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Episode Info: s field. So Steven had two more hospital stints in 2013, but they went without a hitch. Obviously, Steven was much healthier, because he wasn’t fighting ulcerative colitis any longer, and his insides had not just been bathed in poisons from his perforated colon. Dr. Mills and the staff at UCI Medical center were awesome. The surgeries that Dr. Ha rightfully described as complex, were routine for Dr. Mills and the gang at UCI. They do them many times per week. It felt so good to be in their care. Steven’s recovery ended up being faster than we expected. When this chapter began, Dr. Ha told us that the entire process, with all the surgeries and recovery times, would probably take ten months. That would have meant that Steven would be able to return to normal life in about November. As it turned out, his first day back to work was on September 21, and at his last checkup, a week after his last surgery, Dr. Mills told Steven, “I’ll see you in a year.” As I record this, Steven’s back to his normal weight, and he just bought an engagement ring for Tarynne, his girlfriend of six years. My wife, the lovely lady LeeAnn and I, are thrilled. She stuck by Steven’s side during the entire ordeal and was a very real help to him. Thanksgiving This Thanksgiving, the Webb family has so much to be thankful for! We still have Steven. We have a new, beautiful granddaughter from our oldest son, Matthew and his beautiful wife, Mareena. Our youngest son, Tim survived an auto accident that, had his car been a foot to the left, would have killed him. But he walked away with a few minor scratches and a totaled car. We have a church family that supported us through the ordeal with prayers, with dinners brought to our home, and even financially. I don’t think I mentioned during my retelling of the story, that a week after Steven went into the hospital, LeeAnn lost her job. The job through which we had our health insurance. Yes, our church family was a nearly perfect reflection of what the New Testament church should be. People sacrificially gave to us to help us get through the worst times. We love them, and thank God for the very real ways they love us. Some of the listeners to my podcasts sent financial gifts, as well. You know who you are, and I thank God for you, too. Steven’s girlfriend, Tarynne, set up a website to take donations for Steven, and many of our friends from many different walks of life, gave gifts as they were able. You know who you are, too. We thank God for you. Steven and Tarynne are fans of the Anaheim Ducks hockey team. There’s a clothing company that makes Ducks jerseys and t-shirts. They designed a special shirt for Steven, and all proceeds from the sale of that shirt are given to Steven to help with the bills, which are staggering. We are thankful to them. The name of their company is Violent Gentlemen. I could go on. Suffice to say that God showed his love to us through countless people who reached out to us and supported us with these financial gifts, and even more important, with their prayers and well-wishes. I know that there were hundreds, even thousands of people around the world who were following Steven’s journey. We owe a debt of gratitude to so many people, some of whom we will probably never meet on this side of Heaven. We were truly humbled by the emails and Facebook comments. The Story of Job and This Life of Faith So I mentioned earlier that I felt a bit like Job in the midst of this ordeal with Steven. In case you’re not very familiar with Job’s story, I’ll take a moment here to give you the 10,000 foot view. Job lived a very long time ago, and he was a righteous man. One day God mentioned to Satan what a good and righteous man Job was. And Satan said, “Of course he is. You’ve put a hedge of protection around him. You’ve blessed him with wealth and a family and every good thing. Take that away from him and he’ll curse you to your face.” So God said, “Ok. I’ll give you everything he has. But you can’t touch him.” So Satan took everything away from Job. All of his wealth, and all of his children. One after the other. In one day. And the Bible tells us, “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” And then the story goes on to tell us that God even allowed Satan to strike Job’s body, and he became very ill with sores all over him. His wife told hime to curse God and die. And his friends told him he needed to confess whatever horrible sin he must have committed for these tragedies to befall him. But Job did not waver. He continued to worship and love God. In the end, God restored everything that had been taken from Job, and even doubled everything. Now my story, thankfully, is not identical to Jobs, and I am not comparing my righteousness to Job’s by any means. But listen here. Several years ago, specifically it was 2007, my wife and I had an extremely good year in our family business. We had a record year. We had a beautiful home in a nice area of our town, our boys were all doing well and they loved the Lord, we were in ministry at our church and my podcasts were ministering to people around the world. And I remember being thankful for each blessing we had. I also remember saying on one of my podcasts, and in other places, that my faith in God was unshakeable. That there was nothing that would cause me to turn my back on Him. I didn’t say this from a prideful place, but from a place of gratitude. It was a statement not of my faithfulness, but of God’s faithfulness. In every situation, at every turn, God has demonstrated His faithfulness to me, even when I was not faithful. He patiently and lovingly built my faith to the point where I believed that nothing would shake it. And I think that when I said that in such a public way, the enemy (satan) said, “Oh yeah? Let me at him, God.” And I am humbled to say that I believe God agreed to let me go through the process. Late in 2007, both my dad and LeeAnn’s dad died. My dad had been sick for a long time, so it was not a surprise. LeeAnn’s dad, however, was fairly healthy, and he died as a result of bad care in the hospital after a routine surgery. In 2008, our business was hit especially hard by the economic collapse. We took a 90% hit. I also went through a very ugly, unjust legal battle with my sister and mother, which effectively tore both of them from me, and we began a multiyear battle to try to scrape enough money together each month to keep our home. Literally, almost overnight, our lives were turned upside down. We went from having everything we wanted, to living on the edge of having our basic needs met. To this day, we struggle financially. I’m working three jobs. LeeAnn still hasn’t found employment. Things are very slowly getting better, with the recent addition of my third job, but at least we are still in our home and food is on the table. You may ask why I still have faith. I have faith because of the miracles I’ve seen since all of this began. So many times, it looked as if we would lose everything, and then God would supply, miraculously, at the last moment. We would receive a gift just in the nick of time to pay a utility bill or a house payment. I would get a voiceover job that would pay the medical insurance bill. And on and on it goes. Also, I look at life more from an eternal perspective that I do an earthly perspective. We are only on this planet for a flash of time. It’s just the blink of an eye. I can endure hardship here, knowing that very soon, I will stand before God. And I want to hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” This life of faith is not about having an easy life. It is about having a life of knowing God and serving Him. It’s about living a life of love, and sharing the love of God with those who need Him. Love is not about warm, fuzzy feelings. It is about helping others, it’s about sacrificing for others, it’s about building up and supporting other people. It’s about doing for other people. This life of faith is about serving. It’s about standing fast, knowing that the One who loves me will never leave me or forsake me. So don’t despair if you, too are going through hard times. I don’t deny that it’s hard. I don’t deny that there are times of the fear of the unknown. I have often wondered, “How is God going to work this out?” But I have not doubted that He would. Life may be different than I thought it was going to be, but my life belongs to Him. He has the right to do with me what He wants. But for me, that is not a scary thing, because I know that He loves me. The New Testament book of Romans tells us, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” I know that I love God, and I know that He called me, so I know that all things in my life are for my ultimate good. And I can rest in that, in the midst of all the trials. This life of faith is not easy, but there is peace in the midst of the trials. Conclusion So that you don’t miss an episode, you can sign up on our mailing list. Just go to ThisLifeOfFaith.com. You’ll see a form at the top of the page on the right side. You’ll get an email when a new episode is released. Or you can subscribe to the podcast in the iTunes store, Stitcher, or wherever fine podcasts are found. You can write to me at steve@lifespringmedia.com. I would love to hear from you. Tell me how your faith is being tested, or how it has been strengthened. I want to know. I need to know you’re there. I need your feedback. Write to me today. There’s a Facebook page where you can interact with me. Just search for Lifespring Media. I’m on Twitter, Google+, and lots of other places. Feel free to connect with me. I’d like to get to know you. If you would be so kind as to leave a review at the iTunes store, that would be awesome, since the show is brand new. Help me get the word out there, and share it on your various social networks. .........
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