News I Didn’t Expect: A Journey of Faith :: By Dr. Donald Whitchard

“And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye, and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled. But sanctify the LORD God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you, a reason of the hope that is within you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:13-15 KJV).

As I have said in previous writings, I have been a follower of Jesus Christ ever since I was fifteen. I’m 59 now, and He has never let me down nor failed to provide an answer to my questions or situations in which I found myself. I have served Him in the fields of education, retail, and pastoral ministry since 1986. I have always tried to be faithful in all I did, and was able to lead people to Christ through my various occupations. For 35 years I have been married to the love of my life and have been blessed with three children, one of whom is in heaven and we’ll see her when we are caught up to meet the LORD in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

In the years that remain (however long that will be), I have decided to serve the LORD in the fields of writing and personal evangelism, which is something I should have done many years ago, but I will not verbally kick myself. The LORD has seen fit to let me serve Him in this new capacity, and I pray that I will do the best possible job I can for His glory.

So far, it looked like everything was spiritually falling into place. Then I went to the doctor for my annual physical earlier this December (2018). He initially said that everything looked alright, but he wanted me to have blood drawn out for laboratory testing. I went to the lab and had the test, thinking that everything would turn out fine. On December 17th at 4:15 PM, my world was turned around. I received a call from the doctor’s office with the news that I have advanced renal failure. In other words, my kidneys are in poor shape and could be slowly shutting down. Yikes.

After getting over the initial shock to the system, I began to ask myself how this came on so suddenly. Last year I was doing fine. All my vital signs looked good and I had lost weight. I admit that I drank a couple of sodas a day and really didn’t check my blood work like I should have, so this was partially my own fault. I quit drinking soda and started on regular water, tea, and fruit drinks such as lemonade and flavored water. The switch tasted better, and right now I have no pain anywhere, so I can praise God for that change. Still, I haven’t been able to see a kidney specialist yet because it takes so long to get an appointment. My medical records have been sent to a group in Tulsa, not far from where I live, for review and a set up for an examination.

Right now, as of this writing, things are still up in the air. I’m not writing this out of a sense of pity, but to ask the readers of this column to begin praying for me that God’s will should be done in this matter. I want to be healed, but if not, I want to use the time I have left to preach the gospel through writing and preaching wherever He might lead me.

I’ll keep you informed on my progress; and I am not losing hope, nor am I afraid. If this is how the LORD wants to take me home, then it’s a win-win situation. If I’m healed, I’ll praise Him, and if not, I’ll still praise Him as I go off to glory.

This is definitely a journey of faith, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the LORD will work in all of this matter. The most important thing right now is for me to see the kidney specialist and see what is specifically wrong, and how I might need to make some changes in my diet and physical make-up. In the meantime, I will rejoice in the LORD and see what great things He has in store for me. I’m still ready to get on with the work of an evangelist and see people get saved.

For those of you who have come to this website and read of my predicament, you may be asking why God would allow this to happen to a servant ready to do His bidding. Like I said earlier, a lot of this was my own fault. I haven’t been as diligent in taking care of myself as I should have. It could also be an attempt by the enemy to shut me up and bring discouragement to the body of Christ. In all of this, my faith has not diminished or weakened. I can look death in the face and laugh because he has no power over me in the long run.

In the new Kingdom and the new Earth, I’ll have a disease- and age-free body, free from pain and discomfort. I have a reason to be happy in Jesus. I am not being delusional or naïve. I’m well aware that there is pain and discomfort in this sin-soaked world, but the Scriptures tell me that all of this will soon be burned up and made new (2 Peter 3:9-13). Jesus is coming soon, and the question I have for you is, “Are you ready?” If not, commit your life to Him now and start reading your Bible. We’re on the winning side and Jesus is the victor!

I’m finishing a book on the occult and how Jesus defeated it. It should be ready this coming spring 2019. It’ll be on the website in the “Book” section. So, keep on praying and looking up, for our redemption is drawing near, kidneys and all.