A single dad, a debilitating illness, a surrendered
career. . . What kept this man going when everything appeared hopeless?
At some point
in one's walk with God you don't hear Him when you pray, and you
can't see Him moving in your circumstances. All you know is that
everything in your life is falling apart. I was born with a very
rare degenerative muscle disease called Congenital Myensenthia Syndrome,
which affects 1 in one million people. My illness took a sudden
and drastic turn for the worse in my mid-twenties; I started to
lose both weight and functional abilities at a rapid pace. As I
continued raising my daughter, working full time, and maintaining
our home, I began getting a lot of upper respiratory infections
due to complications of my illness. I made the decision "by
faith" to stop working and focus my strength on raising my
I had accepted Christ in 1995 and loved the Lord, reading His Word
consistently, serving in the single's ministry, and as prayer team
leader, but I had questions. . . Why would God allow me to be born
with an able mind, but a disabled body? Why would God allow me to
have dreams, but a body that's not able to follow them? God's answer
transformed my life.
After resigning from my job I stepped down from ministry, but continued
to read God's Word and attend church. I had no clue what God was
doing and I barely recall the months that followed. I remember struggling
to just do the bare minimum, keeping up with household responsibilities,
and getting my daughter to school. Many nights after putting Brittany
to bed, I would go to my room feeling completely overwhelmed with
everything and unable to pray. A lot of times I would sit on my
knees in tears asking God, "Please help me understand!"
Then one day
I read a verse that stopped me dead in my tracks: "For He wounds,
but He also binds up; He injures, but His hands also heal,"
(Job 5:18). I couldn't believe what I was reading! The first thought
was, What about Jeremiah 29:11? It says, "For I know the plans
I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not
to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." How could
Job 5:18 say, "He wounds. . .", but Jeremiah 29:11 say,
"I have plans to prosper you and not to harm you. . ."?
Someone please tell me this is not a contradiction in God's Word!
Then I read Exodus 4:11 which knocked my socks off. It said "The
Lord said to him, 'Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or
mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord?'"
Okay. . . wait a minute! Here was a supposed contradiction in the
very Word of God that I have been reading for years. Now it appears
that God is the one who makes people able or disabled? Is God the
one who caused me to struggle my whole life? I thought to myself.
As I continued to wrestle with this newfound information, I also
studied, no longer focusing on my troubles, but more on God because
I wanted an answer. Although I've always read the Bible, I had never
really studied it.
One morning I read an awesome verse, Jeremiah 33:3. It captured
my attention and shined a ray of light into my seemingly hopeless
situation. "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great
and unsearchable things you do not know." I flipped to Jeremiah
29:11 to examine those conflicting verses, and just so happen to
read the verses that followed, verses 12 and 13 "Then you will
call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart,"
I began to have a sense of peace come upon me and I started focusing
more on the stuff in my life that I could still do-not just the
stuff I couldn't. I realized that I was having some type of an encounter
with God, but what I also understood that I was confronting God
with the very questions that I had hidden in my heart all these
years. As my situation began to change I began to feel stronger
and the storm began to settle.
God began to open up His Word to me and my fears began to disappear.
For the first time in my life I felt rest in my soul-like I was
actually where I was suppose to be-right in the center of God's
will for my life. I read Lamentations 3:33 and it brought tears
to my eyes: "For He does not willingly bring affliction or
grief to the children of men." I cried tears of joy, not only
because questions began to be answered, but it also opened my eyes
to something I'd heard about but never really understood-the sovereign
aspect of God. God was giving me treasures in the darkness, (Isaiah
45:3). . . .
You can read
the rest of this article in the May/June 2004 issue.
You can order this back issue by clicking here.
Chulata, is a single father raising his daughter Brittany whom he's
had fulltime since she was a year. They go to Crosswinds Church
in Dublin, CA, which is where he was saved in 1995. His goal right
now is focusing on what God has before him, trusting Him in every
area of his life, and doing his best to be an example for his daughter.