Email from My Mom

June 21, 2017

Last week, I got an email from my mom that read "Operation for cancer".  My mom shared that she will need surgery for colon cancer.  I was surprised and didn't know how to react.  My parents have never had any major health issues.

A few months earlier, Pastor Dave shared with me about his bouts with cancer and I learned that there are varying degrees of cancer.  Whenever you hear the word "cancer", there are lots of strong emotions attached.  Remembering Pastor Dave's talk with me, I felt a need to pray and ask God for help.  The email didn't have much info, so I wanted to reserve my response until having a conversation with her.  To my surprise, her spirits were very high and believed God is good and with her.  Perhaps during and after the surgery her feeling may change, but until then, her confidence in God's goodness gives her the grace to smile.

This morning for my quiet times I read Deuteronomy 8.  It reads,

"2 And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. 3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord."
(Deuteronomy 8:2-3, ESV)

In this passage, Moses is reviewing the past forty years the Israelites were wandering in the desert after leaving Egypt.  God has intentionally led them into the desert to humble them and test them (vs 2).  Why would God do that?  God tested them to see what is in their hearts (vs 2).  Without these tests, we don't know what we truly believe.  On top of that God desired to create a hunger in their hearts and then to satisfy that hunger, so they would learn to hear from God and learn to rely on Him (vs 3).
I think there would have been no judgment for my mom if she shared her anxieties, fears, or anger.  But for my mom this moment has revealed her great faith in God that has been forged through years of following Him and receiving from Him.  My prayer is for healing, of course, but now I also pray that God would use this moment to help my mom not only to see her own need, but also that God would satisfy that need.  I am blessed and humbled by my mom's example.  I pray I can only have that same kind of strength when God leads me to the various deserts of life.
This morning, I received an email, my mom will be getting surgery within the next couple weeks.  From the preliminary results, it has not spread anywhere else, but they need to remove 5 cm of her colon.   Thanks for your prayers.


 Author: Pastor Danny
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