A Letter from a Friend

Some of you may remember that we prayed for a brother in Christ in Canada recently who was very ill. The Lord saw him through that illness and he wanted to express his thanks to us for our prayer support and offer some lessons and encouragements from his experience:
Hello to my brothers and sisters in Christ!
My name is Shawn Robinson.  I’m a good friend of your pastor and he was telling me just the other day that many of you were praying for me over the last little while.  I wanted to write to you and thank you as well as share with you a little of what God has taught me over this time.
Back in January, right at the end of the month, we had the privilege of invited a large group of Muslims to our church on a Sunday evening for a dinner and we were able to share the gospel with them clearly in Arabic.  It was a great privilege for us as we had more people out to that evening than we would typically have to a Sunday morning service!  Unfortunately, I had just started developing some pain in my left eye and two days later was diagnosed with Shingles in the eye and up the scalp.  It was hard to minister to those visiting and heading the gospel due to the pain and discomfort, but as Paul wrote, “Power is perfected in weakness.”  The morning after being diagnosed with Shingles, I passed out just after breakfast, stopped breathing and had a seizure, all in front of my wife and two young sons.
By the weekend, I was diagnosed with encephalitis which can cause death or serious brain damage.  It is amazing to me how the Lord cares for us through all of this.  I can see the hand of our great God in protecting me through the seizure—without which the encephalitis may not have been caught.
Prior to all this, ministry had been going wonderful with incredible opportunities for the gospel.  I was being very disciplined in my time and focus.  My health was good and I was feeling great!  But within days of “feeling great” I was in isolation in a hospital bed.  One of the beautiful things the Lord taught me through this is that my health and my life are entirely out of my control.  I do not choose how my days will progress or even if I will live to see tomorrow, this is in the hands of God.  There is great peace in knowing that a loving, good God is in control of our health and strength.  His goodness and greatness means we can trust Him with our lives!
As I lay in the hospital, one of the struggles I faced was the thought of possibly passing away and leaving my wife and two sons without a husband and father.  This was a painful thought for me as I imagined my children and their grief and my wife struggling forward.  As I brought this before the Lord, He taught me that not only can I trust Him with my own life, but I can trust Him with my family.  If He chose to take me from them or to leave me with serious brain damage and unable to love and care for my family as I wish to, I can trust the Lord with them.  He knows what is needed and He knows my family.  God is good and can be trusted in all areas of life!
Thank you all for your prayers.  It means more than I can express.  I know we have not met, but I also know we are planning on spending a lot of time together in eternity so if the Lord does not cause our paths to cross now, we can maybe catch up then!
God bless you all and thank you again for your love and concern for me, my family and my church.
Shawn Robinson
Truth Community Church
Thamesford, ON