This is my first in a series of guests posting on My daily walk in His Grace by one of the 'young' people in my life. I would like to introduce to you Michael Arlow. He is a second year varsity student who loves the Lord passionately. I have known Michael since he started school but have only gotten to know him in the last nearly 2 years as he has dated one of my daughters, (smiles).
Herewith, Michael's post:
Psalm 115 vs 1
Not to us be the glory O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.
Since I can last recall I have been a swimmer. Day in and day out I have given all I can to the sport of my dreams. God has enabled me to reach a high level of swimming which requires me to train 4-5 hours a day, thus not leaving much time for sleep or anything else! I give my all into a sport that I love, just as anyone one would, but I do it all for Gods glory.
I prayed many years ago that God would use me. That He would use me in my swimming and that He’d create a platform for me to shout out His name. My prayer last year specifically was that God would break me and mold me into whatever it was He wanted me to be.
1 Peter 4:10
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others,
faithfully administrating God’s grace in its various forms…. If anyone serves He should do so with the strength God provides,
So that in ALL things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.
However, at the start of last year – also the year I started studying at Stellenbosch University- I found myself feeling far from God. I felt this way because I couldn’t believe God would allow me to get as sick as I did.
The year started out and not a week into it I had a pulled neck muscle which put me back a month. Thereafter I trained and not even a month back I was coughing blood and the doctors assumed I had TB. After recovering from whatever it was the doctors called it, I trained for 5 weeks. I then took a big knock in May. I went in for a double hernia repair and lost 7kg in two weeks (a huge positive I thought!) It took me a lot of patience and a full 2 months to completely recover! And in July I was back into the pool. By September I had another big knock! The same mesh that was placed in the abdomen to repair the hernia was rejected by my body and I would need two operations to successfully remove it. But our exams were a month away and I had no intention of failing first year.
I fought with God and argued that He couldn’t use me if I wasn’t in the pool!!! I also couldn’t study and took over 300 S5 painkillers in a month to attempt to work through my study work! I felt like the world was against me, the operation was a dangerous one and could have left me completely paralyzed, castrated or on the off chance dead. (The fact that the doctor ‘had’ to say that didn’t help!) I was in a terrible place and to admit it- feeling very sorry for myself.
I ended up having the 2nd operation on the 6th of December and stayed in a week. The doctors could only remove 40% of the mesh as it was too dangerous to continue, however it has been a success so far.
BUT now!!!! After all the background! Is God's part!!!
I was lying in my bed in hospital, after 5 or so days, finally getting used to it when a very elderly man walked in. He announced with self-pity to the rest of the room that he had 2 months to live as he was dying of cancer. As my mother and my twin sister have both died of cancer I thought that his attitude was unnecessary but understandable. So I tolerated his obnoxious outbursts and hurtful comments to everyone around him… to a point! Where finally he crossed a line and comment falsely about my God!
“You are wrong!” I shouted back across the room. He was so shocked that someone actually stood up against him that he mumbled he wasn’t. The nurse could sense the hostility in the room and she left telling us she’d give us our space. We then proceeded to argue and debate until I made a point that he could not rebut. He then started asking questions until! It finally came up to the point where God said lets go. I then asked him, by this time peacefully, would you like to give your life to the Lord…
2 months to go in a hospital room, a man dying of cancer gave his life to the Lord, not because of anything I had done but because of how awesome God was. I then nearly started to cry when it hit me like a bullet that I had asked God to use me, to break me!! In glory of Him… But I had complained and moaned all year through.
Very seldom do we see how God uses our situation; I was blessed to have seen that. But if you believe that God can use you, and you want Him to, have faith that what you are going through is not only part of His plan, but is part of His bigger picture!
For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord…