My Lord and my God, as I read the words of your faithful servant David I can not identify with him. I am not left alone. I thank you for so many dear friends, family and others that I do not know that have expressed their care and concern for me. I do not deserve their love and I know it is because your love is in their hearts. It is the same love you have for me that I do not deserve.
My Father, I humbly ask for healing, not for my sake, but for theirs. May my life be a reason for them to rejoice in you and not a reason for sadness. May they rejoice in your mercy and compassion. May my suffering never be a reason for someone to turn from you or question your goodness.
Your Holy Spirit has settled my heart on the truth that to live is Christ and to die is gain. I do not pray for healing for my sake but for theirs. I ask this in the glorious name of your Son, on whom rests our hope, Amen
People who have cancer often write about the first time they hear the doctor say the word. My journey of being diagnosed was a bit different. During the biopsy of the now 6 cm lymph node in my arm pit, the doctor began asking me if I had recently seen a dermatologist. The on-sight pathologist had told him that the cells in the lymph node were not lymph node cells. I knew the question to ask and he confirmed the results. It was at that point I knew I had a very serious form of cancer that had matasticized and was possibly melanoma cancer. Our suspicions were confirmed three days later when we received the results from my doctor. After the biopsy, I had about an hour to myself. I walked to Subway and had lunch.
I’m not exactly sure what to say about that day. It was such a moment of conflicting emotions. One thing I can say though is that through experience and through the study of scripture I have come to believe that my faith in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit does not have its source in me. This day was no different. In a moment of deep fear, confusion, and sorrow, my heart was still. I quietly shed several tears of sorrow mingled with joy realizing this was now my calling. This was my Father’s perfect will for my life. What was my grief would now be my glory. I thanked God for my food.
O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak;
O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled.
My soul also is greatly troubled;
But You, O Lord—how long?
I have recently began following the Herdwick Shepherd on Twitter and have enjoyed getting regular updates about the new lambs and rural life in the Lake District of England. It reminds me how little I know of sheep and shepherding.
Whenever someone makes a claim of superior insight into Scripture they are immediately accused of being an elitist. But it is impossible to get past the fact that some people have a greater knowledge and experience in some areas than in others. And that knowledge and experience gives them better tools to understand and interpret passages of the Bible. For example, I have no doubt that when the Herdwick Shepherd reads “the Lord is my Shepherd” he has far more insight and experience to give the metaphor meaning than I do sitting in my cramped subdivision whose HOA won’t allow “livestock.”
Humility recognizes one’s limitations and readily listens. Wisdom recognizes that superior insight does not necessarily come from the academy but often comes from shepherds.
Several months ago, I came across Artist Thomas Kegler while researching modern painters in the Hudson River School tradition. I have throughly enjoyed his work and intend to order his instructional video as I seek to learn more about oil painting. Kegler captures the beauty of God’s creation within a historic Christian worldview. His paintings reflect a disciplined commitment to beauty that only comes from belief in a Creator and significant time spent in His creation.
I wrote these questions in response to a friend who is having difficulty finding a church for his family and I thought I would also post them here. They are important questions for us to consider.
What did God intend to be the vehicle to show forth
His glory, might, and power to mankind? What work of God is clearly seen by all generations, all cultures, all languages and by its very existence leaves mankind without excuse for their refusal to respond properly to it? What did God parade before Job which led Job to say “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes”? It seems you are looking for a congregation that grasps the might, power, glory and majesty of God and takes Him seriously. Where would God have them go to find examples of His might, power, glory and majesty? Where do you go to “see” God as Job did.