Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Life can sometimes feel like a non-stop battle. We deal and cope with various trials and tribulations from time to time and sometimes simultaneously. Today, I’m going to share a pain and discomfort closest to my heart: my father’s health. I rarely share this ordeal with others unless they are personally close to me, but I believe God is urging me to share this ongoing story with all of you to offer encouragement during your winding journey.
In 2009 my father was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a form of cancer. This cancer/condition affects the plasma cells which are a type of white blood cell in the bone marrow. With this illness, a group of plasma cells becomes cancerous and multiplies. The disease can harm and damage the bones, immune system, kidneys, and red blood cell count. After his diagnosis and over the years my dad continued his daily routines which included going to work, completing a workout at the gym and other business he attended to. On the weekends, he’d spend time with family and enjoyed nights out dancing.
He also made it a point to visit his birth place and home in Belize several times a year. Our family was amazed at how he was handling this illness. He was optimistic and extremely positive. We were elated to see him encouraged. We were even more elated when he went into remission– twice. However; remission did not last. And although our spirits were crushed by the comeback of the cancer my father did what he always did, he remained strong and confident.
However for the past year, my dad’s health has been turbulent; up and down, back and forth. A total of three hospital stays, the first admittance was June of 2016; the second was Thanksgiving Day, a stay, which last three weeks and his most recent visit occurred this past spring. Lately he can’t seem to get a break. It’s been one hurdle after the other trying to tame this Multiple Myeloma. From fatigue, loss of appetite, to bone and body aches, and various other ailments that may occur or enhance when there is a lack or decrease of white blood cells, blood, or platelets in the body– this decrease may or can occur due to the treatment. The challenge with treating this cancer is balancing it all out.
Due to the current adversities and changes in his life, discouragement and defeat have found their way into my father’s mind. This is what the enemy waits for, that way he can whisper self-defeating thoughts into your ear, like, “you’ll never beat this cancer,” he can plant the wrong ideas into your mind, such as “you’re weak” “you’re not strong enough” “give up”. Lies ALL lies. And if we believe the enemy’s lies about our future we are not remembering the Lords’ word or His promises to us.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the fruit.” John 10:10 NIV
Like I told my dad, weather the storm; we must continue to do what we always have despite the seriousness of our circumstances. Just don’t give up. Jesus will calm the winds and the water. The storm will pass, these things we endure, no matter how long it seems to us is only temporary. We have to remain strong. We have to praise His name and goodness. We have to pray boldly. We have to speak faith filled words and victory over our lives. We have to recall His power and wonders. We have to remember God’s word. We have to stay planted in faith.
I shared the following biblical story with my dad and I want to share it with you too as a reminder of how our faith works when we believe and trust Jesus.
In the book of Mark (5:22-34) Jesus made his way through the crowds of people as they marveled at his presence, as they’ve heard and knew of the miracles he performed.
Among the spectators and crowd was an ill woman suffering from a severe blood disease. For twelve years the woman suffered with her illness, she spent all her money visiting various doctors and her condition only continued to worsen. The woman thought, “If I touch but his clothes, I shall be healed.” Discreetly she reached out from behind Jesus and managed to touch a small piece of his clothing. Immediately the woman felt her body was healed and restored to wellness.
Jesus himself knew instantly he’d been touched as he felt the power that left his body. He asked his disciples who touched him. But the disciples saw the crowds of people pressing towards Jesus. They didn’t know. The woman knew what happed to her; hence she threw herself down at Jesus’ feet and told him the truth about her illness and that she touched him. Jesus kindly comforted the woman stating, “Daughter your faith has made you whole; go in peace and be healed from your sickness.”
I love that story. Truly nourishes my faith and I hope it does the same for you. This biblical tale is a reminder to my dad and my readers that faith can do things you never imagined. The woman claimed what was going to happen when she touched Jesus’ clothing—she would be healed. And she was. Faith heals. Faith restores. Faith makes things happen. Faith is what it’s all about! Put your trust and faith in God because there is nothing He can’t handle.
We can do all things through the Lord who strengthens us.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17