“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” -Job 13:15
I almost didn’t write this. I haven’t had much enthusiasm for writing lately and sure haven’t found much inspiration. It’s been a difficult month for a variety of reasons. At the outset of my treatment for prostate cancer in January, I knew it would be challenging but I also thought I understood what those challenges would be.
Some have materialized as expected. I’ve gained back most of the weight it took me nine months to lose, due to a combination of the effects of testosterone deprivation and the lack of energy and enthusiasm which accompany it, but also because of some poor choices on my part in regard to diet and exercise. I expected difficulty sleeping due to ongoing “hot flashes”. In short, having traveled this road once before I sort of knew where the potholes were.
What I didn’t anticipate. or maybe forgot, was the effects of the timeframe. Dealing with a potentially terminal disease is not a “one and done” proposition. Treatment takes months, maybe even years. Having been otherwise fairly healthy most of my life, dealing with being tired for days on end and not being able to carry on a “normal” life is very distressing. It’s frustrating, it’s depressing, and it wears on you over the long haul. Whatever optimism you may have had at the beginning is put to the test and it becomes easy to give up on hope.
That’s why the quote from Job listed above resonates with me. It’s where I can make my stand no matter what happens. It’s my relationship with God and my trust in him through Jesus Christ that’s really on trial here. God can heal me if he so chooses. If he chooses not to do so, I’m okay with that, too. “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain“. In some cases, death is a relief. The real test is living faithfully in the face of having no expectation of relief.
I’ve never been particularly patient although, thank God, that’s gotten better over the years. But treatment hasn’t been proceeding according to my timetable, and I haven’t had my oral cancer medication (which was proving very effective) in a month due to the extremely high cost and a lack of resources to assist with it. It’s tough enough to deal with the disease without the frustration of problems with the treatment.
But that tells me I’m right where God wants me. He’s still asking me that same question: “Do you trust me”? Most, if not all, of this situation, is way out of my control. I need to relearn patience, and surrender daily to the One capable of managing the situation. I must hand over to Him my anxiety about how all of this is going to affect my cancer. I need to remember that God’s wisdom is much greater than mine could ever be and He will direct events in ways that will bring Him glory. And whatever that means for me, I will still trust him.