Who Am I When my Body Fails Me? is a question we all need to ask ourselves when injury or illness takes its toll on our lives. How are we different? How are we the same? How do we respond to mental, physical, and/or spiritual stresses? How do we view God when we are weak or in pain? Below is the most recent of several blogs on this question. Click on Who am I When my Body Fails Me in the Category List to find the rest.
I AM IN DANGER
I am dreaming, moving in and out of terror. A huge, amorphous black shape follows me everywhere. It is punching and kicking and throwing itself at me with abandon. It is clawing and biting. The intention is clear. I am in danger. I try fighting back, but my arms are weak and floppy, as if the muscles are on n strike. I try to run but my legs are like jello. I yell and scream but no one comes. We run together through the night, chasing, escaping – a ghoulish dance. Finally I am awake and shaking. The battle is over, at least for now.
Just as I step out of the shower, it dawns on me. The name of the black blob is Cancer. The ugly dance is a contest for my life. I am fighting but I am weak. The weapons I have been given take all my energy.
Later that morning, I swallow my 34 pills, head out for my chemotherapy injection, have my blood drawn, and finally see the doctor. He says, “I have good news! The blood work shows that you are experiencing an excellent response to treatment earlier than I expected. We may be able to modify the chemotherapy regime if this continues. The future looks very good.”
My mind goes to the story of Jacob, who had two dreams. In the first, he saw a stairway to God and heard God say, “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised” (Gen 28:15). Later after a tumultuous life, Jacob has a second dream during which he wrestles with an unknown man all night. Finally, after being injured, Jacob begs to know the man’s name. The man refuses to give his name, but gives him a blessing instead (Gen. 32: 24-31).
Jacob’s mind must have gone back to Bethel where he turned his stone pillow into an altar in honor of God’s promise to be with him. What God has promised me is safety in his kingdom. Like Jacob, my dream has taught me that the battles on earth will continue, but the victory is won. God will do what God has promised. And I will live in awe of that grace.
I’m really excited about the on-going publication of this set of 8 booklets: Under Ordinary Skies, Living as Apprentices Every Day.” I’m glad one of them has already been of value to you! For those of you who live in the West Michigan area, the booklets are available at Christ Memorial Church in Holland.
Grateful for the good news. I just read you booklet Living in the Unshakable Kingdom–such a good reminder–that no matter what happens, God is still in control and is victorious! Praying for continued good news for your health.
I didn’t know about the sarcoma, but I realize that my cancer treatment is nothing compared to what you went through. Praise God for all healing!
No, Karen.You are going through much more treatment than I had..2 surgeries to remove but no chemo was the recommendation from both Sloan Kettering and Mass. General unless the cancer reoccurred… then chemo….but it didn’t reoccur! Thus God’s grace!!!!
I, too, am in awe at His Grace. The first time 18 years ago when I was followed for 10 years at Mass General for spinal cell sarcoma that was known for 50% reoccurrence rate and 5 years ago when the cancer was contained inside the esophagus and they were able to cut that part out and make a new one! Praise God for your Good News of Good Tidings!!
Thankful for your good news! Praying you will have a healthier New Year. You are an inspiration and encouragement to me and many others. Thank you for sharing your heart and God’s message.
Thank you Sheila! Inspiration and encouragement is what this blog is all about. I’m glad it is fulfilling its mission for you!
What a great gift to start the New Year with…the ever-new awareness of the continuous love and grace of the Father. This is Good News indeed. You apparently have much more to write and teach! I am very happy for your good report.
Thanks Dee, Yes, apparently my calling is still intact for a while at least. There is always work to do to help people become more like Jesus. Thanks for helping me do that!