Thank you for the support that you extend to me each month. I do not take for granted the willingness of brethren like you to contribute financially to the work I am trying to do. Without that help, it would not be possible for me to do what I am doing, so I thank our Lord for you every day.
In fact, I thank the Lord for you at night as well. With the physical issues that I am dealing with, sleep often escapes me and I lie awake at night. I try to use these quiet hours to pray and meditate at the foot of God’s throne. But in addition to thinking about the Lord specifically and praying to Him, I also use these hours to ponder the things in life for which I am grateful, things that bring a smile to my face when I think about them. I have a card that I keep handy during these night hours on which are written the names of the most special people in my life. Among the names on that card are the names of those who provide my financial support. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me in those long (and often physically painful) nighttime hours to think of you. My heart leaps for joy, and sometimes I just laugh right out loud, not in a flippant way but just with the hearty happiness of knowing that you care about my work as you do. Some of you have stuck with me through some very lean and difficult times. While not being naive or simplistic about my struggles, you have continued to support me financially — in the faith that there would come a better day. So I say to you: it does indeed bring me joy to think of you and your encouragement of my work.
I am happy to report that there seems to be a slight upward trend in my physical condition. I still have some very hard days, and as I said above, the nights continue to be difficult, but I believe things are improving, if only a little bit. I am finding that on good days, I am able to keep working for a longer period of time. That means that I am able to get more done in the daytime hours before the evening agonies begin. So I am grateful. And not only grateful, I am optimistic. The Lord may have other plans (and if He does, I will obviously give thanks for whatever He decides to do), but I truly do believe that my condition is going to improve and that eventually I will be able to get back on the road and be able to visit some of you face-to-face. That certainly is my prayer.
As for my writing, I passed a major milestone last week and now have only 60 pages left to write in the book Obeying the Gospel. Sixty pages may sound like a lot (if you ever had to write a 60-page research paper in school, you probably thought of that as a big deal), but having only 60 pages to go means that 306 pages have already been written. By the Lord’s grace, I have made the turn at the top of the stretch (pardon the horseracing analogy), and I can see the finish line from here. With all of my previous books, by this stage I have become sick of the project and have just wanted the work to be over. But with Obeying the Gospel, I am getting more excited with each page. One of my editors recently said, “Gary, I think this is going to be your most useful work so far.” I hope she’s right. I am writing with a vivid sense that something important is happening. I am praying over each page, lavishing care on each word, and if it pleases the Lord for this work to become a reality, I hope it will be of service in the kingdom.
So, thanks again for your help. If I can get to the end of this year with this project complete (these goals were set several years ago), a major part of the joy will be reflecting on how we have done it together: you have paid the bills, and I have done the writing. I hope you know that my “thank you” is sincere and my love for you is fervent.