Father, this morning I'm feeling low. No, not low. Feeling so bad it would need a word that's been cleaned from my vocabulary. Why do I feel so bad this morning? I'm not hurting anywhere. I got a great night's sleep. I went to the doctor's office yesterday, and after they took their blood tests, he told me how great the numbers were. Everything going on around me is working fine (except that I have to go to work, I guess). And everything I'm being told is good news. So what's up?
I start the next wave of treatments next Monday morning, but I thought that was under control. We've been through that. The doctor told me he didn't expect I would have any problems. I took this drug for a month, and had no side effects. My blood numbers didn't go down at all, even with the radiation along with it. So now I get to take the drug for just five days. Then take 23 days off before taking it again.
Well, the stuff IS a poison after all. Yeah, I know. I've got a Chemistry degree. I've seen what this chemical is. I know what it does to cancer cells, and how it does it. I also know it does the same to a bunch of the other cells in the body. My body. The doc said that during the 23 days after taking it, the good cells will rebuild, because the body cares about them and will replace them. The cancer cells-- If they're there at all, and we know they're not.-- They won't be replaced, because they're not connected to the body. My body.
But now the dose is being doubled, since the radiation is done. And if the doctor thinks I'm looking OK, he may increase it even more. Yeah. More poison if I'm doing good.
I've been through so much with this, Father. You have strengthened me and led me through all of it.
OK. Yeah, I remember. That first message you gave me through another leader. "You'll come through it. But you have to go through all of it." When I heard it, it sounded alright, but I didn't get it right away. Then-- when my self-reliance was torn down to nothing and my reliance on you replaced it-- I understood. In everything... Everything!... I had to learn to put it all on you. Fear and courage. Worry and confidence. Pain and pleasure. Suffering and relief. Anger and attraction. Hatred and love. Sorrow and joy. All on you, Father. I learned about praying these things, and truly leaving them at your feet. At the cross of Jesus Christ. Your son. My Lord and (in ways I'll never fully understand) my perfect brother.
So Father, you're telling me I'm not all the way there yet. Will I ever be? No? But oh-- OK-- I will always grow in my faith and trust and confidence and love and all those other ways in you, for the rest of my life. Right now it's the trust thing. Yes, Father. I trust you will get me through these next six months of treatments, and the recovery time after them. And I trust that my trust and faith and trust and confidence and trust will be stronger than I can imagine. Already stronger in you now, than I ever knew I could be. Yet I know it's just the beginning of what you have in mind for me, so you can fulfill what you have called me to do for you and for your Kingdom.
Luke 10.27), weak as they still are. And you've given me a most unexpected, but blessed, answer. In my past days, I was more like that disciple Simon Peter, than I ever wanted to believe. "'Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.' Peter said to him, 'Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.' Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.'” (Luke 22.31-34) And like you did with him, Lord, you are bringing me out the other side.
Now I understand. Well, at least more than when I started. So here, Lord. Take this fear and worry and emotion that I have right now. I'm handing them all over to you, and will not pick them up again. I see and accept that you're not done. Through these six cycles of treatment with poison, and recovery time after them, you are going to make me into what I never dreamed possible. And I will rely on you as my source of strength and wisdom and knowledge and everything else, far more than I do already.
Thanks, Father. I'm feeling pretty good now.
Cross image copied from "St James' Kids" blog.