Chemo is over! How thankful we are for God’s faithfulness and for the prayers of His people! Michelle has faired well through her surgeries and treatments and appears to be on the road to complete recovery. Of course, those who have walked through the valley of cancer know that recovery doesn’t mean “back to life as usual.” We can already see that life will never the same.
Yet, what we have come to realize is that most of the changes cancer has brought into our lives are positive. We trust more fully in God’s providential care for us (Romans 8:28) and see how His people truly are His hands and feet as they have ministered to us (1 Corinthians 12:26-27). We cherish more deeply our loved ones, the beauty of God’s creation, the work to which He has called us, and each day He grants us. And we pray with greater urgency for the day when “death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain” (Revelation 21:4).
Michelle’s doctors have given her a most favorable long-term diagnosis. For that we are grateful. At the same time, our visits to the chemotherapy center and our experiences with other family members, friends, and members of our Kentucky Baptist family who have battled cancer, leave us knowing that every story is different and there are many unexpected and heartbreaking turns.
Thus, we rejoice that overshadowing even the most painful stories is the gospel. The gospel is the miraculous message that Jesus bore our sin on the cross (1 Peter 2:24) where, by his stripes, we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). Now the worst of all cancers, the malignancy of the sin that brings death, has been cured (1 Corinthians 15:54-57)! The gospel is our hope and assurance that no malady, physical or spiritual, will separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35) nor plague us in Christ’s Kingdom to come (Revelation 21:27).
Words are not adequate to express my gratitude for God’s mercy in healing my wife of cancer. My children still have a mother and I still have my helpmate, best friend, and the one who is part of my own flesh (Ephesians 5:31).
But a few more years together in a fallen world can bear no comparison to the eternal glory that awaits those who are in Christ (Romans 8:18). So “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy” (Psalms 103:1-4).