March 16, 2017
Well it’s been a two weeks since I was able to sit with my computer and lay out those things that have been impacting us since that time and what they mean for us and for our future. Some significant and dramatic changes have occurred since then and some things have remained the same, but only more so.
First, what has changed in these past few days? I no longer have a spleen; I no longer have the lower 1/3 of my pancreas; and, most significantly, I no longer have the golf ball size tumor that has been growing on my pancreas for some time. As we approached surgery, the medical experts believed that this tumor was in fact malignant but hopefully could be removed successfully. What they found was dramatically different than what was expected. There, sitting on the tail of my pancreas, was a type of cystic tumor that was totally benign. I asked the surgeon, a man approaching his 80’s who has probably done more pancreatic surgeries than most surgeons in the world, if this type of tumor was even in the running as to a possibility. He indicated that it was not and how pleasantly “surprised” he was to find it as opposed to what had been expected. So from a physical perspective, and my prognosis, I am absolutely fine with no restrictions as to living my life going forward once the healing process is complete. Diane and I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity that the Lord has given us to continue to follow the plan He has set before us.
Second, however, and more dramatic, is what has not changed, but rather has been so brazened into my soul as to have created a new and greater resolve in the truth of who God is.
As I lay in my hospital bed watching patient after patient slowly shuffle though the halls following their surgeries, knowing that most did not have the surprise result that I had had but rather the result that was expected; one that provided very little future and hope for them, I pondered the question of the Faithfulness of God, and continued to ask myself the question of what I really believed about who He is.
A dear sister in Christ, whose son has experienced the ravaging of cancer that appears to have no good end, visited me in the hospital and was rejoicing with us in our great news. I was about to proclaim to her how Faithful God is and then I found my tongue cemented to the roof of my mouth as I realized that I was about to proclaim something that would be a fallacy because I was ascribing the Faithfulness of God to a desired result rather than to His character. I was guilty of ascribing a nature of God to His activity rather than to who He is. Was God Faithful to me because I was free of cancer and could live but unfaithful to her and her son because he may not? And so in those moments of a short visitation in my hospital room, something happened to burrow deep into my soul a truth that I have known, and taught, and preached and yet maybe never really understood. That no matter what, God Is Faithful, not because of what He does or does not do, but because that is who He is.
We so deeply appreciate how you have lifted us before the Lord in prayer during these tumultuous times and know that your prayers have indeed accomplished much in this process. Please pray for Ellen and her son Chris as they navigate through this difficult time and continue to pray that we would have an ever increasing resolve to be about all He has called us to do and to be so that, in so doing, we may bring honor and glory to Him.
With great joy and thankfulness in the Lord for who He is,
Jack & Diane