Two years ago on August 11th I was admitted to the hospital for sigmoid colectomy surgery (my second in four years … the first had successfully removed a section of colon with a cancerous polyp). During a colonoscopy earlier that week my doctor had discovered a spot of concern … a biopsy at the time revealed it was pre-cancerous. NOTE: In a sigmoid colectomy, the surgeon basically removes a bad section of colon and then reconnects the two good sections.
Seven or eight hours later as I came out of surgery and the fog of anesthesia to the bedside presence of my loving wife … who had obviously been crying for some time. The news … first, they found a cancerous mass on the outside of your colon and the surgeon could not get it all. Second, the mass was such a mess they could not reconnect the colon … so you now have a colostomy bag. Third, it looks like the cancer has spread (or metastasized) to your right lung. And yet I found myself at total peace about all of that news in that moment and the subsequent seven days in the hospital.
The Lord is at hand; 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 all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds IN Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:5-7 (ESV)
Did I mention that in pre-op, my surgeon asked if he could pray with my wife and me about the surgery? Well, he did. And his prayers along with our prayers before the surgery seem like they were according to the Scripture above. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, did indeed guard my heart and mind IN Christ Jesus during the midst of what, for many, would have been tragic news.
In the subsequent week, while no one specifically told me in so many words, it was obvious that the message my surgeon had delivered to my wife and other family members, “He may not recover from this.”
Fortunately I am loved by THE God who is not limited by the odds but is THE God who defies the odds … we often call them miracles. And two years later, despite the difficulties of the last six months or so, I feel better … physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually … than I have since before that surgery.
Let me be clear … the last two years and the healing that has occurred is NOT because of anything I have done. It is because of what God had done … in ALL regards.
For he (God) says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. Romans 9:15-16 (ESV)
I have no idea what God has in store for me in the next months or years of my life … or even if my life has months or years remaining … but my heart’s desire is to boldly declare as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did …
“If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18 (ESV)
God is able … in ALL circumstances. May Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith … ALL faith, let me run with endurance the race He has set before me (see Hebrews 12:1-2).
For being a cancer survivor (I prefer being known as a cancer warrior) for six years now, I give God ALL the glory, honor and praise!
Thank you Lord –