God’s Not Dead

Last week I talked about Christmas and I want to keep that theme going, but let me indulge you with an experience we had the other day, then I’ll get back to the eggnog and chestnuts. Promise!
But first let me make a quick announcement: Weaving Sunlight, the story of our lives in 400 easy pages, has now reached the proof copy stage. Once that’s checked over this next week, we’ll be able to release it to Amazon in both hard copy and Kindle versions, so standby!  Anyway, the first part of the book talks about a bear coming in and wrecking our tent while camping in Yellowstone on our honeymoon. We’ve compared him to that critter who roams “to and fro, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). And whenever something like this latest challenge comes knocking, we say to each other, “The bear is back.”

Or maybe better said this time, “The Bear is lurking and we don’t know what it’s up to!”  It concerns this on-going slugfest with Tony’s cancer. Nothing new, don’t panic.  I was just starting to get tired of the constant Presence of this monster that I know many of you can relate to.

Looking back over the past couple of months, I can see that we had been RELIGIOUS about our diet, not taking on anything that would help cancer grow, etc.  Tony has occasionally taken some sugar-loaded snack out of the pantry where it has been lurking, drop it in the trash and say, “Take that, you vile deceiver!”

Lots of exercise too.  Tony’s melting away the pounds and says he feels better than he has in years, adding that, “Whatever happens, I’m gonna look good!” We’ve both been able to laugh, and thanks to your prayers, have enjoyed a peace like never before. And yet ……….

Anyway, this whole cancer thing was weighing down on me yesterday, we’re clearly doing our best, but time just hangs, leaving us mystified as to what’s really going on. We want answers, but just have to wait to get them, which you can imagine for me, is hard.   The doctors don’t seem to have time to see us, or answer what they must consider ‘stupid’ questions.  I know they see this stuff every day, but it’s all NEW to us!  and so we wait.

And then yesterday I found myself lying in bed, in the early predawn of the day, that summer time feeling when you know it’s going to be a scorcher,  and I just had to pray, “God, we need just a word of encouragement.”

Right on queue, my phone dinged.

I looked at it and didn’t recognize the name, and not wanting to disturb Tony, I ignored it. Then I pulled myself together, slipped into the other room and looked properly at the phone.

There was a long text from a lady ‘re-introducing’ herself as a primary nurse who cared for our son when he was dying of leukemia 27 years ago. She was the only Christian we knew in the unit and gave us a lot of support and encouragement during our 8-month battle, but sadly, when he died, we moved on and I unfortunately hadn’t thought of her since. She said she’d always remembered us, and thru the miracle of internet found this very blog and voila! here we were connected again.

Time continues on, but what a joy to know that God is timeless.

She sent pictures, and reminders of those days that were bittersweet. Her (former) husband has just died of prostate cancer, and she, in the course of her career, has become a trained hospice and grief counselor. This in itself may be the best ‘encourager’ God could have picked, someone to answer our questions, give us a realistic picture of what’s going on and perhaps what to expect. But any outcomes down the track are beside the point. The point that struck me, and that I want to give you today is this: You are never alone. In the middle of the battlefields, slaying baddies and looking good … or lying in your bed facing the day holding back tears. God is there, and He is not silent. If Tony can say, “Whatever happens, I’m gonna look good!” then God can say, “Whatever happens, I’m gonna look better!”

And in the words of  “Laugh In’s” Lily Tomlin (look it up in your Funk and Wagnalls), “And that’s the truth. PSSFTT!”

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