This healing journey, on which I have prayed the Lord, in Jesus' name, to take me to the destination of safe recovery from brain cancer, prostate cancer and end-stage congestive heart failure, was never meant or expected to be easy.
Neither was it expected to be quick and painless.
Finding a balance between common sense and bold faith has its challenges when the believer has more than himself to think about. I'm also a devout family man. So I don't want to do anything that will hurt my wife and kids.
Last week, however, I frightened my wife Joyce into tears, frustration and anger when I ran a check on my healing status by giving my medicines three days off. Starting with my regular day of fasting and praying, during which I neither eat nor drink anything for at least 12 hours, normally from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., I went for three days without taking the daily nine different pills (17 in total) to see how I'd feel.
To my delight, I not only felt no worse, but my blood pressure remained steady in the area of 110 over 75.
But since I felt I shouldn't keep this a secret from Joyce, I told her. She was not happy. She did what a good, faithful, loving wife would do. She chewed me out, told me to get back on my medicines, got our three daughters Nicole, Noelle and Natasha, and our three-year-old grand-daughter Nina to help her
and I did.
When her mother, Nicole, dialed me and I answered to hear Nina's soft, small, sweet voice say, "Grandpa, take your medicine," I had to give in. Really, I had not decided to stop taking my medicines altogether. But that experience reminded me of the importance of striking a balance between common sense and bold faith in terms of me being a family man.
Joyce and I love each other most dearly. Ours has been a 99 percent happy marriage that will
reach 40 years on June 30. She and my children don't not want to lose me and I don't want to leave
them. Joyce and I have never been close to any kind of contentious separation. Our marriage vow is 'til
death parts us and we intend to keep that vow.
At the same time, I really can't say what I will continue to do in terms of medicine and treatment.
My faith in God and common sense will dictate that. But faith can grow to such an extent that it will propel
one to do things that defy common sense.
No, it is not my intention to commit suicide to dare God to heal me. But if I really have faith that
He will, and I do, I have to at least check every now and then to know when I am healed. And I certainly
can't leave all that to my earthly doctors. I'm going to have to launch out farther into the deeper depths
of trusting God as His Holy Ghost leads me.
I am continuing to seek the help of doctors because I believe they are instruments of God,
regardless of whether they believe in Him or not. I am scheduled to undergo a radiation treatment
at the Chicago Prostate Cancer Center on Wednesday and I still plan to go through with it
partly because Dr. Glenn Gerber and Dr. Brain Moran have determined the cancer is early-stage and
localized and can thus can be treated effectively.
But after that, since the brain cancer has been ruled benign, I will turn my attention to my
heart issue, continue in prayer and decide what to do from there, depending upon how the Spirit
leads me. In praying and seeking the assistance of doctors and medical technology, I am doing my
best. That's my common sense responsibility. Beyond that, I'm trusting God for the rest.
There is a miracle of faith recorded in the first 11 verses of the fifth chapter of the gospel
according to St. Luke. It was through this miracle that three fishermen--Simon Peter, James and
John--were converted and answered Jesus' invitation to become His disciples.
One day, while Jesus was preaching to a crowd of people by the lake of Gennesaret, He saw that
Simon Peter, James and John had rowed their boats to shore after a frustrating day of having caught no
Jesus then stepped aboard Peter's boat and gave him a jackpot fishing tip because our
omniscient Saviour always knows where "they're biting"--as fishermen say.
"Launch out into the deep," King Jesus said, "and let down your nets for a draught."
When Peter dared to have faith and obey Jesus, he rowed out farther at sea , dropped his
nets into the deeper waters and caught so many fish that they broke his net as he was trying to draw
them into his boat. When he asked James and John to help harvest the fish, the catch was so heavy it
also filled their boat to where it started sinking.
Thereafter, these men were so impressed by what Jesus did that they answered His call to
become fishers of men as His disciples.
To just go by my symptoms and by what the doctors say and prescribe is shallow
fishing for the feeble of mind and the feint of faith and the catch is limited. But my decision to pray and
trust first and foremost in God for my healing is my way of launching out into the deep. The greater my
faith, the farther I will launch and the bigger my catch will be.
I love my wife and family. But I love God more. And I also want to inspire others who are
struggling with issues of bad health and various adversities that having faith in God is the first step
toward launching out into the deep where treasure beyond measure awaits the believer.
At present, my faith is still growing. I obviously already had faith enough for the Lord
to save my soul and heal my body in the past. But never have I been smacked with the traumatic trio
of serious health problems now facing me. And what this calls for is more faith on my part to launch
farther out into the deepest depths of the waters of a wonder-working God.
Out yonder in those divine deep depths of God's amazing grace, there are countless miracles to
be reeled in, including some with your name on them. I don't mind the wait and I don't mind the weight
because no problem is too heavy or too hard for the Lord. Moreover, Isaiah 40:31 reads, "But they that
wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run
and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not feint."
I will watch, wait and pray. And when my healing comes, I won't retreat into any sanctuary of
secrecy and solitude. No, you will be right there with me to see for yourself that God is still in the healing
business. Then we'll shout thanksgiving for the healing.
Praise the Lord!
God bless you.