The Sufferings of This Present Time

Following their time at the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) conference in California earlier this month, my brother Steve and AiG researcher Dr. Terry Mortenson were able to conduct an AiG conference at the Hamilton Square Baptist Church in downtown San Francisco. I’m told it was a great conference and was wonderful to see so many visitors come to the church.

At the end of one of Dr. Mortenson’s talks, the pastor actually came to the front and asked all the members of the church to stand and affirmed that this church stands on the authority of the Word of God as Dr. Mortenson preached and asked the members to also affirm that they stand on a literal Genesis as a general stance of the church. He proclaimed to all the visitors that this church is one in San Francisco that believes God’s Word from the very first verse and then he gave a great reinforcement of the gospel message of Jesus. It was a wonderful conference.

While he was there, my brother Steve had the privilege of meeting Francis Smith. Francis was born with a rare genetic condition affecting development of craniofacial structures in the human embryo and caused him to be born with no ears, no ear canals, and no middle ear cavities—just solid bone. He didn’t have eye sockets or cheek bones and had a cleft palate and a very tiny lower jaw causing his tongue to be too big for his mouth. Francis was given for adoption as a newborn but was adopted into a loving Christian family who brought him up pointing him to the truth of God’s Word.

Here are some excerpts from a tract Francis had developed to give out to people about his testimony.

I hear God’s promise in Romans 8:18[:] ‘For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us’. I heard that all of creation is groaning under the bondage of sin and that because of sin life on earth is filled with pain. I heard that we are waiting for the adoption of our body (Romans 8:23).  I wanted to be adopted into God’s family and have the life-saving hope of a new body some day.  I trusted Christ to save me when I was nine years old.  I continued to suffer physically and emotionally from the taunts and mockery of my peers who were shocked by my appearance.

Do you realize that everyone of us was born with the life destroying disability of sin, but that through God’s Son, Jesus Christ, Who took our sin on Himself when He died on the [C]ross, we can be adopted into His family, live in His grace, rejoice in His love, and fulfill our purpose of glorifying Him? Are you just looking on the outward things of life, or do you have ‘ears to hear’ what God wants to tell you about what He sees in your heart? Listen to what He says in His Word.  Matthew 11:15, Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:16.

Francis is currently studying in the field of medicine and is completing a PhD in Craniofacial Embryology. He also loves to play his green violin.

As we leave this Thanksgiving season (although every day is a “Thanksgiving Day” for Christians), and as we think about the coming Christmas season, perhaps this is a great reminder to all of us. Our true healing from our worst problem is already taken care through faith in Jesus Christ. Christians should be facing life with an attitude of thanksgiving no matter what our circumstance because in Christ we already have victory and healing from the effects of the Fall in this world and sin in our lives. Take time to thank God for the one thing that matters most. Take time to thank God for His precious gift of Jesus Christ.

Thanks Francis—for such a Christ-glorifying testimony and pointing us to Jesus at this time of Thanksgiving.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken