“I guess we’re all one phone call from our knees.” -Mat Kearney
Really, doc, that’s it?
Is there something we can do, is there something I can take, what the hell?
I’m healthy, I live a good life, I have a wife, I have kids. I try to work out when I can.
A CAT scan? What the hell is a CAT scan? I have a cat, her name is Whiskers, my oldest daughter named her.
A bone scan? ITS IN MY BONES?! Oh, it’s just to see if it’s in my bones, gotcha. I’m sure it’s not, I feel fine.
As a matter of fact, I’ve never felt better. Are you sure? I’m way too healthy for the c-word. I’ve got way to much life for this shit.
How does that CAT scan work? Do I have to drink stuff? My friend Ken’s mom had cancer, what a shit show.
Chemo? CHEMO?! That can’t be, that can’t be right, that’s for sick people. You know, bald, throwing up sick people.
That ain’t me. That can’t be me.
Am I gonna die?
We just bought a house, the girls are in the local school, this can’t be right. It’s just a little blood in the urine, it happens, right?
SHIT!! Shit shit shit shit shit shit SHIT!!!
Emma has a recital next week, there’s soccer practice, I can’t do this right now doc.
How much time do I have left? Too early for that question?! When is it not too early, when I’m asking for pain meds?! Jesus, doc, what the hell?
I can’t do this right now.
This is more than I can take. Jesus, you said never more than I could take.
I need to start praying again.
The above is a story about a 38 year old man who just had his world rocked. I think I needed to tell this story because of this…
We all have lives that we live everyday. Most days, we just slide from one activity to another, without thinking about what we’re doing. The above character is living his life. He’s got a family, and things are clicking along.
And then everything stops. One phone call drops him to his knees. That running diatribe is ripping thru his head after his doc said those three little words, “You have cancer.”
I don’t profess to know what God is doing, he’s too big and mysterious for that. But, sometimes, I think he strips us down to the soul. When bad things happen to good people, we humans need reasons. We look to God for those reasons, and he’s under no compunction to tell us any.
Some of us beg and plead with God, some of us shake our fist at God, some of us don’t believe in God and curse our rotten luck. Some of us are convinced that if we pray really, really hard, God will miraculously heal us, and THEN we will sing his praises.
I know what God has done for me. He’s given me at least a little bit of skill writing things down, and those writings have helped people I’ve never met on the other side of the world. If that’s not God, I don’t know what is.
There are days when I feel like I’m a tall tree and God has stripped off all the bark, and has cut me down to a stump. But he still wants me to carry on. I think Jesus delights in seeing us sprout a little green sprig, still growing, still praising him.
That father in the above poem is a tragic case and heartbreaking. It doesn’t make sense. It’s a come to Jesus moment if there ever was one.
And this thought jumped into my head.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could come to Jesus without a “come to Jesus moment”?
And I think that’s why the story came to me. I’m not very good at going to Jesus when I think I don’t need him.
I got this, God, I say. My life is going great, I go to church, you should be happy with that, I’m living an upright life.
But it was a lie. I wasn’t living the kind of life that was pleasing to him, cuz I thought I was in control of it. But I wasn’t. And it came crashing down.
And it brought me to my knees. I was done as a human. My world crashed down. I didn’t pray, I pleaded. I pleaded for forgiveness. I pleaded for mercy. I pleaded to Jesus to not give me anymore awfulness, that I couldn’t take one more second. I curled up on the floor and sobbed.
But, little by little, I got back up. Not with my own strength, but with His. He reached down and extended His Almighty hand to me, and in a time of overwhelming awfulness and sadness, I took His hand.
The thing is, His hand was always there. I had drawn my hand away from His.
And somehow, I got through it. I got through surgery, I got through 38 sessions of radiation. I got back up and asked forgiveness from the people I love.
As time went by, there were more procedures, more pills, more bad news. And somehow, I got through all of it. My tumors are growing, my PSA continues to be a problem, I’m a shell of my former self, and yet, I praise Him.
Because I couldn’t have done any of it without Him. I’m not that strong. People that talk about my courage to write honestly about my disease need to know that my courage, my resolve, my love for others comes from Him.
In Psalm 22, David pleads with God. He says,”My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Read that Psalm. David is lamenting to God that he is scared and alone. But halfway through his laments, he turns to the Lord and praises Him.
I’m no David. David was an amazing man and was favored by God. But, he was also an adulterer. He was a murderer. He was a sinner. In that way, I AM like David. We all are.
But, in our sin and sorrow, He will always be there for us. He loves you.
And He loves me. Always. Without failing. An because of His love, I learned to love others.
And all it took was a come to Jesus moment. I just wish it hadn’t come to that.
Thanks for reading.