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Pain, pain, go away.....But nevertheless....

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God bless you.

Pain and I have never gotten alone.

I hate pain in itself, because it hurts. Anybody who loves feeling pain simply for the

sake of pain or loves inflicting pain on others is a sick masochist and sadist

respectively.

But I love pain as a teacher and thank God for it accordingly because if I never

suffered pain, I could never fully appreciate pleasure. I enjoy eating t-bone steaks today

because I had to make do with eating neckbones in my impoverished childhood. If we

never were hungry, how could we appreciate food? Yes, opposites have a tendency

to complement and even help define each other. It's the pain of winter's cold that best

defines of the comfort of a warm home. Pain teaches us, among other things, to be

grateful, tough, smart and determined.

So, I thank God for my pain.

And as God takes me through a healing process from prostate cancer, end-stage

congestive heart failure and brain cancer, pains have been frequent companions of mine

for the last three weeks.

Thus, this week, when I have my required three-month follow-up checkup with my

urologist, Dr. Glenn Gerber of the University of Chicago Medical Center, I'll have more

than incontinence and painful urination to complain about. Pains in my lower back, my

left groin, my thighs and legs will be added to the list.

When I first prayed, and continue to pray, to God to heal me from my cancers

and bad heart, I did not ask for a Gucci or a designer, pain-free healing. That sure

would have been sweet indeed. But I simply asked God to heal me and left it up to

Him to decide how He would do it and how long it would take Him to do it.

I prayed for a healing in a surrendered spirit articulated in the lyrics of an old

familiar hymn in my black Baptist heritage:

"Have thine own way, Lord

Have thine own way

Thou art the potter

I am the clay

Make me and mold me

After Thy will.

While I am waiting

Yielded and still."

I already understand the reasons for my incontinence and my painful urination.

They are side effects of the brachytherapy (implantation of radioactive seeds into my

prostate) that I underwent May 21 at the Chicago Prostate Cancer Cancer. I was

informed beforehand by Dr. Brian Moran, my radiations oncologist, that the 89

radioactive seeds he implanted would cause these discomforts while they attack

and destroy the cancerous tumors in my prostate. This discomfort normally lasts

for several months before eventually dissipating.

But to get a fix on the pains in my back, groin, thighs and legs, I will undergo an

MRI and possibly a neurological scan.
.
In the biblical accounts of the healings performed by our lord and savior, Jesus

Christ, these miracles were described as instantaneous, except for rare exceptions

such as the man born blind in the ninth chapter of the gospel of St. John. In that

event, Jesus spat on the ground, made metaphysical mudcakes and smeared them

onto His patient's eyes. But it wasn't until the patient obeyed Jesus' providential

prescription to go wash in the pool of Siloam that the man received his sight.

It is not clear whether I, in accordance with that miracle, am in the mudcake

stage or am headed toward a rinse in my relative pool of Siloam. I also don't know

how much pain and patience God is going to charge me for my healing. No matter. It's

still a to pay for the healings I seek. I already have enough for my healing. If you have

the faith, God's got the grace for your healing. And all any of us needs is a

mustard-seed-sized portion of faith to generate the power to move mountains and

to uproot sycamore trees. So I have enough the faith. What I need to do now is to be

ready to wait on the Lord and to suffer as much as necesarry before I get my complete

healing.

But in the interim, I want God to get glory our of my every "ouch", grunt and

groan, my every sleepless night, my every duel with doubt and my every fight with fear.

And I also want to thank all of you prayer partners who continue to hold me up in

prayer before the Lord.

God bless you.

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5 Comments

Good Evening Rev,

Welcome back to the blog. To me you have been 'missing in action'. Although I am happy for you being able to take your much anticipated anniversary vacation, I missed hearing from you in the blog. I am glad that you were able to make the trip. Sorry to hear about your pain. I guess that is part of the healing process. So, I will pray even harder and specifically this week. In spite of the pain you are experiencing, I am glad that you are here. Right now, this is my prayer: "Father God in the name of Jesus I ask that you touch Rev. Banks' body. Just wave your hand over him from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. SOOTHE his pain. COMFORT his weary body. MANIFEST your healing power. RESTORE his health. Make him WHOLE. Father God, we know that you can we just don't know when you will. We know that you are faithful, just and no shorter than your word. We love you and we praise your name. We thank you in advance for the answer to this prayer. We thank you for the privilege of petitioning your throne of Grace. We worship you and honor you. It is in Jesus name we pray and with thanksgiving. Amen" Stay encouraged Rev. We are in this with you.

Banks' response: The best part of being sick is Jesus because He is our

supreme healer. But since is no longer here in the three-dimensional body He

housed during His 33-year, earthly mission, He is now here in the forms of His

Holy Ghost and in the form of His healing helpers like you. I thank and praise

God for the likes of you, alias, among other things, "the light of the world" and

"the salt of the earth." You are the hands, feet, heart, arms and hands of

Christ extending yourself toward me in Christian love and prayerful support

that only other Kingdom kids and kin can understand. Thank you for letting

the Lord use you on my behalf. This whole healing process for me is not a

selfish venture or event even though I am a primary beneficiary. But I am not

the only beneficiary. The Kingdom benefits when we do God's will to love and

to help comfort one another in times of need.

As such, Donna Pittman, you are the extension of God Himself reaching out

from heaven to touch, heal, establish and stabilize me. You are living proof of

the answer to Jesus' prototypical prayer, when He taught us to pray, saying,

among other things, "thy kingdom come and thy will be done on earth as it is

in heaven." No, you give and my other prayer partners are cause for great

encouragement. You serve notice that this earth is no total wasteland after all.

Rather, it's a proving ground for providence. It's a launching pad for piety. It's a

warehouse for heavenly helpers caring and sharing with one another. We are

the doing of God's will ad the coming of His kingdom on earth. But it won't be

until after the judgement that the triumph of God's kingdom shall be complete

and we shall all then behold a new heaven and a new earth. Until then, we all

mus work the works of Him that sent us while it is day. For the night cometh

when no man can work.

I will keep this brief. But the blessing that this brought to my heart I cannot say. It was my complete accident that I read this blog. I do not even read the Sun Times online. Someone in my life is suffering similar pain from brain cancer and now a tumor on her spine that causes pain in her hip and leg. I know the road ahead is very difficult for her family. I pray and will you pray with me, all of you, that for Sue, the pain will be removed from her body and her body be healed. There is a dear 17 year old who will be so alone if God takes her Mom now. Thank you in advance for your thoughts and prayers.

Banks' response: Linda, the, as you wrote, "someone in my life" is now also

in our lives. Welcome to our prayer circle, Linda. I dare not be greedy with my

prayer partners just as they chose not to be greedy with me. After all, there's

enough of God's healing grace to go around. And the same awesome invitation

that our savior Jesus Christ extends to us is extended to that (I wish we knew her

name, but God does) "someone" in your life: "Come unto me, all ye that labor

and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

Shall we pray?

Most holy, omnipotent, gracious, loving and everlasting Lord God Jehovah,

we thank You that on her way to seeking relief and healing for her friend, Linda

says she stumbled across us. Linda supposes it was an accident. But you are no

accidental God. You always move on purpose and with purpose and there is no

failure in You. The failure is in us. The song asks us "Oh what peace we often

forfeit? Oh what needless pain we bear? All became we do not carry everything

to God in prayer."

Lord, we want to thank You for all the blessings You've already

given, the blessings You're giving right now and the blessings You're going to

give us in due season. Have mercy upon us. For we have sinned. Forgive us,

dear Lord, and cleanse us of iniquity. Lord, we touch and agree with Linda on

the desires of her heart that her friend be relieved of her pains and that she be

healed straightaway. Please, Jesus, have grace and mercy upon Linda's friend.

Please don't leave her 17-year-old child motherless so soon. We know You're

able. We know You have all power in Your hand. Please, speedily stretch our Your

healing Hand from Heaven right now and touch the body of Linda's friend with

Your Finger of divine grace and mercy. Please, do it Lord. We don't mind begging.

Please, ease the pains and heal the body and save the life of Linda's

friend. And in the meantime, in between time, throw Your Loving Arms around

that 17-year-old child and speak peace to her heart, mind and soul and let her

know that that everything is going to be alright. Please, Lord. We know that the

bottom line and our perpetual prayer is that Your will be done. But while we have

this option, we beg you, Lord, in the impeccable name of Jesus, to let Your

healing will be made manifest in Linda's friend. Leave the doctors shaking their

heads in shock. Leave the naysayers speechless and dumbfounded. Please

heal Linda's friend. And when You do so, we will make known Your works among

the people. In Jesus' sweet and holy name, we pray. Amen. And thank God.

Sometimes we can't bend our knees or say the words, but our prayers are in our heart and God hears every word. Prayer is so POWERFUL. Eloquence is not necessary, just talk to HIM. Praise and exalt HIM, thank HIM, and ask for what you need from HIM in the name of HIS SON, JESUS. We ask HIM for your healing even though we know its HIS plan and HE already knows the outcome and we thank HIM for HIS grace and mercy and the opportunity to come to the throne of grace anytime we want. We continue to pray for your strength and endurance, increase in your faith, and healing at GOD's command. I recall many years ago, my pastor told me during a particularly rough night and my late father was in surgery,if your faith gets a little shaky just pray for a little more, even if you have to ask every 15 minutes. I've never forgotten that and I am a witness HE will keep your faith jar full if you just ask. Please pray for me as I continue to pray for you and yours.

Banks' response: I am being reduced, if I haven't been already, to the

bare essence of dire need for prayer that God heals me completely. And

I welcome your prayerful support. All the good things about being sick

have a common denominator. His name is Jesus. He is the secret

ingredient, who makes everything possible. For you and I can do all things

through Christ Jesus, who strengthens us. Your testimony is tried and

true. We saints can't count the times He has answered our prayers and

delivered us from dangers seen and unseen. Is not for Jesus, my

sickness would be most terrible and unbearable. But because Jesus loves

me and is ready, willing and able to heal me when I ask God for healing in

Jesus' name, I'm not worried. I can stand the pain. I can stand the

sleepless nights. I can endure the heavy weight of waiting. And while I

wait, I have made peace with His ultimate will. But the longer He keeps

me alive, that's that much more time I have to praise and serve Him. It's so

nice to need Jesus because He sees and He cares. But I know that my

need will not be ignored. In due season, He will heal him completely and

permanently. In due season, I shall have a fresh testimony to share in my

sermons and conversations I use to make known His works among the

people. In my sickness, I am lifting up Jesus as a healer and offering

myself as His latest lab mouse to show the world that He remains master

over all sickness, over all matters as well as all matter, physical and

spiritual. The doctors have already confirmed my sicknesses, which have

been compounded by added health issues to include an hernia and

a probable disc problem. I know neither when nor how He will heal me.

But I know that He will. And when He does, rest assured that He will get

the credit first and foremost because all our help comes from the Lord.

Rev. Banks,

I've know you and your daughter a long time though interactions with her through grade school, high school, and college and I want to tell you that I shall and will continue to keep you lifted up in prayer. You're strength is an inspiration and faith an example for me to continue to press toward the mark and finish the race of God inspired purpose supplied by our Father in heaven.

GOD did not give us a spirit of fear...therefore I encourage you to keep fighting with physical science and spiritual dilligence. Know that you have people helping you carry the armor of God against cancer and heart failure through prayer.

God Bless You,
Jeff Beckham Jr.

Banks' response: Thank you Jeff for taking precious time and energy to read

this blog and post a comment. God is so good to me. Better than I feel I deserve,

really, because I don't feel I'm as strong, as wise, as disciplined, as righteous and

as loving as I ought to be and can be. Nevertheless, He keeps right on blessing

me. Your prayers and those of so many others, who have known my family and

me down through the years, are invaluable. And God is answering them, too. I

just wish I was doing a better job of waiting on Him, Jeff. God bless you for being

a comfort and encouragement to me in these trying times.

I too have just found out last week that I have cancer. Yes I am very scared and I know that if God don't entervine,I have not begun to feel the pain.I was a hospice volunteer back in the 80's and I know what I am up against. But I Thank God that he is bigger then the cancer that we have in our bodies. I thank God that he is a merciful God.He is also a saving God and I am greatfull that he is still in the saving business today. He said according to our faith so shall it be. More important than our healings,are we ready to meet our God tonight? If God comes to your house will you be ready? Listen to this promise that GOD has made. He said there will be no more pain nor sickness in heaven. So weather he heals us in this world or the next one...we will be healed. We are stronger than what we think..God said he will put no more on us than we can bare..We have to believe all of his words not just some of it. He will take care of us all.God Bless all of you and I will pray for you and you for me.

Banks' response: Barbara, even in our sicknesses and any other of life's

trials and tribulations, God is good. If we have to praise Him with our ouches, let's

give Him the glory and the thanksgiving. For He has already done great things for

us, whereas we are glad. He has saved our souls, the real core and best parts of

us, so that we not only have life, but that more abundant, even eternal, in Christ

Jesus. Dear Lord, bless Barbara with increased faith, joy, comfort and hope in

the course of her new challenge. We pray, in the name of Jesus, that you heal

her, too, in this world for a fresh testimony confirming your continued amazing

grace. With you as our God and guide, Lord, you make our trails and tribulations

bearable and affordable. We join Job in affirming that even if You slay us, yet

will we serve You. And, yes, Barbara, we are ready if the Lord should call us

right now. Our hearts are fixed, our souls are saved and our minds are made up

in terms of our final divine destiny with God in heaven. We have provision beyond

this terrestrial plane. We have a house not built by hands eternal in heaven, where

we'll never ever grow old. I pray that your suffering be minimal and your healing

quick. And when your healing comes, don't forget to give God the glory and the

thanksgiving.

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Lacy J. Banks

Lacy J. Banks, 67, has been a Sun-Times sportswriter/columnist for 38 years and a Baptist preacher for 58 years. He has preached at more than 100 different churches in the Chicago area. A native of Lyon, Miss., Banks graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in French and he served three years in the Vietnam War as a U.S. Naval officer. Lacy and wife, Joyce, have been married 42 years and have three daughters and five grandchildren. Among beats Banks has covered for the Sun-Times are the Bulls, Fire, defunct Sting, Blackhawks, Wolves, Cubs, defunct Hussle, Rush, Sky, college football and basketball and pro boxing.

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This page contains a single entry by Lacy Banks published on August 17, 2008 5:13 PM.

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