A pastor gave me some wise advice that I have sought by God’s abiding grace and wisdom to follow. God can make a way where there appears to be no way. When my Kingdom work is done and God calls me home to that sweet gift of eternal joy with Him where there is no more sorrow and pain, where life will be a continuous song of praise to my Lord, I pray it will be said of me, “Kevin was used by God to inspire others through His journey, that the Lord makes a way for everyone where there appears to be no way.”
There is a Scripture well-used and well-worn but contains within it a vital lesson none of us should ever forget. This sage advice comes to us from the book of Proverbs. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6, New Revised Standard Version). I particularly like how the RSV uses the word “insight” as opposed to other versions that use the word “understanding. ” When we see things from God’s perspective and not our own, He gives us spiritual insights that go far beyond our limited human understanding.
We have for us contained in two verses of Scripture God’s direction, His way of thinking about all of the circumstances of our life. We trust our Lord and not our own fallible wisdom to guide us through life’s storms. We have the Biblical assurance we will never be alone. Our Lord will never forsake us, never leave us,
Let me be perfectly clear that I do not believe that the trust asked for is a blind trust that defies reason or logic. This is a knowing kind of trust, a trust that can only come from the assurance of our mind and heart that our Lord is with us through every circumstance, no matter how awful it gets.
Trusting in the Lord no matter how awful it gets. That, my dear friends, has been the enduring story of my life and I have no doubt the blazing testimony of enduring hope of many of you. Let me just list all of the times my Lord has been with me, all of the times I felt His presence and His loving guidance, His watchful care over me.
1) My mom is over 36 hours in labour with me, but I still am born
2)I am off sick from school many times in my childhood quite ill with one bug after the other. Many in my family and doctors who treated me didn’t think I would survive my childhood, but I did.
3)I am abused physically and emotionally by my schizo affective father from the time I am a toddler, but in my young beating heart as I prayed under the cool refreshing breeze of the willow tree by our home, God hears my prayer at age 5 and answers it six years later. I am rescued from my prison of unrelenting torture. Mom, my brother and me escape. Mom drives us to Kitchener, Ontario, where we live six months before moving to Toronto. No longer will I have to hear those haunting spirit-killing words from my father. “You’re lazy, clumsy, stupid, and weak. You’ll always be a failure, Your brother is smarter than you’ll ever be. I wish you had never been born. Why are you so clumsy and stupid that you can’t tie your own shoes? You are a disappointment to me! I hate you!”
As I look back on that experience I see the hand of God watching over me, because I am here for a mission to release many from their prisons of abuse, so they can live a victorious life in Christ
4)At age 8 my cousin, Paul, drowns in the Beaver Valley River in my home town of Thornbury, Ontario. Mom refuses permission for me to go. In my rage I swear I will never speak to her again. The oil can made into a barrel boat with Paul and his teenage brother Stephen inside, capsizes. Paul is knocked unconscious when his head hits a rock. He drowns. I ask my mother to forgive me for being so angry.
5)At age 17 I almost die from a flu when my body temperature goes to 105 degrees farenheit. I am off school several weeks. Doctors are amazed I even survive. They tell my parents I should have died.
6)At age 37 I am serving as an Assistant Professor of ESL at Kwandong University in the eastern seaboard city of Kangnung. I have a severe asthma attack. A person with me calls 119, which is the number for emergency services in South Korea. In the hospital Dr. Park, Head of Internal Medicine at Kangnung General Hospital, tells me if the ambulance was five minutes later arriving, I would have experienced brain death and likely death itself.
No, doctor. God is not finished with me yet. I still have work to do for my Lord before I am called home. God hears the prayers of my church, The Salvation Army North York Temple. After a week in the hospital and the many prayers of my church and two young Korean Catholic Christians who visit me every day, the immediate danger to my life is over.
7)In the ambulance at age 37 I receive God’s commission to be a passionate social advocate. I am offered the opportunity to go to Heaven, but am told in my spirit if I stay the Lord will develop me into being a passionate and effective social advocate. This continues to be a work in progress.
8)I am intubated eight times for allergic reactions, seven times in a little over a year in Toronto between 2009-2010.
9)God makes a way for me to move out of the pollution of Toronto to northern Ontario. An apartment becomes available in Kirkland Lake.
10)We experience a problem with mould in our apartment in Kirkland Lake that has us looking all across northern Ontario for a place to live. On the last night of a motel stay having no money for another night, we get a joyous message on our voice mail. A home owner responds to our ad in The Northern News. She has a home that will be perfect for the both of us. We stay there six months.
We need to find another home when our landlord sells the home in a sneaky way, by telling us she is sending contractors to expand the size of the bathroom. They are there to see if they want to make an offer on the home. We are given two months notice by the new home owner to leave.
11)God finds us a beautiful coach house attached to a country style ranch home in Englehart, northern Ontario. This happens only a few weeks after being given our eviction notice. The home owner says we are the first people to respond to his ad in kijiji. We stay there a year surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation, healing within at the sight of trees and their horses galloping about. Unfortunately, we have to leave when ongoing reactions to wood smoke from their outside wood heater sends me to the ER multiple times.
12)God now has us in a beautiful home in Englehart over a year. This beautiful gift from God comes when a friend of ours says he needs someone to rent their family home. It is spacious and filled with a lot of natural light. As I see the sun streaming through our windows, it reminds me of the beauty and majesty of God. I feel a warmth and peace in my spirit as I recall all of the many times my Lord has directed Karen’s and my path.
13)God opens the door for the finances for me to study to get my Master of Theology degree in Missions at a prestigious distance school called South African Theological Seminary,
14)God is opening the door for the finances for Karen and I to be Master of Divinity students at Trinity College in the University of Toronto.
15)And saving the best for the last. Through multiple mast cell stabilizers for my very rare auto immune condition of systemic mastocytosis,God is improving my energy, overall health and concentration.
There are still ongoing challenges, but Karen and I know and believe the Lord is with us through them.
A friend of mine says I am a walking miracle. Doctors are amazed with having all my health challenges, that I have not died many years ago. But there’s the wonderful miracle! I’m still here!
Sure. We all stumble. We all get it wrong. We all at one time or another have not kept to God’s path, His direction for our life. I ask you in His Name to forgive yourself because our Lord doesn’t want you living with guilt or shame. If you’ve fallen He’ll lift you up. If you think you can’t go on another day then let my life, of a sinner saved by grace, inspire you that you are not alone.
God will make a way where there appears to be no way. He did it for me and He can do it for you too. All you need to do is summed up in four key words, admit, confess,come, and follow. 1)Admit your need for God to be the divine director of your life. 2)Confess your sin no matter how great or small and ask for God’s forgiveness, 3)Ask Christ into your life, and 4)Allow yourself to be discipled, to be educated in the Christian path by a pastor and members of the congregation. For those of the Jewish faith, confess your need for God and the wise counsel of your rabbi and his congregation.
Trust God today to make a way for you. Then, even in your darkness of today, you will see a far brighter tomorrow filled with a renewed hope in the possibilities for your life.