Update February 2017

Though you have not seen Him… you love Him. 1 Peter1:8

We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19

Many of you are asking for an update on Jay’s physical condition. Today, I, Meridel am writing on Jay’s behalf because he is “not out of the woods yet.” Professor Ben Horin told us that Jay will need to take the drugs for the rest of his life because his heart continues in chronic fibrillation. He encouraged Jay to try and live as normally as possible for the next three months even though his physical strength has declined. Then he can choose to have something called an ‘ablation’. This procedure allows the doctor to put a catheter into the heart and cauterize specific nerves that are causing the heart to fibrillate. It is 80% successful.

In his own words Jay says: “In spite of what my eyes see, and what
I feel in my heart, I believe!
I am looking to the Great Physician to meet ALL of my needs. I of course am respectful of my doctors and Professor of Cardiology, but my eyes are fixed above! Thank you for your prayers for my well being. I am fighting the good fight of faith and trying to rest as much as possible at the same time. It is a great challenge for an old war horse like me.”

I love the story of a small boy trying very hard to lift a heavy load. Coming into the room and noting the son’s struggle, his father asked him, “Are you using all your strength?”
“Yes, of course I am,” the boy impatiently exclaimed.
“No… son, not yet, the father answered. Because you haven’t asked me to help you!”
What a comfort to know that when we have asked our heavenly Father for help, you have willingly and lovingly given it. Please do not stop but keep helping us to “lift the load.” This is a mystery, of the Kingdom of God.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing. ” John 15:5

Every winter in Israel citrus fruit is harvested. We love the especially luscious tangerines and eat them every single day! The stem of this beautiful fruit is a nondescript, grey brown, tiny stub. Yet this little stem is the very key to the life of the orange. Through it, flows the life of the tree with all of its nourishment, to form perhaps one of the most delicious fruits ever. Thankfully it provides a rich supply of vitamin C exactly at flu and cold season. Just as long as we stay connected to the vine or the branch… we too will live and bear much fruit.

Twenty years ago our dear friend, the late Pastor Dave Duell, looked at our family and said; “You have been perfectly positioned, and positioned perfectly! I see orchards of fruit trees…” I share this as an example of how the LORD sees you and I in comparison to how we see ourselves. Let us not judge ourselves so harshly… nor think of ourselves too highly. Another secret of the Kingdom is to continue to be that little nondescript “connector” between the branch and the fruit. The Bible tells us “…a tree is known by its fruit.” Matthew 12:33 That is really the only sign we can rely on to discern if someone is a counterfeit. It is a safety rule for us in the Kingdom.

I paused and reflected upon this truth. Friends, we are learning yet again what it means to be weak so that He can be strong. It is another mystery of the Kingdom. We need Him more than anyone or anything else. Yes, He must increase and I must decrease.

Protected by the King of Love;
Jay and Meridel Rawlings and team.

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