Hi everybody. I want to write a little about living with cancer. I have lived with stage four prostate cancer for almost six years, and this year I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, smoldering stage. As far as I know there is no cure. My condition is considered terminal.
God has blessed me in that I have not yet become really sick from them. I am taking advantage of his mercy by keeping as fit as I can and by doing his work in the world as best I can understand it. My home church friends have been tremendously helpful in this. I have also testified to these things in these posts and books I have written and to the power and glory that saved me, and I mean to continue that.
Some may wonder what this life is like. I can only speak for myself.
I have always had a fear of heights that I explained in my first book, I, Witness. I hope many of you read it. But, being saved and having my fear explained to me by the Holy Spirit, I realized this fear can be overcome, so I took up indoor climbing. Now I do it for exercise and hope also to do outdoor cragging and repelling and zip line. I may even try skydiving while I am physically able. Not sure about that, but I may.
I have however experienced the exhilaration of adrenaline in a positive way. In some ways my whole life is like an adrenaline rush because I know what might be waiting at the end. The big bad wolf. Cancer, chemo, and physical death. But I believe that I am not a physical body but a spirit. I believe that the body is a vehicle for me to do God's work on earth; and also to experience things to grow me into a more perfect image of Him, since he created us in his image and likeness.
I think death of the body is a lot like skydiving. Filled with the Holy Spirit, our parachute, we leave the familiar and leap off into the unknown, trusting in God to have us in his hands the whole way. Amen. I do not advocate anyone taking up risky activities just to demonstrate their faith. This would be a misuse of the Holy Spirit. Some of these for me are a continuation of my deep faith journey because of the specific history of my life, unique to me, not for everyone.
I do think that the so called comfort zone we live in is the work of the devil. He wants us to feel safe and put us to sleep spiritually; as individuals and as a people. America has become the safe place; but what made America great was that it was the dangerous place, the frontier. The wild, the untamed place where only the hardiest people could survive. And it was the bold and adventurous, self-reliant people who built a great nation. So too, Paul and the original Christians were bold and self-reliant, going into Pagan lands and preaching Christ Jesus to the people there; eventually all suffering and dying for the gospel.
So, life can be an almost continuous high of adrenaline, endorphin, and dopamine even with cancer, if lived in a certain way. First, always most important is to listen to God. Reading in the scripture, praying for his direction, and expecting to be led by the Holy
Spirit. This is a matter of daily practice. Every day is unique. Other people do not always understand. But we walk by faith not by sight.
Second is that if we hear his voice, we must not harden our hearts. See Hebrews, Chapter three. We must not we must not be like Scrooge after his first meeting with the ghost of Marley, telling ourselves it isn't real. God spoke “Abraham” and Abraham answered “here I am.”
Third we must do the thing he asks in obedience to him. We cannot be like Jonah refusing and trying to run away.
Fourth and last, there is the cross. We take up our cross and follow Jesus. Into pain, into suffering, into death. We have already died and been buried with Christ in our baptism and risen a new creation in Christ. We live by his spirit in us, but the body has to return to that from which it was taken. It is scary. No way back; no way around. The only way out is through.
We know these things, but do not dwell on the future because the present is too important. We have lived all our lives in the shadow of death, even though we whistle past the graveyard, but we have rested in God's gentle hands the whole time and even if he sends us into the flames, he goes in with us. He is our father, and we are his children and he loves us eternally. Our suffering in this flesh is inevitable because the flesh cannot go where we are going. It is earth and belongs to the earth. If we accept it our pain makes us better and perfects us as Christ was perfected. See Hebrews chapter two. And Jesus will call us his brother and sister before God and we, with him, will inherit a Kingdom. Amen.