2019 was an interesting year (to say the least!). It was a year when, for my wife, Linda, and I, a lot of good happened and a year when some really bad stuff happened, as well. On the good side, my spiritual journey, as I walked into ministry, was amazing. I became a licensed minister with the Assemblies of God and am now on staff at Evangel Church, serving as Community Life Pastor. As I have obeyed the call that I felt on my life through the Holy Spirit, God has opened so many doors.
On the bad side, there was the issue of Linda’s health, beginning with a back problem, then diverticulitis, and finally, the worst part of it, a diagnosis of cancer. That diagnosis came out of left field. I can still recall the day that Linda called to give me the news. I was at a meeting at church when she called, and all I can remember is feeling numb. It was totally unexpected! But then, something amazing happened. After that initial feeling of numbness, came a sense of peace.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” I’ve read those verses many times but, until that moment, I did not truly understand the deep truth of those words. But in the face of that difficult news I had just received, I completely understood it.
Sure, there have been a couple of times since hearing that diagnosis when I have found myself shedding tears. After all, my best friend this side of heaven had cancer! But any anxiety over it has been given to God. Both of us prayed rather than become dismayed. And many of our family, friends, and church family have joined with us in those prayers. We have called upon our God and, with grateful hearts for all that He has done, and the knowledge that He hears our prayers, we have asked Him to help us, and have asked that His will be done in this circumstance, this situation in which we find ourselves. And His peace, which our human minds cannot even fathom, has and still is guarding our hearts and our minds.
There are days when we feel a bit weary, Linda especially so. The driving to and from treatments, the treatments themselves, and the waiting to see how those treatments will deal with the cancer can sometimes threaten to push us in the direction of anxiety, worry, and fear. But our faith prevails. We know that we serve a faithful God, a God on whom we can cast those anxieties, worries, and fears, because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). Our enemy wants us to worry, but we continue to resist him, standing firm in our faith because, although we may suffer through this cancer, He will restore us and make us strong, firm, and steadfast (1 Peter 5:10). Amen!
Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.