Lessons in Trials: Trust in the Lord, Persist with Hope

by   |   dalewand@bju.edu   |  

Following his “oil change,” Morris Gleiser is back on the road.

The well-known evangelist continues to deliver with zeal the truth of God’s Word and the Father’s comfort in the face of trials to a lost and hurting population after his own recent health crisis.

Gleiser is among the speakers who will lend personal testimony to the BJU Bible Conference theme “The God of All Comfort” on Feb. 18–21 at Founder’s Memorial Amphitorium. Other scheduled speakers include BJU Chancellor Dr. Bob Jones III; BJU President Steve Pettit; Marty Herron, executive vice president of Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa; and Cary Schmidt, senior pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Newington, Connecticut.

Pettit will preach during the opening service at 7 p.m. Feb. 18. Other services will be held at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. all three days, and 1:30 p.m. Feb. 19 and 21. Conference speakers and Carol Anne Clemmons of Coffey Evangelistic Ministries will lead workshops at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 20. All sessions are free and open to the public. All major sessions will be webcast.

Get information for all session times.

Taking an Alternate Route

Days after speaking at the University’s second semester Opening Exercises in January 2018, Gleiser received a diagnosis of multiple myeloma—a type of cancer formed by malignant plasma cells—which quickly and significantly altered his life. Instead of pushing on with his North American evangelistic itinerary, for more than a year Gleiser’s primary destination from his Dallas-area home was the hospital oncology unit.

Through a systematic battery of radiation, chemotherapy, stem cell therapy (his oil change) and finally surgery to remove two blood clots in his legs that were a byproduct of chemicals in treatments, Gleiser received “a new lease on life.”

“It’s a unique system of treating multiple myeloma,” he said. “Fifteen to 20 years ago, if you got this form of cancer, they said you had maybe three years to live. With the advent of stem cell bone marrow transplant, people are living longer, fulfilled lives as a result. Someone thought outside the box and said, ‘What if we brought good stem cells back into a person’s body?’ and that’s been the creative touch to deal with this particular kind of cancer. They cleaned me out and gave me a fresh start.

“It took an entire year to deal with it and everything is in remission, (but) I have the kind of cancer that they say has a tendency to come back. They just keep an eye on me that it stays subdued.”

Time to Swim in the Psalms

Following a 17-day hospital stay, Gleiser was released to continue recuperation at home. For an individual whose ministry following his 1975 graduation from BJU had been non-stop—church youth and associate pastor in Florida and Missouri, camp director/evangelist in Arizona, full–time evangelist since 2000—extended down time wasn’t like a vacation. However, it was profitable. Coupled with regaining physical strength, he found comfort and health in the Word.

“Were it not for the power of God’s truth, I don’t know how a person could live with this,” he said. “They would be in utter despair. Because all of a sudden, I was stuck at home, I had many good, long hours in the Word of God. When I was able, I was out walking and talking to the Lord. I asked for deliverance, (but) at the same time I spent daily time in the Psalms. They were incredible encouraging words of the psalmist who cried out for help in various ways and for various needs. I call it swimming in the Psalms.

“The phone calls and letters I received as an encouragement, people saying they were praying for us (wife Lynn, too), was phenomenal. I’ve heard that when missionaries were in need on the field, they could sense the prayers of God’s people. I heard that over the years and thought, ‘Yeah, that’s nice; I guess so.’ But I now know firsthand what they mean by that. God revealing His power through those experiences made me realize He is watching over us and taking care of me.”

Taking Comfort on the Road

Complementing a regenerated immune system and renewed vitality, Gleiser is looking forward to opportunities on scheduled and unknown avenues to share the comfort, peace and saving grace of the Lord that he’s experienced.

“I clung to that hope that everything would be back to normal. It’s caused me to be more grateful for just to be able to walk and lift things,” he said. “I look at people differently now. I need to love them as Christ loved them.”

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