As I write this post, it constitutes the 1,000,000+ hit on this website which I can only trust has been a help and a blessing to some of you since I was prompted to share my personal story via a blog.
As I write it, it has been 23 years since I was first diagnosed with prostate cancer. While I am classified as having advanced disease, I am asymptomatic, am feeling well and my PSA is undetectable. But there will probably come a day when I will have to read my own website admonitions and apply them to my own life. Can God use my (our) disease to glorify Him? Emphatically, Yes!
What has God told me to do about my condition? The answers are three-fold: a) to yield it to Him; b) to trust Him completely in what He has told me in His Word, and, c) be cognizant of any opportunity to share my story with others that regardless of any outcome, God is to be glorified. In the Old Testament, the prophet Elijah was alone told by God to confront the hundreds of prophets of the false god Baal, whom many of the Israelites had been worshipping as instructed by the evil King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. First, Baal’s prophets placed a sacrificial ox on an altar and in a vain attempt to induce Baal to ignite the sacrifice, they invoked the name of their god to the point of yelling, and cutting themselves for hours to no avail. It now was Elijah’s turn and he went several steps further. He put his ox on a stone altar, made a trench around it, put wood on top of the altar, laid the ox on the wood, poured several pitchers of water on the ox and saturated the wood around it. He did the latter not once but three times. Then he filled the surrounding trench with water. The goal was of course to ignite the burnt offering as a sacrifice to God. Then interestingly enough, Elijah did not pray the obvious prayer namely for fire to come down and ignite the offering which is what one might expect to pray. He merely prayed, “O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel (Jacob), let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am your servant and that I have done all these things at Thy word. Answer me, O’ Lord, answer me that this people may know that You O’ Lord are God and that You would turn their heart back again.” (I Kings 18: 36-37). Notice that Elijah did not pray specifically for fire to fall. But it did, spontaneously consuming the offering, the wood, the stones, the dust and licked up all the water in the trench.
How does this relate to offering my prostate cancer? Like Elijah used a sacrificial ox to demonstrate God’s power, I am to lay my body down as an offering according to Romans 12:1 which states “I beseech you therefore, by the mercies of God to present your body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your reasonable service of worship.” I should then be attentive to whatever circumstance I would find myself where my personal disease sacrifice could be viewed by others including any medical personnel. While it is normal to do so, I should not pray that God would heal my disease according to my plans and scenario. Remember Elijah did not pray for God to send fire and devour the animal sacrifice. But instead, I should pray like Elijah, listen and follow whatever God has told me, and pray that God would somehow demonstrate His presence and power through my disease and thereby be glorifed. Then step back and leave the results to Him.
Jesus Himself made a similar prayer in John 12:23-28. He knew He would soon undergo a painful death by crucifixion and be totally cut off from God, His Father and bear the penalty of the sins of everyone who ever lived and would ever live. Jesus demonstrated His humanity by saying in v. 27, “Now my soul has become troubled and what shall I say, ‘Father save me from this hour?'” In other words, He asked God if He could be spared all this pain and suffering? But then like Elijah, He concludes “But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Thy Name.'” Like Elijah and Jesus, may the same be said of us. God can indeed be glorified through our disease state. If you, the reader, cannot identify clearly with this scenario, you too can have an intimate and personal relationship with God much like Elijah. See the following link.
Thank you all for putting this site over the millonth mark.