Well, the third phase of treatment is upon me. Chemotherapy is over, radiation is over, and now the surgery. Around Noon on Monday August 20th, Dr. David K. Monson will remove the tumor that has been present in my right wrist. It’s almost surreal. I’ve been talking about having surgery to so many people for seven months now, and it is actually happening.
This may or may not be the end. It would be wonderful if there were no more cancer to deal with. Here is where hope comes in.
“If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.”
1 Corinthians 15:19
Believers in Corinth were dying. Imagine what the Corinthian believers were asking/thinking: “What happened to the eternal life that Jesus provides if my wife is dead? Their body is in the ground, rotting.” Paul reassures them that the believer’s hope in Christ extends beyond their earthly life. Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead – death could not destroy his soul for he had no sins which would incur eternal death. Those who are united to Christ by the Father’s gracious election through the channel of faith are part of the family of God and partake in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4). That doesn’t mean that I am divine, it rather means that God now has granted me spiritual access to Him through Jesus Christ. I have a place in God’s family in Jesus Christ and for no other reason. I know I will receive a new body when I die because Jesus took on his original body after he was resurrected.
Yet all the blessings that I as a Christian enter into here on Earth are not ultimate. That is why Paul says what he does. No matter how full the love and desire we have for Jesus currently is, no matter how wonderful family blessings are, I am is still marred by indwelling sin. I battle with it every day. What’s more, my Lord and Master who I long to be with will only return at a time of God the Father’s choosing. To be with Jesus is to see my King face to face. There is no greater hope than to be there standing before the One who endured the full wrath of God on my behalf, to reconcile me to God. And not just standing. Worshiping. True worship. Without distraction or hindrance.
This is true hope, and it cannot be taken away by cancer or anything else. It is the hope of the child of God.
Earlier I ran into a friend and told her that I felt like I haven’t been humbled enough by the cancer. In the six weeks or so before I was actually diagnosed, I was crying out to God because I saw so much vanity in my life. So much contentment in the things of God and not God himself. Then I got a good prognosis. Treatment wasn’t that bad. The desperation was gone. I want it back again! But such is the Christian life. God chose to discipline me in those six weeks. There will be another season of discipline. But it is not right now. Now is a time to faithfully press forward in service to God with the health and strength that remains.
To be poured out as a drink offering (Phil. 2:17, 2 Tim 4:6). With nothing left in me, for I brought nothing into this world.
I feel like writing another thousand words, and yet I feel like nothing else needs to be said. I am a stranger on this planet, it is not my home. Jesus is my refuge as I sojourn here from trial to trial, but in heaven I will enter a heavenly mansion and will no longer have this body of death. Yes! Come, Lord Jesus.
Those of you have asked for an update on the surgery will be receiving something from Rebekah on Monday. She will also update my Facebook page. Pray for her, as she has had to pre-plan for a sub to take her spot for two days while she spends time with me at my Mom’s house. She spent six hours at school today (a Saturday) to get it done and is battling some upper respiratory junk.
Grace and peace,