More like a dreadful scare actually.
I thought I had oral cancer again.
Two months ago a sore developed in my mouth on the same side where tongue cancer hit four years ago. After it didn’t go away for two weeks, I played it safe and made an appointment with my ENT to check it out. This week I saw him for the third time. No sign of the thing anywhere. Your mouth played a nasty trick on you, he said.
We’re not sure what it was. I might have accidentally bit my cheek. It could have been a canker sore. Turns out after radiation treatment of an area in the mouth, sores like that don’t heal near as fast as with normal tissue. I didn’t know that. Now I do. Lesson learned.
I have to admit, it really scared me. Even the prospect of an early-stage lesion in my mouth brought back horrible memories of surgery and treatment. I can hardly describe the roller coaster of emotions I rode until the doctor pronounced the no-cancer verdict. I kept it a secret from Nancy until I knew for sure. I couldn’t bear to subject her to the same kind of anxiety we went through the first time while we waited for a diagnosis. When I finally told her I fought back a flood of tears at the backlog of feelings and the waves of relief.
Phew. That was a close one. But a nasty trick? No way. I’m a child of the King. My Father loves me with undying, lavish love. He promises me that all things work together for my good (Rom. 8:28), not just cancer scares, but actual bouts with the dreadful disease.
I know who sent the sore. And He meant it for my good. It reminded me that the battle with unbelief and war against fear will go on until my dying day. Only one strategy will do in the face of dreadful scares. Philippians 4:6-7 says,
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Are you mistaking the presence of some adversary or trial as a nasty trick when in fact God has so ordained your circumstances so as to test your faith and strengthen your endurance (James 1:2-4)? Slay the giant of anxiety with relentless spears of prayer and know the peace of God guarding your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
For several weeks (since you've been wearing polo shirts instead of a suit) from the angle where we sit at church I had been noticing the spot on the outside of your throat and quizzed Bob who was uncommonly quiet about it. I have been praying for you even though I didn't know for sure and glad that the scare is over.
I always appreciate your honesty about your humanity. It is a privilege to have you as my pastor, teacher and friend. I am grateful for such a wonderful report. To God be the glory! Great things He has done! Rejoicing with you . . .