The Gift I Received
With the end of 2008 upon us I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on the past year. And, boy, what a year it was. Like no other, that’s for sure.
You know what, though? I truly feel I’ve been blessed in ’08. I truly feel I was given a gift.
“What?” You may say. “You had cancer. Not exactly the kind of gift I’d like to receive.”
And you’d be right. Not exactly the kind of gift I’d ask for either. But think with me this way: I was given something few people my age or in my stage of life get to experience. Not have to experience, but get to experience. I was put in a position (in a deep valley, albeit) where I had no where else to turn but to Jesus. That’s a surreal feeling. I was given an understanding of His love and faithfulness that few people ever receive.
I learned this: God is good all the time. “But how is getting cancer good?” I have no idea. But I know this. God’s standard of goodness is not the same as ours. His understanding of goodness is on a different plane than ours. He sees things our eyes could never see. Knows things our minds could never even dream of fathoming. His idea of suffering is not the same as ours. He is God and I am not. And in that I have to place my trust.
I also learned this: God will never . . . ever . . . abandon me.
I think of some of the low points during my ordeal: In the hospital after my first surgery, bawling my eyes out and not even knowing why, just wanting to be home with my family, to see my kids, to have my wife by my side, hating every minute of that place–and He was there. I know He was. I felt Him.
Or how about going back to work and feeling so overwhelmed I just wanted to run (not because of work, but because of my state of mind). Wanting so badly to be able to set life aside and deal with this thing with no other stresses or responsibilities–and feeling Him there, seeing Him work through my bosses and co-workers, encouraging me, supporting me.
And then there was the chemo and the times when I thought I couldn’t go on and honestly toyed with the idea of calling the oncologist and canceling the whole thing, telling him I wanted no more of this poison and I’d take my chances–and knowing God was there, holding my hand, giving me strength.
That’s not something everyone gets to experience. Truly, it’s a gift.