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Max and His Lomka Part 1

MaxMax has just come out the other side of “Lomka”, (withdrawal).  He’s had it worse than just about anyone who has come.  He was so close to giving in on Monday, and probably would have… if he’d felt better.  Thankfully, he didn’t die and is also still with us!

I’ve talked with him several times since he came.  I like this guy.  He’s 36 and been doing drugs since aged 14.  He had a stroke a few years ago, (certain drugs raise your blood pressure – “meth” being one of them), and he can’t feel the right hand side of his body.  He has also been struggling to read and comprehend what he is reading – a result of the stroke.  Last night, he told me that he had noticed that during yesterday’s morning devotions, he was able to read and understand.  He was excited and wanted to know if God could fix his right side as well.

I happen to believe that God could heal him, and so told him this.  But I added that I didn’t think that God would heal him.  It seems to me that nowadays, it is a rare thing when God miraculously heals.  This is often a very testy subject for some people - I know.  I’ve talked with a quite a few young people who wanted to believe that God’s power and favor was behind them getting healed and they label it a miracle.  And if I doubt that a miracle occurred… then they feel as if I am “casting shade” upon God.

Normally when it “behooves” me to talk about this subject, I tell the person that I know that the God I serve is absolutely incredible, holy, loving and all-powerful.  He has done and continues to do wonderful and amazing things in our world – including suspending the power of the “laws of nature”.  I like precision of words though and react to people wanting to sensationalize things – this isn’t “walking in the light” and usually results in self-centered thinking.  In a world in which God is greatly glorified all around me in 100’s of incidents each week, I struggle to recall more than 5 miraculous answers to prayer in the last 20 years.  Am I in the wrong church?  :)  Or is it that we aren’t desperately looking for God to do miraculous things on our behalf?  I’m in the right church…

When talking with Max, I chose not to say all this, of course.  (He is not claiming to be a Christian, nor claiming to have had any miracle occur.)  Instead, I told him that God probably wouldn’t heal him of paralysis of his right side, but that he could certainly ask… and there is a possibility we might be surprised.  I said that I expected our Father likely has plans for him to glorify Himself THROUGH the handicap that he has.  (I reminded him that God says, “My power is perfected in weakness.”  And so Paul says, “So I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses.”  It’s a good attitude.)

When I ask anything from God, I want for my will to be totally submitted to His – joyfully submitted to His.  And if I can pass on this principle of trusting God to the lads, it will likely be the best thing I can give them.

Soli Deo Gloria!rzh 2_thumb[2]


It’s now Friday and I went out to the village this morning for an hour or so.  Max is smiling with wonderful freedom!  May God have mercy on His soul over the next few weeks as, with a clear mind, he considers the most important subjects in the world.  I’m praying for him regularly.

Before I drove out there, I went to our local market. (For some reason, after hours of trying, this post won’t publish with the photos I had, so I give you this one!  It’s as old as our new church building from the days when the town had a population of about 9000 Jewish people and 11,000 Ukrainians.)  Anyway, I had a list of things to get for Pris.  (She has a migraine that has put her flat on her back.)  We normally buy bulk flour and sugar… and so picked up some small sacks.  After 17 years in this town, I normally go through the market shaking hands with the blokes and exchanging “pleasantries” with the ladies… I expect to spend at least 10 extra minutes talking with people. 

The flower sellers are out in force, expecting a good return for International Women’s Day this Sunday.  It’s a big thing here in Ukraine and we will acknowledge the gift of our ladies in our church service this week by giving each one some potted flowers.  I’m not sure how “appreciated” they will feel, but we will express our appreciation in this simple way.

This is part 1.  For some reason, the second part of this blog will not publish when connected to this part.