So, back in February, I picked an interesting tag line for this blog: "Blogging as a dying man to dying men." Those who are Puritan savvy know this quote is originally attributed in the context of preaching from Richard Baxter. While I was challenged by his quote originally in a sense to add some gravity and urgency of what really matters in life, it has taken a whole new meaning... Re-reading the post makes it feel a little creepy. I guess I should be careful what I write.
On June 30th, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon cancer that has spread to my liver. While, we are all dying, the identity of a dying man now carries full gravity. In light of these series of unfortunate events, I've decided to use this tentative project of a blog to be the means to provide updates and to capture thoughts through the process. For a guy who used to like to joke about not having a lot of friends, the number of people who have come alongside to express concern, love, Christ has been truly overwhelming. However, trying to get updates to everyone has been a truly daunting task. Therefore, I hope no one finds this means impersonal, but I hope you can understand.
I also mean to use this space as a means to document the grace of God through the events of a battle with cancer. I don't expect to amaze anyone with my writing, but in light of the overwhelming grace God has been showing, I owe Him the honor of documenting that grace. If it encourages anyone in the process, then awesome. One thing is for certain: for every tough moment we've had, God has provided an equal means to display his grace to us to make it clear He is right here with us in the process. It's like He is determined to manifest His glory in it, but that's what He says, doesn't He? Psalm 46:10.
Tomorrow, I start my treatment with my first infusion with chemo. Before that happens, I feel compelled to answer one question people are tempted to ask at a time like this.
Where is your God now that you have potentially fatal cancer?
Answer? He holds the same immutable grip on His throne today as He did on June 29th.
If you're reading this, you may never have been tempted with doubting your faith during a time of intense trial, but for many of us, if we're honest, we have. I've been there... tried to walk away, and I couldn't escape His hold on me. Maybe a bit on that another day, but I never want to go back there again.
Last time, I tried to walk away because I had an extremely immature understanding of His promises, and while I wouldn't classify myself as mature today, I do have to say He taught me a lot last time, and I intend to not challenge Him again.
It's all through the Bible, but we don't want to accept that much of the happiness we think the Bible promises, isn't really what God promises. The joy and blessings He does promise is all linked to one thing, and one thing alone:
New life through Jesus Christ and being rescued from a broken world where things like cancer happen.
The truth is when God offers us Christ, He offers us everything. He does not guarantee lasting comfort through any other gift.
So, if He has given me Christ, I have everything, and it's certainly not what I deserve, and I absolutely owe Him every bit of my life. Therefore, while I ask and long for His healing touch, my chief prayer is I would never charge Him with wrongdoing, and I hope to praise Him to whatever end.
He's the only One Who deserves it.
"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord. Be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:13-14