When Most Needed, An Unexpected Letter

If two ospreys, created by God Himself, guard their nest as jealously as they do, how much more doesn’t God watch us who hold on to Him? Photo: Bjarne Gabrielsen

This post is very personal to me and provided me with encouragement at this time of personal need. While I am currently asymptomatic, for which I am immensely grateful, I know I have metastatic sites of prostate cancer in my body. Upon a recent visit to my oncologist, he calmly but coldly and clinically told me that I have Stage 4 advanced prostate cancer which really scared me. It took about 2 days for the shock to calm down and for my stomach muscles to fully relax.

In 2007, I experienced a biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer which had supposedly been removed surgically in 1995. Subsequent radiation also failed to totally remove all traces of cancer. Fear gripped my life at that point. Meanwhile, I received an unexpected letter from the wife of the pastor of our country church in Maryland which spoke volumes to me in 2007 and then again today in 2020. I’d like to share a portion of it with you my readers and anyone else who could benefit from its contents.

She wrote as follows. “When an angel appears to someone in the Bible, often the first words out of its mouth are ‘do not be afraid.’ It happened that way to Mary and Joseph, the shepherds in the field, and the two Marys at Jesus’ empty tomb as well as to numerous Old Testament characters. If an angel were to appear to me, I would want to hear those same words. Actually, the phrase ‘do not be afraid’ is reiterated over and over in the Bible which contains 365 commands to ‘fear not’. I think that’s because God knows how prone we are to be afraid anytime we meet up with something we don’t understand or cannot control.

The term ‘do not be afraid’ is invariably linked Biblically with a phrase describing one of God’s characteristics; His presence, His power, His past performance or His promise. ‘Do not be afraid for I am…., or for I will.’ Apparantly, the antidote to fear is the knowledge that God is with us, is powerful and promises to help us. Isaiah 41:10 states ‘do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.'”

My pastor’s wife continues. “When I was a very little girl, my dad used to take me for walks. My hands were still very tiny and his hands were very large. I would hold onto one of his fingers so that I wouldn’t fall. But my dad knew that wasn’t enough, for if I started to tumble I could easily lose my grip on his finger. He used to let me hold his finger but then he would wrap his other big fingers around my little hand so that even if I let go, he would still be holding on to me. He said that was a picture of the way God holds us with His big hand. Yes Lord”, she continued, “hold my hand tightly. I’m holding on to you but even more important I’m glad you’re holding on to me more than ever when I am afraid.”

So now, I am finding that the posts I am writing serve not only to hopefully encourage other men with medical issues like mine, but they serve to provide strength and encouragement for myself as I read them again. If you want to read any of the previous Encouragement posts, simply go to the Godandprostate.net home page and enter the word “Encouragement” in the search area. If you are unsure of your personal relationship with such a God and His Son, Jesus, see the following link.

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