Roller Coasters

I love roller coasters. Not in the same way I love my wife, of course, but there’s something about the speed, being pushed into your seat, twisting rolls, huge drops that is just … exhilarating. It always brings me to the summers of my youth, going to park after park in Southern California to ride old favorites as well as the newest and latest. There are times, however, when roller coasters are not nearly so much fun. These past couple of weeks have been a roller coaster of sorts; emotionally … physically … even spiritually.

Many of you know I had a procedure a couple of weeks ago to take a closer look at the tumor. We then met with the surgeon who confirmed the tumor was non-resectable – no operation. It was disappointing; we had hoped our surgeon would be able to do his thing and I’d be on a road to recovery instead of … more of the same. That’s when I realized that the most disappointing moments have been when things didn’t happen when I thought they should. Thus, the seeds of a sermon on being resilient began to grow.

I preached that sermon last Sunday. When we reach a breaking point (or points), are we a resilient people? Will we be defined by the breaking point or by our response? We cannot change the cards He deals us; just how we play the hand.

We met with our regular oncologist on Tuesday to go over all the results. My tumor markers were zigging instead of zagging; three weeks ago, my markers shot from 61 to 91 (low number good, high number not so much) which is … attention getting. The results of the most recent test weren’t in yet but if my markers continued to rise, I’d go in for a CT scan and I’d be put on a more aggressive (and more debilitating) treatment.

Yesterday, I learned my markers are at 63. The phrase “Thank you Lord” was never uttered so quickly.

I know many of you are continuing to pray that tumor will be reduced enough for an operation and that God would heal me fully and completely, restoring me to good health. I covet those intercessory prayers and appreciate all who find the time to lift up me and my family. But, if you’ll indulge me, I’m requesting that your prayers for me today would not be about Asking; instead, let them be about Praising:

  • Praise that the tumor is actually getting smaller. The latest scans show it went from 5cm to 4.8cm. Who knows? In 5-10 years, I may be called into that surgery I so very much wanted.
  • Praise that my grandkids (oblivious to the physical changes in me) smile brightly when they see me.
  • Praise that He’s given me the energy to keep working. My job has a very real eternal perspective as well as a mundane technological one.
  • Praise that He is in His Heavens and He does what pleases Him.
  • Praise that it pleases Him to meet me in at my breaking point.
  • Praise that cancer is a poor obstacle and a lousy excuse not to conform to Him.

In the Palm of His Hands,
Rod

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