George Campbell Biography, Evangelist to Newfoundland - 20 - THE END OF ONE PHASE

 CHAPTER 20

THE END OF ONE PHASE

IS THE BEGINNING OF ANOTHER

?Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid!?

John 14:27

GOD?S SAINTS LIKE FINE GOLD

I began to realize that my battle against cancer was on a downhill course. I was asked to speak to a group of older Christians and so I read Lamen­tations 4:2, ?The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold. Each one of these dear older saints is precious in the sight of God. There was power with the sons of Zion. As soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth children. There is lots of power when the saints are in unity. I reminded those believers of old times, when in Vancouver those many souls were reached and saved. I was one of those saved in a great series of meetings.

God compares his saints to fine gold. You can?t destroy it, it won?t tar­nish, nothing will corrode it and the fire can?t evaporate it. This is what God sees as he looks down on the precious sons of Zion. As I sought to encourage them, I encouraged my own heart. Keep climbing. Keep learning. Keep going on. Little did I realize I would have to put it into reality in my own life.

COMING TO AN END OF PUBLIC MINISTRY

During my next visit to the cancer clinic, the doctor said, ?You have lost weight again. Come back in two weeks and then you will have to make a decision as to whether you will take the chemotherapy or not.

As I left the cancer clinic that day, I didn?t know what was going to happen. Was this it? Was this the end of the curve? Would there be a remission? Would there be another hopeful sign of climbing again? Was there something new to learn? What was the point of going on? All these things were mysteries to me and I didn?t understand what God had in mind. I could only trust Him and move forward.

I was called to preach, but I was never called to write (Anybody who knows me will realize that!) I didn?t think I was going to be called to suffer in this way either. The ways of God are past finding out and the best thing we can do when suffering without knowing why is just to say, ?I don?t know! I don?t know what the Lord is doing or wanting to do so I will live one day at a time!?

THERE ARE MORE GIANTS THAN GOLIATH

David in his youth had learned something about God in the wilder­ness and he had proved God personally in a private way. When he fought Goliath in a public battle, God honoured and used him. David continued to fight giants, but he didn?t win all of the battles!

We have giants today - the giant of fear, the giant of sickness. Oh, there are so many giants! We do face giants but we don?t always win. The very best warriors sometimes go down to the bottom. David did because he couldn?t fight the giant of lust. Isn?t it wonderful that at the end of his life he was still fighting giants

In II Samuel 21, he was in the battle against the Philistines and he couldn?t quite make it. Abishai helped David and slayed Ishbi-Benob, the giant. The giant had a new sword, by the way. What a notch in the handle that would be if he could just kill King David. David moved out of the battle. He was faint. His shoulders, his arms and hands were weary, tired and sore from the battle. Back in the camp his faithful men attended to him.

When he was resting and in some measure recovered, his finest gener­als came to him and said, ?David, your ministry in the battle field is finished. You are not to go out anymore.

What a devastating blow to David! It seemed as if he wanted to prove that he was still able to do in old age what he had done when he was young. In pride, he foolishly numbered the people. David was warned not to do it, but he wanted glory in his trophies, have one last fling. ?I?m still David the King!?

Oh, how he suffered through that mistake and how the children of Israel suffered. But look, there was Araunah?s threshing floor. Sacrifices and peace offerings were made and the hand of the destroying angel was held back. The great mediator stepped in, appeasement was made, justice was satisfied and righteousness was vindicated. David stood again in his weakness and helplessness in genuine appreciation to his God for His tender mercies, His gentleness and love.

Another lesson to be learned from David is that we may not know at the beginning of our service what God is going to do through us at the end. David never knew when he was young that one of the greatest