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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sing Praise

At times I struggle with Andrea's illness. This is about understanding the spiritual healing we have already received.
This is about perspective.

Andrea and I went to a Chris Tomlin concert on Jan 27 2005. What a great time of singing praise songs! Afterwards I wrote this journal entry about what I was feeling.

Last night I felt I needed to just praise God and not think about cancer, to just praise God and not beg for healing. This was not a time to receive from God but to just praise God for who He is and what He has done.

Last night was not about why I was here, dealing with cancer. It was not about me. It was about my creator. You are God and you saved me. It did not go beyond that.

I have often thought of how I would react the day I hear Andrea is healed. I think I would fall down and worship God, and shout for joy. I would just be bursting to tell everyone what had happened. Why? Because she was dead without a miracle from God to save her. Because there was no hope outside of God, and when she is healed it was God who gave us life when all the world offered us was death. Think of that. She had no hope, death was waiting. It had a firm grasp on Andrea. And there was nothing we could do. It was beyond our control. We were helpless. We could only wait for the inevitable. One thing cancer makes you do is wait. And while you wait, you suffer. You suffer in a hopeless helpless world. You just watch it slowly do its work. You fight with drugs that only seem to accelerate the very thing you are fighting. And the cancer seems to laugh at our attempts to stop it. It seems at time we are helpless knowing what we face but never wanting to look squarely at it. We look for glimmers of hope is a sea of despair. We are lost and can do nothing on our own. Sure there are times during treatment you feel you have control, that you have the upper hand with mans technology and research. But there comes a time when you see how little we know about cancer and how little man can do to stop this disease. You find that hope placed in man is a futile attempt to stop a relentless disease.

Then I think of God reaching down and healing Andrea. And Andrea is given life. A gift I could not buy, a gift man could not provide. It is like being plucked out of a raging river just before you go over the falls. What a gift! Can you imagine? I just close my eyes and allow myself to drift into that moment. It will be God who heals Andrea and His fingerprints will be all over her. When you are so hopeless, when you know you can’t change anything. You see it when the doctor says your cancer is incurable, that there are no drugs to heal this, that your only hope is to manage the cancer. Then you see your hopelessness. As great as man’s accomplishments are, you see how weak we really are.
The other day I was flying and I though of the marvel of this F-15E I was controlling. I though of the complexity of this machine as it followed my every command. It is a magnificent fighter plane and I marveled at the minds who crated it. Then I thought of myself, and my own complexity. I thought no matter what man creates no matter how spectacular it is it will always pale in comparison to the human body. No matter what great things man does they will always fall short of the simplicity of a rose or the complexity of the stars. Man can not compare to God.

But you know this story has already been played out, but the gift was far greater then the healing we seek for Andrea’s cancer. You see I already faced death. I already faced a hopeless situation, one in which nothing man created could solve. I was lost and could do nothing about it on my own. I had a spiritual cancer and there was no human I could turn to for a cure. There are people who claim to have a cure but it only turns out to be some weak attempt to mask the symptoms. Drugs, alcohol, money success these are all man’s attempt to cure this disease. They only mask the reality of the situation. But rest assured one day the cancer will reap its reward. It will lead to death. Until we come to realize that death has a hold on us and we can do nothing on our own to change it we will never see the cure. When we see the futility of our actions to change our eternal death we realize we have to look beyond man for help. You see in a way my disease was the same as Andrea’s cancer. But Andrea being cured, as great as that will be, will only be temporary. Unlike our salvation, that is forever.

So I thought to myself, do I have the same reaction to my spiritual healing and I will for Andrea’s physical healing? Why am I more excited about the thought of Andrea’s healing then I have been about my salvation? We have already received the greatest gift, and it was given at a great price, the suffering of Jesus. The cross still stands and offers life. We were all given a terminal illness when we were born into sin. It is just that some of us have not received our diagnoses yet, we have not been told we have cancer, or we don’t want to hear it. We explain away the symptoms on other reasons. We fool ourselves into thinking the things we do will somehow save us from getting the disease. But we are only kidding ourselves, we already have the disease, we were born with it. The cancer is there, and the longer you let it grow untreated it only spreads into other pasts of our body and other parts of our life. Cancer devours the very body it needs to give itself life. Just like cancer that consumes the very body it depends on for life, sin will eventually take your life. There is only one cure. It is not being nice or better then someone else. It is not your successes in life. It is not by your “good” deeds outweighing your bad deeds. Man does not have the cure. No matter how advanced we become as a society or race, no matter what great feats we do, we can never cure this sickness that was born out of mans sin of pride. Don’t be fooled by this cancer. It will tell you, “don’t worry, I’m part of you, it’s natural to think and act this way, this is how you make yourself happy, doesn’t it feel good?” Then it must be good. Trust me one day it will show itself as the killer it is. When we will realize that what we thought was giving us joy is really bringing us death, we begin to understand how hopeless we are. We have no power to change this diagnoses. Then we look to God and say, “help me.” That is when we see the cross as our cure. The cure has always been there we only need to accept it, to drink it in and allow it to do its work. Of course there will be side effects, as there are with any drug. The most common side effects are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Soon you no longer act the same, others think you are different, some even think you are weird.

So next time I think of how great it will be the day Andrea is healed I will remember the healing we have already received. So instead of waiting for a temporary physical healing to sing praises to God I decide to start now. This breast cancer cannot affect our joy, our eternal joy in Christ. We have already received a gift far greater then the one we seek today. Physical sickness cannot change that. Jesus’ death on the cross has made us immune to Satan’s lies forever. That is one fact Satan would like us to be confused over. He would like us to think this cancer is bigger and scarier then it is, that its effects are eternal, but they are not.

We will one day be in heaven where we will sing Gods praise just like we did last night. Not to ask for anything, but just to praise Him. I will raise my hands with Andrea and sing “How great thou Art.” And we will forever be in His presence, eternally cured of our disease, not hoping for 20 or 30 more years of life but experiencing a 1000 years as a day!

1 comment:

  1. Hi there,

    I don't know you, but I stumbled across your blog and read your post.

    You're facing a harsh reality that I have never allowed myself to really consider in my own life, and the value you are gaining from this experience you're going through is invaluable.

    I'll be following along with your blog to add value to my own life.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you both. Thanks for sharing.