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Testimonial from Colin Pyle

For all of eternity, I will be grateful to God that in His love, He allowed me to get diabetes. The reason I say this is because it's very unlikely that God, Himself, would have become such a joy to me if I had not contracted this disease.

Colin's debt of gratitude to God for allowing him to get diabetes

Diabetes is often a hereditary illness. Both on my father's and mother's sides, our family have a history of diabetes. However, even though I knew we had this illness in our family, it did not stop me from overeating. I loved all food, especially such things as ice cream. It has been medically proven that people that overeat are more likely to develop diabetes than people who have a sensible diet.

Not only was I overeating but I was stressed out and not exercising enough. The combination of these three things often leads to diabetes among potential diabetics. I was getting plenty of exercise when I worked on my parent's dairy farm. However, when I became a minister, I did little exercise. I did try jogging at times, but didn't consistently keep this up.

I realise, in retrospect, that I was stressed out because of the idolatry in my life. By idolatry, I mean putting other things in the place of God. Most of my life, I have struggled with some sort of idolatry. I struggled with the "god of mammon" - the love of money. I realised that money, in itself, is not wrong. It can be used for great good. It is the love of money that is so wrong. I wanted to have enough wealth so that I would never be in need and could buy whatever I wanted. I definitely struggled with making God supreme over the love of money in my life. Contracting diabetes played a major part in overcoming this "god."

There were other "gods" that I had in my life but I want to focus on one in particular: The praise, adoration & approval of people.

Right from when I was a child, I had this problem in my life. I wanted honour and glory from people. I loved sport, which is not wrong in itself, but for me it was wrong because I dreamed of becoming some great sporting hero with multitudes honouring me.

When I became a minister, I wanted people to find Christ and be saved, but mixed up in this Godly ambition was selfish ambition. I was ambitious for the praise and approval of people. This caused me to overwork and at times I was stressed out. In Proverbs 29:25, it says this:

"The fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe."

The fear of man certainly proved to be a snare in my life. I am now 58 and I developed type two diabetes at aged 40. In retrospect I realize that the "fear" of man, worrying about what people thought of me, had played a major role in my developing diabetes. Years later I read an enlightening statement in Leonard Ravenhill's book, "Why Revival Tarries". The statement said this: "Those who fear God don't fear man, but those who fear man do not fear God." I realised that for a large part of my ministry, I had been fearing man and not God. I was a man pleaser and not a God pleaser.

It was a shattering experience when I developed diabetes. I had seen uncles die of this condition. I realised that if I was to live a normal lifespan, I needed to change my lifestyle. One doctor had told my mother, who is also diabetic, that diabetics on average, live 10 years less than everyone else. Another doctor told me that if I kept my blood glucose levels right, it would be as if I didn't have diabetes - I wouldn't be causing damage to my vital organs and to such parts of my body as my eyes.

Almost overnight, diabetes began to help me overcome this "god" of food, as I changed my diet with Kathy's help. (I still sneak ice cream occasionally when she is not around.)

With regard to the idol of seeking the praise, adoration and approval of people, I can say that without doubt, it is Scripture memory and spending time with God that is helping to overcome this other "god." And it was the diabetes that caused me to get into Scripture memory.

Because I knew I had to exercise to keep in good health, I bought an exer-cycle. For about 5 years, from aged 40 to 45, I experienced 15 minutes of torture every day. I hated exer-cycling but I kept at it.

At aged 45, I heard a speaker say that the way to overcome wrong thoughts was to replace your own thought life with God's Word. I especially had unforgiveness towards people in my thought life. I had often prayed, asking for God to help me to overcome this problem of unforgiveness, and at first He didn't seem to answer. But that day he answered my prayer in an amazing way - I came home from hearing that speaker talk about replacing our thoughts with God's Word, and I decided to give it a try.

I had memorised Psalm 34 as a child and had come to love it, but I had forgotten much of it. So I wrote Psalm 34 out on cardboard and I decided to memorise it while I was exer-cycling. In a short time, the 15 minutes of torture seemed like 5 minutes of pleasure and I began to love memorising Scripture. Gradually over time, I increased the exer-cycling to an hour a day. Hand in hand with memorising Scripture was having an effective Quiet TIme where I began to hear, what I believe, was God speaking to me. When I prayed about different situations, Scriptures would come to my mind, which I was convinced were from God.

My thought life began to change. No longer was I trapped by unforgiveness. As I have said, I came to love memorising God's Word. After I had memorised Psalm 34, I memorised Psalm 37 and then some other Psalms. I then tried a New Testament passage, Philippians 2:1-11. Verse 3 was especially powerful in my life. It says this:

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves."

I was full of selfish ambition in my life and this verse really convicted me. I did some more Psalms and Isaiah chapters 40, 55 and 61. I loved memorising Scripture so much that I decided to memorise the whole of Colossians which has become a precious book to me, as have all the books I have memorised. Eventually I memorised a number of New Testament books. Previously, I would have thought it impossible to memorise whole books of the Bible, but because I now loved it, I didn't find it too difficult! While I was doing only 15 minutes a day on my exer-cycle, I struggled to memorise much Scripture because I kept forgetting what I had memorised. However, when I did an hour a day, I was able to go over a lot of what I had previously memorised.

2nd Corinthians chapters 8 and 9 were especially powerful in my struggle with the "god" of money in my life. These two chapters contain the story of the Apostle Paul taking up an offering to help the starving Christians in Judea. These Christians in Corinth, who were quite well off, were, I sense, being quite selfish in sharing with their fellow Christians. These two chapters are helping to overcome the "god" of money in my life. I have come to realise that we Christians in the western world have a responsibility to share our wealth with the poor Christians in third world countries.

Scripture memory, hand in hand with having an effective Quiet TIme in which I was hearing from God, changed my life.

About two years ago, I faced another crisis in my life. My knees and hips began to hurt when I exer-cycled. I could no longer exer-cycle. I was again devastated, because I loved Scripture memory so much. After about two weeks of doing nothing, I tried walking, and to my great delight, my knees and hips didn't hurt. I seemed to be able to memorise Scripture even more effectively while I walked.

One morning, about two years ago, I was going on my early morning work and memorising Scripture at the same time, when something astounding happened - I was suddenly flooded with deep joy. I was filled with joy towards God because, in His great love for me, He had allowed me to get diabetes. I realised that as a result of the diabetes, I had had to change my eating habits, which up until then I had not brought under Godly control. I had then needed to exercise, and the exercising led to me start memorising Scripture. And the memorising of Scripture in turn had helped me to overcome the "gods" of the love of money and the "god" of lusting after glory and honour for myself. Therefore I thank and praise God for allowing me to contract diabetes.

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