Two years have come and gone since my last visit and many things have happened along the way. God has never missed being my constant companion, just as He has promised, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:26,27. NASB.
Patti and I have had our share of joy and struggle during our 43 years of marriage and like most folks that I know who are alive to tell about them, we are all thankful to our Heavenly Father. There have been celebrations of births, birthdays, marriages, graduations, baptisms, welcome home from war, death and how to deal with illnesses of various kinds. But none of them have really been quite so personal as the day that we received the words of Patti’s physician that “It is Leukemia.”
Immediately I began to recall the struggles of my Dad who died from Colon Cancer 32 years ago in 1982. Those were difficult years as we heard more than one time, “Robert, you had better come home if you want to see Dad again.” This was a constant level of tension for more than 5 years. As it turned out, I saw Dad for the last time just 6 weeks before he finally breathed his last. Just before I left him on that day he gave me a great big hug and said to me, “I am going to be healed one way or the other. God will find a way to heal me now or I will be healed when I see the Lord in Heaven.” In that moment my Dad gave me assurance that he was okay, and my heart found peace with God.”
However, things have changed. This is my sweet wife who is the victim here and for the first time as a Believer fear began to creep into my heart, but just as suddenly the Lord assured me that He is my peace, and Patti’s peace. Certainly, we have spoken of what we are going to do, ‘if so and so’ takes place, but we have always known that God has always had a plan for our lives as individuals, family and as a couple. We are in this thing together. This is God’s plan for our family, that He is involved in everything that takes place in life.
Well, that took place on Patti’s birthday, and what a surprise party that was. I have always said that God is full of surprises, but never in a thousand years were we prepared for this one….”am I supposed to laugh here?”
The practical side of this experience is that God remains in command and He is true to His Word, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you…” As it always is, the Heavenly Father provides His peace when we are not looking. The Genesis Cancer Center is owned and operated by a Born Again Believer and he assured me of that in an interesting description of his chemo-therapy treatment area. In the floor of this area is large Cross uniquely inlaid and is really not noticeable. Twenty spaces are almost always occupied by patients receiving treatment and my guess is that most do not realize the symbol of care under their feet.
Here we are, 4 months from diagnosis and we are about to find out tomorrow if the therapy Patti has been receiving is working. The doctor has been encouraging all along and continues to be so. We have been praying and are confident in the prayers of countless friends and unknowns across this land and around the world. (Amazing what the internet has provided, isn’t it?) But most encouraging comfort of all are the words of our Lord, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
I must admit that I am grateful for His promised peace because without it my heart would be troubled and in fear.
Jesus is Lord. BW.