Ive added a very significant word to the editorial I wrote in
our January 20 issue "free." Three months after I was
diagnosed with cancer, I underwent major surgery. During this time,
the Lord reinforced several things to me. Three of the most important
1. A Christians priorities must be eternal:
The old chorus "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" says that if we
do that, "the things of this world will grow strangely dim."
Thats what happened when I heard the word "cancer."
My priorities immediately changed. I look at the rest of my life differently
now than I did before. Though the surgery was completely successful,
I have a clear realization that I do not have unlimited time to accomplish
the most important things things of eternal value. No one has
guaranteed time; we must do the most important things now.
2. God answers prayer:
The total removal of the cancer was done by a top surgeon in a leading
hospital. It was not technically a miracle. But it was an answer to
prayer. Many prayed, and at every turn, God intervened. The medical
profession could not work its wonders without the help of Almighty God.
3. You can depend on the body of Christ:
The surgery took place more than 200 miles from home, in St. Louis,
so Peggy and I drove up the night before and stayed in a hotel. Hal
Donaldson, my co-laborer and close friend, and his wife, Doree, accompanied
us. But a surprise awaited me. When I opened the door to the hotel lobby,
there was someone familiar standing at the check-in counter. Paul Veliquette,
pastor of Abundant Life Christian Center in Arvada, Colo., and one of
my best friends since our student days at Bethany College, was checking
in. I stood in the middle of the lobby with my mouth open. Paul explained
that when he heard I was having surgery, he knew he needed to be there.
He and his wife, Glenda, had driven from Colorado. This was an act of
friendship and support Peggy and I will never forget.
A number of other good friends made the long drive to be with me during
or after surgery. The Word instructs Christians to "bear one anothers
burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2, NKJV).
As a pastor, I had supported many people through similar trials. When
the tables were turned and I was the one in need, Gods people
came through in a big way. It is a wonderful thing to be part
of the body of Christ. Today I am cancer free. And I am forever changed.
It is my prayer that all people in need will receive such support.
Thank You, Jesus. And thank you, church.