I’ve always considered myself to have been truly blessed with unusually good health. With the exception of that one year in fifth grade when I had measles, mumps and chicken-pox all in one year, I just haven’t had much illness. At 52 years of age, I take no regular medicines, have had no major health issues, and few illnesses. I have never been admitted overnight to a hospital. I’ve had no surgeries requiring general anesthesia. Never had an IV, nor a scan more sophisticated than a basic X-ray.
Last week all that changed.
Last week, I learned I have throat cancer.
Last week I went from being the guy holding a loved-one’s hand while dealing with medical issues to being the guy with medical issues. I quickly became a pro at accepting an IV and lying still for CT Scans and PET Scans. I am not yet recovered from one surgery and am preparing for another surgery tomorrow morning.
My head is still spinning. I give full credit to my medical team for moving quickly to assess and address the situation. Emotionally, I’m not sure I’ve caught up yet. I’ve always been the guy blessed with unusually good health. How do I accept, across one week, that I’m now a cancer patient?
And yet…in some ways, I feel I’ve prepared my entire life for just this sort of event. I’ve lived my entire adult life very aware of my own mortality, careful to live with no regrets, never taking anything for granted. Always quick to say “I love you” or “I’m sorry” because we never know whether we’ll have another chance…generally choosing walking over driving just because I can, because my legs work well and we never know how long that will be true. Taking the time to enjoy each sunrise, each sunset, each rainbow, each moonrise, because it is in these moments we glimpse His glory.
More than that, my life has, of necessity, been lived learning to trust God…to trust that He knows what I do not…that He loves me immensely…that He has my best interest at heart even more than I do.
I can still point to so many areas of rich blessing. I am blessed to have a good prognosis with an excellent chance of returning to a healthy active lifestyle after completion of surgery and treatments. I am blessed to have such a wonderfully supportive loving family to encourage and pray for me. I am blessed to have a good job and good health insurance with no immediate financial concerns. I am blessed to have a peaceful home surrounded by pastures with cows and horses to enjoy as I recuperate.
And yet…I become increasingly aware that these are all rich manifestations of my deepest blessing.The true blessing of the believer is God’s presence. Click To Tweet
His loving companionship is the blessing that will never be removed…that accompanies me every step of the way…from life to life through all eternity.
Because I am His, I am blessed beyond measure.
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
For thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
Thou anointest my head with oil;
My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23)
Have a very Merry Christmas, enjoying the blessing of Christ’s presence!