Guess what? We had and UNeventful drive back home (26 hrs of pure fun). No Kidney stone or Bronchial issues this time. We laugh and joke about this, but I thank God for his grace and mercy during our trip home.
One of my favorite ways of mentally managing this “sucky disease” is to read a devotional we keep out on our coffee table of which we freely peruse daily. The devotional is called Jesus Today, Experiencing Hope through His Presence. The author is Sarah Young. If you’ll indulge me for a moment I would like to share with you what this particular devotion says. It’s about living joyfully even amidst adversity. It talks about calling us to live joyfully in the midst of our struggles. (All struggles be they health, personal, work, relationships, etc.) As I have mentioned in the past your TRUE character is revealed as your go thru the fire. Also, I believe that as a result of going thru the fire we are refined if we allow God to work in us and thru us. We cannot expect God to hear us if we are angry and bitter as we go thru struggles in life. It is when we bring these struggles to the foot of the cross (to Jesus) when we are given the opportunity to experience true joy in our suffering.
Now, let me say that I am not the “poster child” for outwardly showing my joy in times of trouble. Often time I get uptight and frustrated. But, after I have a chance to slough these emotions off it is then at that moment God does his work in me. In Isaiah 40:10 the Bible tells us that “The Sovereing Lord comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.” Psalm 100:4-5 is clear about the fact we should “Enter his gates with THANKSGIVING and his courts with PRAISE; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
It’s pretty clear to me that God is calling us to praise him for the good and the bad we experience—-that we should never let people or circumstances “steal our joy”.
When I was at (what we call) Cancer Camp this past two weeks it was clear to me that even though people have very serious illnesses we had created an environment of support, laughter, love, and personal care. Even though we were all fighting tough stuff we found time to concentrate on others needs by lending a helping hand, smile, and support. We all made a conscious effort to bring JOY into the room!
I wonder what you’re struggling with at this moment? Have you brought it to the foot of the cross? You know He tells us in Isaiah 41:10 “I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.” I hope you will take the time to share your troubles with the Lord. He promises us that he will listen and walk with us thru these tough times.
So what’s next you ask? Well, starting next week I go back on Chemo pills (the breakfast of champions) for 3 months, monitor my blood levels, get Xgeva shots once monthly to chase the cancer from my two ribs and part of my back, continue with my 30 supplements a day, stay off sugar, and eat mostly organic vegetables, grass fed beef, wild salmon or white fish, and exercise 2-3x per week. I have every intention of putting this cancer back into remission. In the words of the great Winston Churchill, I will never, never, ever give up! Praise be to God!
Friends, from the bottom of my heart I thank you for your support. I hope this journey and this message of hope will help you and/or your loved ones in some way.
I am blessed and fortunate to have your support!
Living Strong in Christ,
Craig aka Papa G