Chronic Pain & Deeper Healing

I dealt with considerable pain from my tongue cancer and its treatment back in 2005. But it doesn’t compare with my experience these days enduring a pathological fracture of the jaw. Pain which never lets up brings a whole new series of challenges to redeeming suffering as a follower of Jesus.

Knowing I would have hours of windshield time to and from Miami last week for the consult with the surgeon there, I did a search online the day before I left. I wanted to download some resources/messages on the subject of pain. The Lord reminded me of Joni Eareckson Tada along the way. If anyone would have words of wisdom about dealing with chronic pain, she most certainly would. I had no idea just how right that impression from the Lord would prove to be.

Of the half-a-dozen or so talks to which I listened on the road last Monday and Tuesday, this one struck home with the most Holy Spirit force. Nancy and I just finished watching it together prior to my writing this post. Whether your story involves protracted suffering or not, I cannot commend more strongly this teaching from a woman who testifies authentically with the poet, “My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees” (Psalm 119:71, NLT).

Please, I plead with you, do your soul a mega-good. As soon as you possibly can, invest the mere thirty minutes it will take to view Joni’s message. My prayer is that every one of our covenant members at Orlando Grace would do so. Beyond that, of course, all the better.

Latest Update on Nancy’s Healing Journey

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Thanks to everyone who continues to pray for my bride as she works her healing regimen in the aftermath of ovarian cancer surgery four months ago. She had her second post-op visit yesterday with the doctor. She continues to heal quite nicely in terms of that procedure. For this we are certainly grateful.

Her physician had, in our estimation, surprisingly little to say about her CA-125 numbers from the blood test in March which showed a significant drop from 268 to 18 (34 or lower is within range). He prescribed another of those tests for three months from now at which time she will see him again to monitor her progress. He advised her that she should have these tests every three months for the next two years, her highest risk time period for recurrence.

Frankly, that’s all there is to report. But we praise God for His faithfulness in answering so many prayers for her recovery. She feels and looks great. Everything she ingests is organic, sugar-free, healthy as can be and its shows.

I joke with folks all the time that I am the only thing toxic in her life!

"I Can't Find Anything Wrong with You"

Sweeter words a man has rarely heard.

They came from the lips of my ENT on Wednesday.

He spoke them after doing the upteenth exam on my mouth, tongue, and neck over the last five years, looking yet again for any evidences of cancer.

The verdict? I can’t find anything wrong with you. Good thing he wasn’t doing an exam on my sinful heart!

And so I graduate. I will miss the good doctor, but not the exams. He conveyed upon me the degree, Master of Life. Best one of the four I have ever gotten.

No need to see him or the radiation oncologist any more. Only my medical oncologist remains to sign off on the “cured” designation for my five year battle against head and neck cancer before the lot falls to my dentist alone to stand guard against another invasion of renegade cells.

Cool. Five years is a long time. I’ve dreamed of August 2010 many times. That God allowed me to make it and that we will celebrate that gift on the 29th at 6 PM at the SDA sanctuary AND that doc said he would come (please pray that he does) all have made for a very good month for me. I am grateful. Extremely grateful.

The poet, himself the beneficiary of his own miraculous deliverance from death, asked in Psalm 116:12, What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me?

The answer comes in vv. 13-14.

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord,
14 I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.

Oh, Lord God, make me faithful to do the same. Faithful to do the same.