I haven’t written a blog post in a very long time, but today something happened to inspire me. In fact, you could say I felt a “calling” to finally do so. Church service this morning was quite moving. Our regular pastor is away on a mission trip in Africa, so the youth pastor, Patrick Shaw, gave the sermon. What he did was give a poignant, heartfelt, honest, and very inspirational testimony. You see, on March 29th, Patrick Shaw, who is only 33, was diagnosed with Stage 3 Colon/Rectal Cancer.
He described the anger he felt when first diagnosed. The shock it was to him that knowing he had cancer at such a young age. The disbelief that this diagnosis he was given could not be real.
Then after thinking through what his life would be like with chemo and radiation, he stated that he realized he wasn’t afraid to die. He commented on how, and made it quite clear, that he hated having cancer, he didn’t have to like it, but he had accepted it as God’s plan for him. He quoted Psalm 139:13-16.
“For you created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.” (NIV)
What was so raw about Patrick’s testimony today, is that he didn’t ask “why me?” He asked “why NOT me?” His faith in salvation is so strong, that he thanked God for choosing him over someone whose salvation was in question. He thanked God for choosing him because he knows where his true home is…and that is with the almighty Father in heaven. His faith has allowed him to not fear death.
It touched me deeply. How many times do we all ask God the question Patrick refused to ask, “why me?” It puts a different perspective on any situation when you add the word “NOT” to the question. The bible says we are to praise God in all things, both good and bad. To be honest, I could never understand why we should praise Him in bad times, but I did. With Patrick’s testimony today, his words gave me encouragement and helped me to understand better why we should praise God in all situations, without questioning His plans for us. Because without trials and tribulations, how can we see the wonder that is God?
As Patrick stated, he does not have to like it…we do not have to like it. But we must accept whatever happens in our lives as God’s plan. His son Jesus suffered, horribly. Who are we to say then that we should not suffer?
God is waiting for us. He is watching. And listening. Do we accept his predetermined plans? Or do we…do I…refuse to accept it? Patrick’s strong faith has given him peace to accept whatever may be his outcome. He could be one of God’s miracles; his tumor disappears, and he lives to be 100. Or his tumor may not disappear. Regardless, Patrick is at peace with God’s plan. And isn’t that what true faith is…that we accept whatever God has in store for each and every one of us. For if we refuse to accept His plan, then we are refusing God’s promise of salvation.
Prayers and blessings to all,
Christine Maria Jahn