Over the past few years, God has sought ways to get my attention. I am one who seeks to be always positive and congenial, always seeking to find the best in the situation with which I am faced. Over the last ten years, we as a church have sought to provide Biblical counsel to those we shepherd, along with intense discipleship for those who present themselves to us from other churches.
During these years, I have been challenged to look within my heart to see what I can decipher as the “heart themes” that I deal with concerning desires, emotions, wants, drives, and, ultimately, idols. I have discovered in those teachable moments that control is the overarching heart theme that God desires to change in me so that I can trust him more fully. I have discovered that I really do not want to have to deal with the health issues that have come my way.
Some of those are multiple knee surgeries, a knee replacement and then a re-replacement when it got infected, a stomach surgery, hernia surgery, surgery to remove prostate cancer, and now a recurrence of the prostate cancer even though I don’t have a prostate any longer! Before you feel sorry for my sweet wife or me, let me let you in on what my controlling heart has learned in all of this: God is in control, and I can trust in him!
When my mother was told that she had ovarian cancer in 2007, the next day, she pointed me to a verse that she said would be our verse while we walked the walk with the Lord in her cancer. She lived another 2 ½ years, and every day we would say Psalm 56:3-4. This is what God says to us there,
“When I am afraid (we could also insert anxious here), I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.”
In all these health circumstances, God has taught me a few unbelievably valuable lessons I would like to share with you in case you are in the valley of health situations or love someone who is in those valleys:
When you face these trials concerning your health, please also reach out to the Pastoral Care office at First Baptist so we can pray with you at the hospital or wherever you need us. God has given you a family and wants you to be ministered to in the wave of your health circumstances.
Help! Someone I Love Has Cancer by Deborah Howard
Every Moment Holy, Volume 2: Death, Grief, & Hope by Douglas Kaine McKelvey