Take That Ovarian Cancer

110

It gives me great pleasure to rep0rt that Nancy’s latest blood test (she gets them quarterly now), came back with a CA-125 reading of 19. Above 35 is considered out of range. She remains well within acceptable results to give us confidence that healing from this stupid disease continues. She sees the doctor this week for his take on things. Thanks to all who continue to pray for us as we walk this path of faith. God is good. All the time.

Why Don't You Hate God?

Someone actually put that question to me not long ago. Why don’t you hate God?

Granted, he had his own anger issues, by his own admission. It never ceases to amaze me how rage can grip the human heart so as to strangle superior affections.

He posed the question in light of my head and neck cancer battle back in 2005. I didn’t recall the occasion, but he told me he actually saw me curled up in a fetal position on my family room couch suffering from the effects of treatment, balancing precariously between life and death. Somehow, and I hurt for him on this, he couldn’t imagine that somehow I would feel anything towards God after such suffering than outright hatred.

I paused. It was a legitimate question. Of all the things I said to him to try and redeem pastorally the opportunity presented before me, I simply said, “Jesus was enough.”

I also quoted Psalm 73:25-26.

Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Have you ever heard someone say, “As long as you have your health, you have everything?” I have. Among the things people tend to idolize, good health ranks near the top of the list along with lovers, wealth, power, and no doubt a few other so-called messiahs. I learned in 2005 that health makes a lousy functional savior. Cancer taught me, among other things, as long as you have Jesus, you have everything. And that’s why I don’t hate God.

Birthday Reflections

How did September 15 come around so fast again? I turned 58 today.

Ever since my battle with cancer in 2005, I have marked each birthday with a little phrase or ditty to commemorate God’s mercy to me in giving length of days.

  • 53 and cancer free
  • 54 and ready for more
  • 55 and staying alive (with apologies to the US government)
  • 56 and up to the same ole tricks
  • 57 and not ready for heaven

And now, drum roll please, though my wife already gave it away on Facebook . . .

  • 58 and feeling great!

Oh the mercy of God after even odds in ’05 of survival of head and neck cancer that I would turn 58 and feel better than I can ever remember in my adult life. I am extremely grateful.

This morning I met as always on alternate Wednesdays with three young men that I treasure and seek to invest in for their spiritual well-being. We are reading through J. C. Ryle’s classic, Holiness.

Our chapter discussion closed this way – Ryle’s summary applications from his treatment of Revelation 2 & 3and the letters to the churches. It reflects my aspirations for another year and however long the Lord allows me to live and serve Him:

Let us rather covet the best gifts. Let us aim at eminent holiness Let us endeavor to be like Smyrna and Philadelphia. Let us hold fast what we have already, and continually seek to have more. Let us labor to be unmistakable Christians. Let it not be our distinctive character, that we are men of science, or men of literary attainments, or men of the world, or men of pleasure, or men of business, but ‘men of God’. Let us so live that all may see that to us the things of God are the first things, and the glory of God the first aim in our lives, to follow Christ our grand object in time present, to be with Christ our grand desire in time to come. Let us live in this way, and we shall be happy. Let us live in this way, and we shall do good to the world. Let us live in this way, and we shall leave good evidence behind us when we are buried. Let us live in this way, and the Spirit’s word to the churches will not have been spoken to us in vain.

O to leave good evidence behind when I am buried.

To live is Christ, to die is gain (Phil. 1:21).