March 8, 2013

My Only Comfort

My first catechism teacher was Pastor C Schouls, at that time, a deacon in the Toronto Free Reformed church. The first lesson was on question and answer 1 from the Heidelberg Catechism. Deacon Schouls said "this question and answer is so important that I should be able to wake you up in the middle of the night, and you should be able to recite it for me". At the time I wondered why he told us that but now I know why. It is full of comfort for Christians, especially when facing a death sentence.

Question 1: What is your only comfort in life and death?
Answer 1: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, hath fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, he also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.

ALS is a disease which has no known treatment or cure. There is no medical faint hope clause. The only hope or comfort is to "belong to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ". Then "all things must be subservient to my salvation", yes, even the bad things and the afflictions. Those "all things" bring us closer to Him.

I feel so trapped inside my body, and it frustrates me when I can't make the simplest needs known to my caregivers. The greatest loss is being unable to communicate with my family, friends, and visitors. It is as if I am very slowly sinking into quicksand or a miry pit. First my feet went numb, and then my legs. Next I felt pressure on my chest, making it more difficult to breathe, and cough. My arms and hands felt like they were slowly being pressed to my sides, and I lost the ability to move them. Now my neck and jaw muscles are being affected and getting weaker. This makes it difficult to chew and move food around my mouth. It feels like coming back from the dentist with a frozen, numb mouth.

Family members, Pastors, and friends from church and school do whatever they can to help and encourage me onward from the sidelines, but the slow regression continues. To be honest, there are times when I wish it was over, and that I am tired of living like this. But through it all, I have never felt abandoned by God. He sends His Holy Spirit to comfort me, and to give me peace in my heart along my journey. He hears my groans and cries for help, and comforts me with His Word. Now I understand more fully what Deacon Schouls meant 45 years ago.

7 comments:

  1. Thank you Jack for your testimony of our Lord's comfort and presence in your trial!!!! I can only imagine your suffering and it is so good to know that you are experiencing His grace so richly!!! you and Lena remain in our prayers...

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  2. Rick & DianeMarch 9, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    So thankful to God you could communicate these special truths with us and share the comfort they give you. We have all memorized these words - what a blessing! Continually thinking and praying for you and Lena. God promises to go with us until the end.
    In christian love,
    Rick & Diane Postma

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  3. Dear Jack and Lena...You sharing your testimony is a real blessing ...My prayers are with you both every day...May the Lord give you all you need for eah day...When I was still nursing I looked after a lady who had ALS for many years...I used to sit at night and read the Bible to her...I know that blessed her.
    With much love snd prayers!!!
    Jean Antuma

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  4. Dear Jack and Lena,
    We know this: No matter where we are, no matter what we do, no matter how bleak or frightening our prospects, each and every one of us, each and every day, lies in the same safe place, in the hollow of God's hand.

    We continue in prayer for you Jack.

    Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage , fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

    John Van Woerden

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  5. Jack, so good to hear the testimony of God's grace in your life, and yet also good to read your honesty in the struggles of this awful disease. He has not promised skies always blue, has He? but that He will be with us in everything that He sends for our good. Psalm 27:14 "Wait on the Lord and be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart. Wait I say on the Lord."

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  6. 05 April 2013,

    Dear Mr. and Mrs. Jack Westerink,

    I thank you so much sharing your invaluable testimony before God.
    With all my heart I agree with you about the importance of this precious truth you heard 45 years ago. Thank you for reminding us of where we indeed belong at the end of the day. May your days full of Christ's heart for you.

    Yours sincerely,

    Young Jae Lee

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  7. 05 April 2013,

    Dear Mr. and Mrs. Jack Westerink,

    Yes, it is true. Your testimony makes it more real and I thank God that He is glorified through your confession. At the end of my day, this will explain everything and in Him we all have peace. May your days full of Christ's heart toward you.

    Yours sincerely,

    Young Jae Lee

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