by Robert Earl Houston
Never would I have thought that this would be my destiny although cancer is a strong family characteristic on my maternal side. Cancer has affected relatives heavily on that side of my family and now, I am counted in that number. Even though the prognosis is good, nothing is set in stone until this surgical procedure and the following diagnosis/prognosis.
I just finished my Bible Study – the last one I’ll be teaching for a while. On Sunday, I preached (albeit sitting down) – the last one I’ll be preaching for a while. I’m wrapping up paperwork, letters, correspondence, projects so that by Thursday I can focus solely on my surgery.
However, I am caught in the apex of peace. In the midst of what could happens, what might happens, and the uncertainty of the results, I am experiencing an indescribable peace. I’ve been showered with calls, letters, cards, texts, Skypes, and emails of concern literally from around the world. I’ve heard from Pastors like Bishop Rudolph McKissick, Dr. Melvin Von Wade, Sr., Dr. C.E. Gaines, Dr. James Perkins, Dr. Carroll A. Baltimore, Sr., Dr. William Calhoun, Rev. Darron LaMonte Edwards, Sr., Rev. James Walter Hills, II, Overseer Jonathan McReynolds, Rev. Kip K. Banks, Minister Barton Elliott Harris, Dr. J. Linzie Whitmill, Rev. Dennis Hubbard, Dr. Raymon H. Edwards, Sr., Dr. Johnny Pack, IV, Rev. Christopher Waters, Dr. Keith Ogden, Rev. Clifford Williams, Rev. Bryant Bacon, Dr. A.B. Vines, Sr., Rev. Matthew J. Thornton and many, many others who have called out of their concern and many who have had prayer with me. I’m grateful.
My wife, Jessica, has been a trooper through this but it has taken a toll. Her mom was admitted to the hospital last week and I know that placed a tremendous burden upon her. On top of all of this my secretary, Pat Ross, experienced the sudden loss of her daughter, Mona and my pastor, Minister Barton Elliott Harris, experienced the loss of his mother, Sarah Clardy Harris. And, of course, the nation’s attention has been focused on the tornadoes in Oklahoma.
It is a stressful, trying time – but I am experiencing a level of peace like I’ve never known. I went through a whirlwind in San Diego through a personal storm, but never knew peace like this. I’ve lost loved ones and buried my dad and my father in the ministry but never knew peace like this. My body has had a constant, stabbing pain in my foot that was so intense on Sunday I had to sit and preach.
But I’m experiencing peace. I’m reminded of some of the “peace scriptures” in the Bible:
Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Romans 14:17-19: “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”
1 Corinthians 14:33: “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints.”
So, peace is my pathway to my surgery on Friday. I am calm, trying to release myself of any stress, praying much, trusting much. There is truly peace in the midst of the storm. This level of peace occurs, I believe, when you take the posture of Job: “yet will I trust in Thee . . .”
I pray that whatever you’re going through in life that you will find this peace in your storm.
Your comments are welcome.