it.
Satan would like you to think that it is all a big accident, that there is no hope, to just keep moving along. But wait, these trials are not accidents, they are Divine appointments; they are spiritual Doctor’s checkups. Be still and know that I am the Lord.’
For some, the trial may seem greater, for others lighter. Either way, know this; that God is working in a greater faith during the trial that, although not seen; yet will develop a more stronger, more believable trust in His work through us.
“Faith is the substance hoped for and the evidence of things not seen”
So far, I like to look at this trial as an ‘in house’ personal classroom experience’ with Jesus Himself as tutor. Kind of refreshing isn’t it? After all who wouldn’t want to have Jesus, Himself as a personal tutor?
For those of you who know the whole medical history of my trial, thank you for your prayers, they were greatly felt and appreciated, so bear with me as in the first few blogs I relay details of the physical parts of this trial of faith. For those of you who don’t know the whole scene, welcome and please keep your prayers coming.
In a nutshell, for now, about 25 days ago this journey of faith began after what would be the happiest day on earth when on December 22, 2012 I would marry the love of my life, Patty. I am so thankful that God in His providence worked this detail out, and brought Patty into my life!
I can honestly say that, without Patty by my side, this medical part would be extremely difficult to accept and endure. She has brought the warmth, comfort, encouragement of hoping and trusting in God’s Word that has made the difference. She can often be heard saying to me, “Marty, take God at His Word, He would never bring us this far to falter!”
As clear as day I can recall being wheeled into surgery to remove a mass between my colon and my appendix. I remember a few days after the operation, how the doctor came to my room and said to Patty and I, “Mr. Martinez, you have cancer”. This was after what would be just a horrific surgery, can you imagine?
As my wife Patty and I sat in silence, not quite sure what or how to react to this news, I really didn’t have any words to say. All I could think of is ‘maybe this isn’t really happening, I must be on some strong meds!” And yet, as it began to sink in, I accepted the news and yet an overwhelming part of me was still full of hope, that God didn’t bring me this far to now just fade away. What about the promise of my bride, our future, our hopes? Would you God now take it all away?
I have to admit, I was mad at God. And He assured me that it was okay, I didn’t understand what He was doing because my ‘mustard seed of faith‘ was being tested, and through this would grow, and grow, and become a testimony unto Him for others.
God was still in control of my life. He had not changed His thoughts towards me. The question would be, did I still believe all the things He taught me, while I was healthy as much now that I was afflicted?
Was I ready to live out one of my favorite Scriptures:
” For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. 1
Every word of this Scripture would be tested upon me.
Oh, I have read these verses many times before; even had ministered these words to many saints; but now God had brought me into the classroom of experience to give me a clearer and deeper meaning of what it means, that wherever I go, whatever condition I am in, God is there. And if I believe that then all that God is also is there.
In the coming days, (Lord willing) I will be sharing the depths and heights of this ‘classroom’ learning that God has seen fit for me to be taught by Him that in it all, I would be nearer to Him, again; I apologize for the length of this particular blog, but as you can see there is much to be said about this amazing journey with the Lord!
Thank you God, for this special time of learning from You. Just as You have removed the things that were in the way, the things that though outwardly seemed strong, were actually weak, that through this trial, You are not afraid to touch me and bring a complete healing in this body, after all, this is Your temple, and You Jesus have no sickness. I wait for You daily at Your gates, to walk with You and as You give me utterance, allow me to share the things You will teach me and share them with others through this blog. To You alone be the glory, in Jesus Name, Amen.