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From Boils to Blessings…What A Difference a Year Makes!
Dan Vander Ark
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The man was just a repulsive wreck of humanity. His friends had heard about his illness but when they came to visit him he was so disfigured from his disease that they didn’t recognize him. A few months prior to his hospitalization, all of his children had died in a freak accident and all of his businesses had collapsed under peculiar circumstances. One moment he was enjoying the laughter of his sons and daughters, the next he was overwhelmed with grief from the sight of his children’s coffins. One moment he was dreaming about where he and his wife would travel during retirement, the next he was wondering how he would provide for his spouse.
And the disease spread rapidly throughout his body. Carpeted from head to toe with a horrific mass of boils, the man was in abject misery and despair. Pus would run from the open sores and some of the ulcers festered with maggots and worms. His skin became blackened and fell off in flakes. The itching was continuous and unbearable. Scratching only increased his misery. His hair was gone, his breath was putrid, and any type of food was nauseating to him. His clothes were resown to match the deformity of his body.
Sleep fled from him, but when he could sleep nightmares haunted him. Most of his acquaintances gave up on him and most family members never bothered to visit him. The hospital visitors he did have pelted him with platitudes – he wanted them to just sit with him silently.
Depression haunted him; in the morning he longed for the night and at night he longed for the day
One of his friends implied, “You’re kids got what they deserved;” another said obliquely, “Bad things only happen to bad people.”
He became bitter and broken.
And yet a young man had the courage to say to him while he was in this pathetic circumstance, “I know things are tough, really tough! But God is doing great things which we cannot comprehend!”
That young man was right. In a short while the man’s health was restored and his businesses again flourished. And in a few years he was once more surrounded by the joy and laughter of his children.
The story of Job in the Bible is a remarkable story of faith and patience and hope in God. God is able to turn around the worst of circumstances.
In the spring of 2003 I came close to dieing from an illness I had battled for 20 years. In the spring of 2004 my health was remarkably better and my wife and I were sitting in one of the world’s finest resorts – all expenses paid!
At the lowest of lows Job dared not dream about the future, his circumstances were too dark and depressing. And yet God had a plan for him. If someone had said to me as I lay in the hospital bed, “See this picture of the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas? This is where you will be next year at this time!” I would have thought it impossible.
No matter how dark it is or how depressed you are, God can turn things around for you! Don't ever give up! Don't even think about suicide -- your life has tremendous value and God has a plan for your life! Read the Gospel of John or Rick Warren's book "The Purpose Driven Life" (www.purposedrivenlife.com) to gain an understanding as to why you are here.
"God thunders with His voice wondrously, doing great things which we cannot comprehend."
Dan Vander Ark
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09 Jun 2009
Very true! Often, we're just on the edge of many blessings after seemingly endless days of grief. Perseverance and trust are so important to the Christian.
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