The Apostle Paul, who penned the words “Forgetting what is behind…I press on toward the goal” (Philippians 3:13-14), had a lot of reasons to forget what was behind him. Paul lived with the shame of his past when he held the coats of those who had stoned Stephen, the first Christian martyr. But as the Life Application Bible suggests: “Because our hope is in Christ, however, we can let go of past guilt and look forward to what God will help us become. Don’t dwell on your past. Instead, grow in the knowledge of God by concentrating on your relationship with him now.”
Following my second surgery this past Friday, Paul’s word resounded in my heart as I laid on my hospital bed in the middle of the night. Putting them into the context of my own journey, I was thanking God that both surgeries are now behind me. I was filled with gratitude that both surgeons assured me that the surgeries were very successful, and that from their perspective, all the cancerous tumours have been removed. Amazingly, I was released from the hospital and sent home two days after the surgery, and now find myself on the pathway toward recovery and restoration. On my sixtieth birthday I was told that I have cancer. I look forward to finding out on my sixty-fifth birthday that I am cancer free!
Now, it is time to press on toward the completion of eight more cycles of chemo. Following chemo, MJ and I will press toward the goal of returning to the Continent of Africa to fulfil what God has called us to do.
In my devotions last week, I read a question in Psalm 116:12, “What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me?” This question has become a journal entry and the list of my responses have already started and will continue to grow. There are no words to express how thankful MJ and I are to God for His goodness to us. We are thankful for our family and friends who have been so supportive through this ongoing journey. And, to the hundreds and maybe even thousands who are praying for us from around the world, be assured that your prayers are being answered.
The next few months, there will be very little to report, so do not be concerned if you don’t hear from me. Remember, no news is good news!
In the meantime, I keep holding tightly to the right hand of my Heavenly Father, the Healer!