Healed by the Great Physician

O Lord my God, I cried out to You,
And You healed me. – Psalm 30:2

Sunset over Kourion coast
Sunset over Kourion coast. Mediterranean. Cyprus

The good news came after a very long wait. I am cancer-free! This whole trial has been an extreme test of patience and waiting on the Lord. From the drop of blood in April until the doctor’s call with my pathology report the evening of August 18th, it was a very. long. time. With the good report came refreshing weather, as if God lifted all of the heaviness of the air as well as the heaviness of my soul in one fell swoop.

Thy Will Be Done

For months, it wasn’t easy to pray thy will be done. I realized the Lord could continue to afflict me. But I prayed with this portion of scripture in mind:

Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Matt. 7:9-11

He is so loving and kind towards me. He answered my prayer and the prayers of my family, friends and church family.

Lymph nodes are clear. No further treatment needed. Praise the Lord!

My Date with da Vinci

Now I rejoice as I reminisce about my date with da Vinci. The date that almost wasn’t (click to read about that here).  I didn’t dare look at da Vinci. The pictures I’d seen of him online looked scary and intimidating. So when I was hauled to the OR, I looked at the ceiling, the big lights and the faces of people around me who were grabbing, poking and getting me ready for the Master to perform my surgery.

A little arm rest, one of them said as she bolted them down.

Arms stretched out and tied down, I was at the mercy of these medical professionals and one large robot. But my trust was in Jesus. I knew He was with me.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, I whispered.

I’m going to give you something to relax you, another said.

Over and out.

Next thing I knew was intense pain. I heard myself moaning.

Hang on, I’m adjusting your pain meds, one of them said.

Don’t rub your eyes! said another.

Joy Cometh in the Morning

It’s over! It’s done! I’m awake! Thank you, Jesus!

I was overwhelmed with joy.

Later that night, I thanked the Lord continually and relived the events of the day. In the OR, I was in an utterly vulnerable state: naked under my gown, on a tiny plank of a bed, arms pinned down, ready to be cut, blood would run out. It made me think of Jesus going to the cross for me. How they stripped Him. How he stretched out his hands on that cross, willingly, for me. How he would have intense pain inflicted upon Him, with the goal of killing Him. How he did not drink the sour wine mingled with gall, for He would not be tranquilized. He was not anesthetized. Jesus’ pain was fully felt.

He would not drink it, because he … would have nothing like an opiate to lessen his sense of pain, for he would die so as to feel himself die, because he had so much work to do, as our High Priest, in his suffering work. — Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Matt. 27:34

I welcomed the anesthesia as well as a nerve block for my pain. My pain was inflicted to remove cancer, to heal me. My Lord’s pain was inflicted upon Him to give me ultimate healing.

So when I woke up and saw the connect-the-dots wounds da Vinci designed on my belly, I thought also about His wounds. He was wounded for my transgressions. He was bruised for my iniquities.

That is the ultimate healing. And now this, too — he gave me physical healing.

The Great Physician, Master Surgeon, Has Healed Me

It wasn’t Master Leonardo da Vinci. It wasn’t the medical geniuses that invented this robot. It wasn’t Dr. David Moore. It was my Master, Jesus Christ, who performed all my surgery. As I read that very morning:

…the sharp cuts of the lancet have cleansed out the proud flesh and facilitated the healing. –C.H. Spurgeon

I previously posted how this affliction was a visitation from God (read that here). So I actually had a date with Jesus, not da Vinci. His abiding presence was with me, as He promised.

and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. – Matt. 28:20

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He Moved Mountains For Me

IMG_0169August 5, the morning of my surgery, Spurgeon’s devotion said:

“We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.”

Upon some points a believer is absolutely sure. He knows, for instance, that God sits in the stern-sheets of the vessel when it rocks most. He believes that an invisible hand is always on the world’s tiller, and that wherever providence may drift, Jehovah steers it. That re-assuring knowledge prepares him for everything. He looks over the raging waters and sees the spirit of Jesus treading the billows, and he hears a voice saying, “It is I, be not afraid.” He knows too that God is always wise, and, knowing this, he is confident that there can be no accidents, no mistakes; that nothing can occur which ought not to arise. He can say, “If I should lose all I have, it is better that I should lose than have, if God so wills: the worst calamity is the wisest and the kindest thing that could befall to me if God ordains it.” “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” The Christian does not merely hold this as a theory, but he knows it as a matter of fact. Everything has worked for good as yet; the poisonous drugs mixed in fit proportions have worked the cure; the sharp cuts of the lancet have cleansed out the proud flesh and facilitated the healing. Every event as yet has worked out the most divinely blessed results; and so, believing that God rules all, that he governs wisely, that he brings good out of evil, the believer’s heart is assured, and he is enabled calmly to meet each trial as it comes. The believer can in the spirit of true resignation pray, “Send me what thou wilt, my God, so long as it comes from thee; never came there an ill portion from thy table to any of thy children.”

“Say not my soul, ‘From whence can God relieve my care?’
Remember that Omnipotence has servants everywhere.
His method is sublime, his heart profoundly kind,
God never is before his time, and never is behind.”

[bold emphases mine]

That invisible hand is with me. The sharp cuts of the lancet will soon cut out my cancer and He will facilitate healing. The Great Physician who healed my sin-sick soul is present with me now. These were my thoughts at 4:30am, the morning of my surgery.

7:30am – my surgeon approaches my bed and says, I’m so sorry, your surgery is cancelled. I looked at him and laughed, thinking, cute joke….but he was serious. There was an emergency case and my anesthesiologist was summoned to it. My doctor was furious. The surgical nurse was, too. In the hallway, there was a heated meeting of men and women in blue scrubs. The hospital bumped my surgery, and I was the only 8am surgery scheduled. How could they not have another anesthesiologist available? My doctor said he would never again use this particular hospital for his surgeries.

Tears flowed as I said, I can’t go back home! I want this out now! My doctor had compassion, and it looked real. He grabbed my hand.

I want to help you, he said.

But unless the surgery could start by 9am, it was impossible. The da Vinci robot was set up and ready for me in the OR. My surgeon had that room for 4 hours. Then he had other surgeries scheduled in other hospitals.

Just then, the surgical nurse said, wait a minute! She was the diplomat, negotiating for me. She ran off to talk to someone else.

Pacing figures walked passed my room in the hallway. The nurse returned to tell me that another anesthesiologist was on his way. At 8:45, I was whisked away to the OR.

Just in time.

My Lord moved mountains for me. Omnipotence has servants everywhere. He moved hearts that morning, for me.

The morning after surgery, my doctor came in to check on me. I said, Praise the Lord that this surgery is done!

He said, It took an act of God to get your surgery done.

Yes. I know.

 

 

Oppressive Seasons and Cancer Buzz Words

My favorite weather forecast is cloudy with a chance of meatballs, but you can’t always get what you want.

What a hot, humid, utterly oppressive summer it’s been. Nothing in our garden is doing well this year. How I long for autumn. How I long for just a refreshing breeze. How I long for this cancer to be gone.

To keep my summer theme going, sort of, I am taking a break from my original buzz words to attack a cancer buzz word, or phrase I hate:

Cancer Journey

I’m not on a cancer journey. If you must use the word journey, call it my Christian journey. I am a pilgrim on this earth. This cancer is an affliction I must suffer, but it must not overwhelm me. Calling it a journey gives it too much power. It is not a separate journey, it’s a season in my pilgrimage. My entire life on this earth is full of trials and tribulation. So please, don’t ask about my cancer journey. Ask about my walk with the Lord. I am a daughter of the King. Let me tell you how He sustains me. I have been through much in my pilgrimage. This is just another season.

I’m not walking with cancer, I walk with the Lord God Almighty. I’m not on the road of life with cancer, I’m on this road with God. He is my God, mine! He’s all powerful, cancer is NOT.

Maybe I’m rambling in this post. Probably. I’m trying to keep calm as my surgery date approaches. My Lord supplies all the consolation I need in His Word. He works through my dear brothers and sisters in Christ who encourage me. What a privilege it is to belong to Jesus!

So back to this oppressive heat. Every night, Mike and I look sadly at our gardening efforts withering away. Of course, I blame him for being so stingy with the organic dirt. There’s not enough room for deep roots. All the plants look stunted. (Hmmmm, there’s another blog post right there.)

My rooftop garden is doing so much better than the one below. Herbs thrive on our rooftop. We’re getting some peppers, too. And red cabbage!

There’s always hope.

This morning in the garden with Jesus, I saw this rose. My hybrid teas have not been doing well, but behold, suddenly, what a beauty! The bee thought so, too. I wanted to sniff this sweet rose but I hate bees, remember?

BUZZZZ.

I ran inside for my camera and pruners, thinking maybe by the time I get back, the bee will be gone.

He was still there. But I boldly grabbed my rose. Snip.

The bee flew away. I cringed at the buzzing sound.

Safely inside, with my AC cranked up, I happily placed this rose in my sunny dining room.

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This evening, I received this Grace Gem, Walking With Jesus, by Mary Winslow, in my inbox. Here are some quotes taken from her writing. I encourage you to use the link to read it in its entirety.

“Dearest Jesus! help Your pilgrims to live more like pilgrims, above a poor dying world, and more in full view of the glory that awaits them when they shall see You face to face!”

This world is not, and never was intended to be, our rest. It is a wilderness we are passing through, and shame, shame to us, that we so often want to sit down amid its weeds and briars, and amuse ourselves with the trifles of a fallen world lying in the wicked one. All here is polluted and tainted by sin; therefore does Christ say, “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”

Jesus is the Fountain, yes, the Ocean, of living waters. We draw supplies from His infinite, inexhaustible fulness. “Lord, impart to me more of Yourself. Fill this heart with Your love, engrave Your image there, and let me not lose sight of You for one small moment.”

Jesus is all in all to me. I feel a blessed nearness to Him, to heaven. My soul holds converse with Him, and sweet I find it to lie as a helpless infant at His feet; yes, passive in His loving hands, knowing no will but His.

What a mercy, thus to unburden the whole heart; the tried and weary, the tempted and sorrowful heart; tried by sin, tried by Satan, tried by those you love! What a mercy to have a loving bosom to flee to, one truly loving heart to confide in, which responds to the faintest breathing of the Spirit! “Precious Jesus, how inexpressibly dear are You to me at this moment! Keep sensibly near to me. Lift up upon me Your heavenly countenance, for it is sweeter, dearer, better than life!

This rose.

IMG_4272

This Jesus:

In all your sorrows, pour out your heart to the Man of sorrows. He will bow down His ear and listen to all you say, and will either remove or moderate your trial, and give you strength to bear it. Even this bitter draught He has given you to drink shall result both in your good and His own glory. Remember, not a sparrow falls upon the ground without His guidance, and that the very hairs of your head are all numbered. How much more has this trying event been ordered and arranged by Him who loves you! Infinite wisdom has appointed the whole! Never doubt that He loves you when He the most deeply afflicts. “When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” May He lift up upon you the light of His countenance, drawing you nearer to Himself, that you may see what a tender, loving heart He has for you, and how deeply and tenderly and considerately He cares for you, as if there were not another poor sorrowful one to care for on the face of the whole earth!

My Jesus. My hope and trust is in Him.