Is My Natural Force Abated?

I was 88 on my last birthday. It was said of Moses at 120 that his natural force was not abated. On the other hand, Paul was probably not 70 years of age when he referred to himself as Paul the aged (Philemon 9).

No one knows what it was, but Paul said there was given him a thorn in the flesh to buffet him. Although we do not know what it was, we do know that he asked the Lord three times to take it away. The Lord said, "No!" The Lord laid down here a very important thing for us to remember: "My grace is sufficient for thee, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Paul had very important work to do. He was confident that he would have help to do that work. The Lord had called Paul to His work. Paul says, "For which cause I suffer these things; yet I am not ashamed, for I know him whom I have believed and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day" (2 Timothy 1:12).

For years I have had a thorn in the flesh. One of the arteries that feeds blood to the brain is partially closed. I do not know why, but it gets more closed. It causes me deep trouble. It has put me in the hospital many times. I have besought the Lord, many others have besought the Lord, but apparently, with Paul, I can say His strength is made perfect in my weakness.

One of the worst spells I have had was the last week in August. They took me to the hospital in an ambulance. I was still in the hospital on my birthday, September 13.

About this time, my brother developed pains in his head. The x-ray showed a brain tumour. It was cancerous. On November 22, he passed to his eternal reward. I was able to attend his funeral.

I eat well, I sleep well, but my head bothers me all the time. There is no pain, but I get up with difficulty and I have a sensation of falling at all times.

For quite a number of years, people have said that I should not try to make the trips to India. Some years ago I asked the local church for money for my travel, but they refused and said they did not think I was able to make the trip. Some years ago, brother Trotter was so sure that I should not make the trip that he said to me, "That ticket can still be cancelled."

Last August, when I was lying on the floor waiting for them to come and load me in the ambulance, I concluded that the Lord has said "no" enough times to the request to take this trouble away from my head.

So, my dear brethren, you must look to the Lord for help. Others will come and are coming, but the important thing is that they can say, "I can do all things in Him that strengtheneth me!" We are told of that great cloud of witnesses that by faith triumphed (Hebrews 12:1). Will you be one of that triumphant band?

J. C. Bailey, 1992, Bengough, Saskatchewan

Published in The Old Paths Archive