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Rogers Update 4/20/24
April 20, 2024
Hi Everyone,

I recently put together a message that I plan on using in reporting back to churches.  In it I share how God has worked through my health situation this year in ways I wouldn't have planned or even thought of!  I've titled the message, "When God puts you where you don't want to be..."  I think I am going to add a subtitle to that.  It will go something like this, "When God doesn't do what you want Him to do..."

Paul wrote that on earth we know in part, that is partial understanding.  He also said that we see though a glass darkly.  The truth is we are very limited in our ability to comprehend God and how He works in our lives.  We don't have the reference points to understand why God does what He does.  The great comfort is we don't have to understand!  It will be an amazing moment for believers when we stand before God and find ourselves saying, "Wow, Lord, you really did know what you were doing!"

Until then...  We live by faith.  Through the years I have learned to define faith as "The decision to trust God even when I doubt."  Because Grandpa Adam and Grandma Eve are a part of my lineage, I will always have doubts (at least until that moment my faith becomes sight, and I see Jesus face to face.)  However, the more I know the God of the Bible and the quality of who He is, hope builds; not by my emotional response, but based on God's trustworthiness.

I want to thank the many, many who have been praying for me and my health situation.  I know you have been praying because of all the emails and cards that have been sent.  It will be several hundred years into the Millennium before I get them all answered.

So, here's what has been happening...  I did have the second injection into my spinal column on April 1st and had my follow up visit with the surgeon, yesterday.  Simply put, the injection didn't work, didn't help relieve any pain, and caused more problems than the first injection.

The doctor does not want to do the third injection.  My body's reaction is becoming more severe with each procedure.  We talked about what to do next.  As far as he is concerned, surgery is a dangerous alternative.  He informed me that there isn't a surgeon in our area that would do it.  (I have a damaged spinal vertebra and collapsed disk that is putting pressure on the main nerve in my back.  Surgery might involve moving the heart.)  The doctor further explained that other pain control methods may not work in this situation either.  He said the best solution is learning to live with the pain if that is possible.

As the doctor talked with me, I thought of the Apostle Paul who asked the Lord three times to remove what he called a thorn in his flesh, but God didn't do it.  (I'm no Apostle Paul.  I asked God to remove this "thorn" of mine at least a hundred times.)  I love the conclusion of God's apostle despite his difficulty.  In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul informed his fellow believers what the Lord had told him, "My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness."  Then Paul responds, "Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

Think about it!  The thorn in the flesh was a good thing.  It made Paul depended on God and not on his own strength.  Of course, all believers rely totally on God's strength and never depend on their own ability, right?  Please stop laughing!  I have learned a lot about my strength and God's strength this year!  The phrase, "I can't do this without you, Lord!" has become a daily expression of my soul.  It's time to get on with life as God sets the boundaries and opens the doors.

Plane tickets are bought as Beabea and I plan to fly out on Thursday, April 25th for the BEM Small Church Conference in Utah.  Riding in an airplane for several hours will be easier than traveling by car for several days.  We are learning to adapt!  Pray for the conference on Saturday, April 27th, and all God has planned in His perfect will.  I will be speaking in the last session of day.  Pray for God's power to be shown perfect in my weakness!  I will be teaching about godliness in ministry, and I look forward to honoring our Lord with the truth of His word.  The Evil One does not want these biblical concepts taught, but God is bigger than him.

May God continue to work in your lives; and I pray you will know Him better and understand the quality of who He is even more... as you serve Him each day!
John (and Beabea) Rogers