The first week after the initial tumor was found and before meeting my oncologist there were many a fitful night. I called them my 3AM discussions with God.
I know that there are any number of questions that people in my position would ask of God?
What did I do to deserve this? etc. etc.
Maybe because; in some morose way, I’d asked myself what I’d ever do if I found myself in this position, I wasn’t questioning the why so much as the what. And the what wasn’t what do you want from me, it was what do you want me to do? What do you want me to do now that I have cancer? And the one that I wept over, what do you want me to do in the event that the diagnosis isn’t good?
While I knew that there would be plenty of answers revealed to the question, “What do you want me to learn from this?”, the one that I found myself pleading over was, “What do you want me to do with my remaining time?” I thought it sounded like a good question to be asking God. After all I wasn’t shaking my fist at the ceiling crying out, “Why me!?” I had not just a good question, I had a righteous question – or so I thought.
And so I found myself sitting in bed at 3 AM, tears coursing down my cheeks, humbly seeking my Saviors guidance by asking, “Lord, if this doesn’t turn out well. If my time here is nearing an end, then what would you have me do?”
As clearly as if He were in the room with me I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit ask me, “What are you teaching in Sunday School?”
I happen to be involved in the Men’s Ministry at our church and we’re doing a class this summer on a book entitled “The Masculine Mandate” by Richard Phillips. The short of it is it’s about how to lead a Godly life in every aspect of a mans life. Isn’t is so like God to ask a question that is the answer. There IS NOTHING special that God wants me to do now that I have cancer. I know I’m certainly going to be spiritually well fed by this journey, but there is nothing “new” that I need to be doing. Instead He just wants me to do what He’s always wanted me to do. To glorify Him and too enjoy Him forever. I’m to do that in every aspect of my life and that doesn’t in any way change just because my circumstances may have. What had come across as a simple question coursed thru me as loudly as a canon shot. It may have been asked simply, even quietly but there was nothing gentle in that question. The worst of it was it’s been something that I’ve been preaching for years. Now for some of my realization may come across as a DUH moment, and while I now look back at it as such at the time it was a clean slap to the back of my head.
I now echo the sentiments of a dear friend when I say, “I know that this (call it what you will) journey, trial, burden will be a benefit to me spiritually and I pray that what ever may come I will glorify God thru it all.”
I would like to conclude with this aside. I know that to a fellow Christian what I wrote sounds all wonderful and grande. But I do not for a minute doubt that there may come a time when I will find myself bemoaning my state or shaking my fist towards the ceiling. For all of you who keep asking what you can do to help me – it is at those times when my faith is being tested that I will need your help; to reassure me of God’s promises, to pray with me or to simply hold my hand.