How can something so small cause so much trouble?
My post is very personal today. It's a victory post. A shout of appreciate to our loving God above. I have so much to be thankful for overall in my life, and my daily prayers most always start with that acknowledgment. I'm blessed with a wonderful family, loving friends, an awesome church, a great job and most importantly the peace that only a life in Christ can bring. A close personal relationship that gives me the opportunity to talk to the God above all. But this Sunday...well that date is very special to me, and today I'm especially thankful to my Lord.
It was 6 years ago this Sunday I heard the words that I wish no one ever had to hear...despite the awesome feeling of joy and relief the words bring when you do hear them. Words that bring feelings so turbulent, it often takes days, even weeks, to sink into your consciousness. It was February 7, 2004 when I heard the words coming from my doctor...you're cancer free.
My battle with hairy-cell leukemia was intense and short lived. I was lucky, and I'm grateful to God that my family didn't have to endure a long, drawn out battle watching me slowly go to my Creator. I was prepared if it did happen and knew spiritually and emotionally I could weather well, but how would everyone around me do? I had made my peace with all the thinks going on in my life at that time. I didn't know what the future held for me here in this life, but I had the security of knowing no matter what, even in the worst case scenario, God would be with me every step of the way.
People treat you different when they know you are sick. That's why I chose not to tell anyone about my cancer until I knew what I was up against, and by that time, the battle was (for the most part) over. I had other lingering problems, but none that were fatal in consequence like my battle against cancer. There's a psychological struggle that goes on well after the cancer is gone, but nothing like the isolation and helplessness that happens while you wage the fight to get better. No, I didn't suddenly feel like running a marathon on that February day six years ago, but the relief of knowing that I didn't have to tell my future wife, my daughter and the rest of my family that I might be dying soon...all I can say is praise God! Thank you Lord!
I went through some pretty tough times of a different nature in the following two years, but I know in my heart that God let me live for a reason. His reason. I prayed and gave my problems to God on a Sunday morning in December 2003 at an altar surrounded by people who had absolutely no idea what I was going through. My prayer that day was really quite simple...
Thank you Father for all you've done in my life. I ask forgiveness for my many shortcomings and where I have failed You. If it is Your will that I pass from this life soon, I vow to serve You with every breathe You give me until that day. If it is Your will to heal me and see me through other problems that are a result of my own creation, I also vow to serve You with every breathe You allow me until I'm called Home...
I know today the victory didn't come the following February or even a few years down the road when it was all well behind me...no...the victory came the moment I got up from my knees, free of all burdens because of a loving, caring God. My prayer today is that He will some day look at me with a smile and satisfaction that I honored my vow back then and served Him with my life. He loves me, He cares for me, He watches over me...just as he does you.
I will never truly be cancer free, but that's okay. I hope God let's me grow old with my beautiful, loving wife. I hope He lets me watch both my girls graduate college and some day marry (in that order girls!). I hope God lets me hold my grandchildren. But today, I just praise God and thank Him for the victory.
1 John 5:3-5 (NIV)
This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.