Today is my birthday. I was born on August 2, 1946 in Harrisburg, Arkansas. In May my Doctor told me that I have cancer of the prostate gland. Various options were presented to me and I chose to take radiation treatment. I am now in my eighth week of the nine week treatments. I go at 2:00 p.m., Monday thru Friday to the Austin Center for Radiation Oncology. I am pleased to announce that I am genuinely happy on my birthday! The reasons I am happy even with cancer are because of the following . . .
I do not feel sorry for myself and blame God. Some might ask, “Why me?” I ask, “Why not me?” Being a Christian does not mean that God puts us in a “protective bubble” where nothing bad can happen to us. The Apostle Paul had an affliction that he ask for healing three times, and the healing never came. God simply gave him the needed grace during the time of affliction. Adam brought sin, suffering and death to mankind when he sinned. My body has not been made new yet. Christians get sick like other people. If Christ does not return first, every Christian is going to get sick and die, even if Billy Graham and every fellow Christian on earth prays for his healing.
I know that I am not being punished by God. I am a human and simply have cancer. It is not God trying to “tell me something” or His punishing me.
I know that hundreds of Christians are praying for me. Words have come that Christians in many States are praying for me. Many Sunday School classes and churches call my name in prayer on a weekly basis. This is so comforting.
I have realized how fragile life is and how short of time we have. When I was younger and healthy I really did not think much about dying; now I do and seem to put more value on things that are really valuable. I see more clearly how that all that really matters are things eternal rather than temporal.
I now know for sure that God gives us grace only when we need it. Like most people, I always dreaded the thought of ever having cancer. When I was told I did, God simply gave me the grace to accept it. I am sure it will be the same when we die. God does not give us “dying grace” until we need it.
When the treatments are over, I pray that God will have blessed them and I am cancer free. If they do not work, I still believe my favorite verse in the Bible: Romans 8:28. The Bible teaches that “all things work together for good to them that love the Lord.” It does not say that “all things are good”, but that they will work together for good Cancer is not good, but in the life of a Christian it will work together with other events for our good.
It is my birthday and I do have cancer. If I am healed, I will praise God. If I am not healed, I will praise the Lord. I am so comfortable knowing that my life is in the hands of God and He knows best. I now only “bow” to His sovereign will, I “rejoice” in it. I can honestly say that I am having a “Happy Birthday!”