I wrote the following for my boys recently.
Was observing Psalm 30 when I noticed some applicable contrasts with it concerning my health these last five years.
The Psalmist said about the Lord, “…for thou hast lifted me up.” My bad health circumstances could have adversely affected my mindset and attitude. I could have been “down” mentally and emotionally. But, the Lord has kept me “lifted up.” He has kept me lifted up in that I still have a heart to love your mother. I still have a heart to preach. I still have a heart to be active as much as possible. I still have a heart to achieve as much as possible. It is because of the uplifting will of God.
The Psalmist said, “O Lord my God…thou hast healed me.” I know that I am not strong or energetic like I used to be. But, I know that things are not as bad for me as they could be. It is because the Lord has willed to give me some healing. I appreciate it.
The Psalmist said, “…thou hast kept me alive…” In practical terms, I consider that Dr. Lieving has saved my life two times. The first time had to do with my heart. He was good enough to diagnose that I had a bad heart condition. Then, he was persuasive enough to convince me that I should have necessary tests to check out my actual condition. Two years later, he observed my declining kidney function. It was about that time that I started feeling badly, but I could not figure out why. I could not keep up with the work at the church. The doctor convinced me that I needed to go to a kidney specialist. By the time I visited Dr. Collins, my kidney function was nearly needing dialysis. Dr. Collins has done his part in saving my life in that he has reversed to this point the decline, and has overseen a small comeback that conditionally keeps me from having to go on dialysis. In spiritual terms, however, it undoubtedly has been the Lord who has “kept me alive.” It is an amazement to me.
The Psalmist said, “…in His favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Because of the Lord, life and living is on my side. It stirs joy and thankfulness in my soul that I am having this experience of more life from the Lord despite the conditions. It is another reason why I absolutely trust the Lord.
The Psalmist said, “Lord, by thy favor thou hast made my mountain to stand strong…” It is my personal vision that the Lord has blessed me with a strong standing mountain. What is my strong standing mountain? It certainly has to do with His ministry through me—-the length of service, the preaching and church leadership, the writings. My strong standing mountain has to do with your mother. She is rock solid. My strong standing mountain has to do with you boys. You have achieved so much. It has to do with my daughters-in-law. They are so accomplished. It has to do with my grandchildren. They have so much potential. The Lord is using us to make a difference in society. Prayerfully, the Lord will keep the mountain strong. This is a certain blessing from the Lord.
Lastly, the Psalmist said, (V10) “O Lord, have mercy upon me. Lord, be thou my helper.” I can clearly see that the Lord has granted to me much mercy. I am firmly convinced that He has helped me, and that He will continue to be my helper.
Common sense mandates that at some point some thing will take me out of this life. There is the possibility that my health will eventually worsen, and that I will experience hard suffering from it.
But, I am sure I am a very blessed man. I have peace from Him. I have joy from Him. I have contentment from Him. All the way through, He has made His presence real to me. All the way through, He has made a difference in my life. It has been good. It is good.
“Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing. Thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness: / To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and NOT BE SILENT (!). O LORD MY GOD. I WILL GIVE THANKS UNTO THEE FOREVER.”
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio.