This picture was taken 10 years ago. It was taken on the evening of 09/10/2017, the day that I was informed that I had a terminal cancer for which there was (and still is) no cure. I don’t think I had shared that news with our children at the time the picture was taken. Naturally, I asked the doctor how long it would take the cancer to do its job, and the doc said, “We really don’t know, but the average survival rate for this cancer is 5 years after diagnosis.”
There have been so many good things that have happened to me over the past 10 years – two children have graduated from college, two children have gotten married, eight grandchildren have been added to the family either through birth or adoption, I made a mission trip to Kenya with my pal Charlie, taught in churches there and made some wonderful Christian friendships. I quit my job to open a start-up office for another firm, and took the wild ride of it becoming a booming successful business. Through it all there have been the joys of ministry at our church and times with my family. Sure, cancer is tough. It is a bizarre life that is separated from how normal people live by a great and impassable gulf. But God has blessed me through it to realize at least a portion of how much my wife loves me, how many people are kind and care for me, and to enjoy the pleasures of this world He has created for our delight. And through it all, He has caused me to grow spiritually.
Since diagnosis, I have seen that 5 year (plus a little) average play out in real life, as some patients I have met and gotten to know made it more than 20 years before the disease prevailed, and others barely made it for 18 months. The message that I would like to pass along to others with this cancer is this:
1. Your cancer is not an accident or random happenstance in the cosmic scheme of things. It comes directly from the hand of a heavenly Father whose love for you vastly exceeds your ability to comprehend it.
2. You need to make your preparations to meet that Maker on His terms, and not your own fabrications.
3. Your life may not necessarily be over just because you have been diagnosed with cancer. Some days it WILL stop you, and some day it may be the thing that stops you for good, but until then continue to live your life for your Maker and the ones you love, and enjoy the ones you love.
So, this post is just a mile marker, an “Ebenezer” to raise, give thanks to the Lord, and say, “hither by Thy help I’m come.” Thank you for reading, and thank you for your love, prayers, encouragement and support.