Almost 20 years ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I still remember the day the doctors looked at me and said it would continue to get worse and there was no hope of recovery. Why am I sharing this with you? It is because I have been thinking about my post on Philippians 4:11-13 “11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” You see, that day I lost hope. I knew nothing could save me and this disease would somehow be the end of my life.
In some ways Parkinson’s disease did end my life – at least my old life. It has not always been easy. I went through a very rough time. I lost my family; I had to retire from the Navy and almost lost myself. One day on a mountain in Arkansas I found Jesus and from that day forward I found hope. I knew that day that not only was this illness not going to destroy my life but I could use it to help others find the same hope I found. I went to school at 42 years of age. I got my degree in theology and became a pastor; however, that was just the start. My first church was in Alaska and the first sermon I was to preach was at camp meeting. That day God placed three people with Parkinson’s in the morning meetings. When they heard I had Parkinson’s and I was not taking medications any longer, they all came to talk to me.
God is good and knows how to use the worst things in our lives to help others go through their worst things. Since that day I must have spoken to hundreds of people about my illness and I hope I have been of some help to all of them. Do I still struggle with some of the issues? Yes, I do, but I have found ways to overcome them: prayer, diet and supplements. The latest addition is my new friend and service dog, Corbu. All of these things have been a great help.
Now back to the reason I am sharing this with you. Too many times we try to go through the worst things in our lives alone. I believe this is a mistake. Yes, it is hard to tell people we are sick or that we have been going through something bad; however, if you are going through it with Jesus you are not alone and maybe, just maybe, He will use you to help someone else in their darkest time. You will never know unless you step out in faith.
My question today day is “Are you willing to step out of your fears to spend one day with Jesus?”