Friday, 17 February 2012

The bigger Picture - The bigger Plan! Guest post by Michael Arlow

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!
Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord…

30 comments:

  1. Welcome Michael! This was an incredible article. God has a plan for our life. It may not always be what we thought or intended, but He has a plan, we just have to be willing to be used.

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    1. Amen! I believe as long as we are aligned with God and are close enough to hear His voice- He will break us to make us into what he wants for His Glory! - and nothing can be more fulfilling!

      Michael Arlow

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  2. "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"

    AMEN! Great post, Michael. Thank you for sharing your story.

    And, thanks for linking up to "HEARTPRINT HALLELUJAHS", Tracy! :)

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    1. Thank you for your reply, all praise and honor to God! We are but tools ready to be used by the master of craftsmanship!

      Michael Arlow

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing your story! It's stories like that which make me so grateful for the ways in which God chooses to use us for His glory! I pray one day that He may use me for His glory, as well! May He bless you, Michael :)

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    1. A humbling thing about being a child of God is that we seldom receive recognition for anything that we do- by no means do we deserve it! But it sometimes makes it hard for us to know where we are in our walk with God and if we are indeed shining Gods light. By simply posting that comment - your discipleship and humbling attitude shines and I can guarantee you God is already using you!

      God bless,

      Michael Arlow

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  4. Michael!! It is refreshing to read a testimony from someone so young with so much depth and understanding! You truly GET what the Lord intends for you and you are obedient enough to act upon it. You could have kept quiet in that hospital room but you couldn't - in turn the Lord blessed not only the stranger but you as well. THAT - is the reward of being faithful! Reading your post has really lifted my heart this morning - thank you!

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    1. Praise God! Thank you for your comment!
      May God bless you and keep you. All strength is found in our savior who carries us and holds us close- I pray God keeps you close as you seek Him and that He continues to use you!

      God bless,

      Michael Arlow

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  5. Wow, awesome testimony, thanks for sharing here.

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    1. All praise to God!

      Be blessed,

      Michael Arlow

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  6. Thanks for sharing this testimony with us Michael, wow. Gods plan to use you was different from what you had in mind :) I guess it always is...

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    1. I am sure God smiles at our plans... :) Knowing His is greater and more rewarding than anything we can do by our strength! All praise to God!

      Michael Arlow

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  7. What an awesome testimony, thank you for sharing! This story makes me think of the story in the bible of the man who was hanging on the cross next Jesus and he asked Him to not forget him when he got to heaven,up to the very end God was finding ways to bring this man to live in eternity with Him, What an amazing story of how God used you through your brokeness. Blessings.

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    1. Praise God for your kind comments!
      All honor to God! We often think God has neglected us in our despair but in the meantime He has been carrying us all along!

      God bless,

      Michael Arlow

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  8. What a beautiful testimony to the faithfulness of God...Often we think we know God's plans for us but He likes to show us that He is bigger than anything we can dream....A man is in heaven because you were willing to be used in this situation...I am sure God has many more adventures for you....God bless you abundantly....

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    1. Thank you for that wonderful reply!
      God truly is amazing and I rejoice in my savior and all he has done! I believe its easy to be faithful when we are close to God- its very interesting that it was when I was reading my bible that it all started...

      God bless!

      Michael Arlow

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  9. It's so true that we seldom see how God uses the various seasons and trials of our lives... but when we do get to see the fruit, what a gift it is! Thanks for sharing your story Michael. May God continue to use you for His glory!

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    1. All praise to God!

      Thank you for your comment! Its so true. Very seldom can we ever know how our actions effect others. I think it requires faith to push on even though we don't see much effect. But praise be to God who uses us when we are humbled and ready to be shaped for His glory!

      God bless,

      Michael Arlow

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  10. That certainly was a different path to allow a sinner to come to the Lord, but God's ways are not always the way we would choose to get it done! Awesome story

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    1. God's ways are always greater! We should acknowledge that and understand that at the end of the day, Its always His will and glory.
      We just get given the choice to be part of it or not.

      God bless,

      Michael Arlow

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  11. What an awesome "bigger plan." Many times we don't see it, but we can trust God has one for us!

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  12. this post brought tears to my eyes. what a wonderful testimony of how we have to trust God through our trials because his ways are not ours. thank you for sharing,
    hugs, peggy aplSEEDS

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  13. This gave me goosebumps. What a story, Michael. It's funny when we pray for something (like to be used by God)... and then we are, but we don't see it.

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  14. yeahhhh Michael. He's a guy who is definitely making a difference. love the post. Love the story that shows God is with us no matter what.

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  15. What a beautiful testimony! Thank you for reminding me that God can use me wherever I am. If I stop questioning and complaining, He can make me grow and blossom regardless of the circumstances. Thank you for sharing this!

    In Christ,
    Laura

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  16. Hi Michael. What a wonderful testimony of how GOD uses us even when the circumstances we find ourselves in are less than desirable. I can tell that you are truly a man of GOD. I believe that the LORD is going to use you in mighty ways!

    Be blessed today!
    Chelle

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  17. Hi there everyone - firstly I'd like to say to all of you who commented a huge thank you. I think positive feedback is so important. Michael's post is a great testiment to the creativity of our God. Secondly, to see the faithfulness of one so young is very uplifting and encouraging! I pray God grows Michael spiritually stronger daily and his testimony remains firm in Christ. God bless, Tracy

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  18. Hi there everyone - firstly I'd like to say to all of you who commented a huge thank you. I think positive feedback is so important. Michael's post is a great testiment to the creativity of our God. Secondly, to see the faithfulness of one so young is very uplifting and encouraging! I pray God grows Michael spiritually stronger daily and his testimony remains firm in Christ. God bless, Tracy

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  19. Silly Boy, God can use you when you submit to His plan for you. There are many ways to serve the Lord. I wanted to be a Doctor, but there was no money or time, so I entered the dental field and God has used me in many ways to reach others for Him.

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  20. Thank You to everyone who has posted and commented, encouraged and blessed me with their words of wisdom and honesty. I praise God and honor HIM fully!! I give God all the glory for His work and 'creativity'. He truly is a God of wonders and its a privilege to live in His plan! Thank you Aunty Tracy for the chance to share Gods working.
    I pray God blesses this blog spot even more and enriches everyone who reads it!

    God bless,

    Michael Arlow

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