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 MAY - JUNE 2004
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COVER STORY: Mark David Williams was cruising through life as a voice coach with an album and a ministry. Then he was hit head on by a drunk driver. . .
The Emotions of Parenting
In Honor of Dads
"How Can You Laugh?" Using Humor. . .
The Soul Clearing
Mosaic Moments Devotional
What Do Patients Really Want?
Searching for Answers
Is Yoga for You?
20 Ways to Save on Medical Expenses
Talk Over Tea with the Editor
Tell Us Your Thoughts
Strive to Thrive Health News
Joy Bites
Strength in the Shadows
Volunteer Corner
Book Review: The Bumps are What You Climb On
Ask the Doc
hopenotes: hopekeepers
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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 daughter.

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," (Job 36:15).

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.

Bob 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.

This article was featured in our May/June 2004 issue.
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