~* REJOICE IN THE LORD *~
Ron Hamilton, 1950-present

But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
Job 23:10

This song has been such a blessing in my life! It is the theme song for the college I attended, and it was a favorite of my precious Mother's from the first time she heard it! But when my Momma found out she had cancer, the song became all the more precious to her, as the song was written as praise to the LORD during the author's cancer battle. Here is his story:

Every young boy dreams of becoming a cowboy, a fireman, or maybe even a pirate, and I did too. I also dreamed of having a nickname that sounded dangerous and exciting—something like Buffalo Bill or Long John Silver.

When I was 27 years old, my dream came true. On a routine visit to the eye doctor, something unusual was discovered in my left eye. After several weeks of testing, I was rolled into the operating room for surgery on my eye. Only God knew what the outcome of that surgery would be. As I slowly regained consciousness several hours later, my wife gave me the startling news. "The doctor found cancer. Your left eye is gone."

The doctor gave me my first eye patch, and suddenly I was a pirate! Kids were fascinated by my pirate patch. Everywhere I went children would call out to their embarrassed mothers, "Look, Mom! There goes a pirate!" The children in my church gave me a nickname that stuck--Patch the Pirate.

Looking back, I can clearly see how God prepared me for this experience. Several years before I lost my eye, God's truth had dramatically changed my life. Verses such as Romans 3:23, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God," had shown me I was a sinner who needed God's help. And when I found out that all sinners "shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire" (Revelation 21:8), I was really concerned about where I would spend eternity.

Then I read, "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8), and John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

I'll never forget kneeling all alone by my bed one night and telling the Lord I was sorry for all my sin. Believing that Jesus Christ had died on the cross for me, I asked Him to forgive me and become my Savior. Since that night, my life has been dramatically different because Jesus Christ has been in control. I not only have the joy of knowing that I'm going to Heaven when I die, but I also have the assurance that God is working all things together for good in my life right now.

Yes, I lost my eye to cancer, but God transformed my loss into a great blessing. The Lord has given me and my family an exciting ministry to families around the world through Patch the Pirate Story and Song cassettes and CDs. We also have a nationwide broadcast called The Adventures of Patch the Pirate that you can hear on the Majesty Music web page. God has been so good!

[JMS: We were singing this song to my Momma when she took her last breath on Earth...and her first in Heaven! Read the words and see if they don't comfort you and encourage you to place your trust in the LORD, as Job did, Ron Hamilton did, and my Mother did.]



God never moves without purpose or plan
When trying His servant and molding a man.
Give thanks to the LORD though your testing seems long;
In darkness He giveth a song.

I could not see through the shadows ahead;
So I looked at the cross of my Savior instead.
I bowed to the will of the Master that day;
Then peace came and tears fled away.

Now I can see testing comes from above;
God strengthens His children and purges in love.
My Father knows best, and I trust in His care;
Through purging more fruit I will bear.

CHORUS:
O Rejoice in the LORD
He makes no mistake,
He knoweth the end of each path that I take,
For when I am tried
And purified,
I shall come forth as gold.



*For Today*: Psalm 37:3-5, Psalm 42:11, 46:1 & 2, 84:11 & 12; Proverbs 3:5 & 6; Matthew 6:31 & 21; I Peter 5:7

Music © Copyright 1978 by Majesty Music, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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