God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good!
by Terry Camsey, Major –
They say there’s a fifty percent chance that you can survive a first heart attack. That statistic is grim enough, but even more frightening if that first heart attack was silent and undetected at the time.
It was exactly 20 years ago that my wife Beryl suggested it might be a good time for me to have a complete physical. To be honest, I didn’t see the need since I had boundless energy and felt great. To humor her, however, I went to see my doctor.
The physical included an EKG test. The doctor came out of his office with the graph in his hand and asked me when I had had a heart attack. I told him that I never had. He told me that the irregular pattern on the graph indicated that I had!
I still didn’t feel too bad about it since I felt so fit. But when a surgeon explored a little further, he found that I had severe blockages in several arteries…so much so that I was to report for surgery within a few days. The surgeon told me what to expect in far more detail than I wanted to hear.
The night before the surgery I wrote a final letter to my wife (just in case) and spent a lonely few hours on my own until they came to prep me. As I lay on a gurney outside the operating room a thought flashed through my mind…“What have I done of value to the kingdom that actually cost me something?” It was a hard question to answer…easy to rationalize, but hard to answer.
I could consider that, perhaps my cornet playing might have helped or inspired some…or, perhaps, some of my songs may have blessed others… but I was not at peace with that answer.
The experience led to our offering for full-time service as auxiliary captains. And that, in turn, led me to the ministry for which God had called me to this great country in the first place. It had taken 12 years to find the answer to that call, and a pilgrimage from Los Angeles to San Francisco to New York to Sacramento and back to San Francisco.
I remember that, shortly after discovering that passion for ministry, we were in an officers’ councils in Northern California division. The guest was Commissioner “Bud“ Waters from Canada whom we already knew from a visit to Scarborough Corps some years before. He spoke from the first chapter of Jeremiah. I felt God was speaking directly from his Word to me through Commissioner Waters and wrote in my Bible “I AM sending you!”
The words of verses 4-10, 16-19, 13; chapter 2: verses 13 and 21; together with chapter 5: verses 14-17 and chapter 6: verses 27-30 burned into my mind. I knew the task the Lord had set before me, and the difficulties I should encounter in my ministry. Since then I have often referred back to those scriptures and they have strengthened me despite many attacks by the evil one.
That I am still here after five-way bypass surgery 20 years ago is, I believe, a miracle and a testimony to the goodness of God. It confirms deep within that I am still to pursue that ministry for which he raised and fitted me. The fire still burns fiercely in my heart and—even though my energy level may not be quite as high as it was when I was younger—I am determined to pursue that ministry until he decides to take me home.
God IS good, all the time. ALL THE TIME, God is good.