Lessons Learned from My Sickness Part 22: Unlikely Answers
Isn’t it true that we all wanted our prayers to be answered?
And isn’t it true that the answers we expected are the answers that we already framed in our minds?
In other words, when we pray for a ganta of rice, we also expect to receive a ganta of rice – not just 2 cupfuls.
Most often, we wanted God to follow what we already formulated in our thoughts.
But God’s ways are not our ways and his thoughts, not our thoughts. I affirmed this truth in my sickness.
I discovered that God was in the business of giving me something which I haven’t asked, but something which was for my own good.
An article I’ve read articulated this truth. It says,
I asked for health that I might do greater things; I was given infirmity that I might do better things. I asked God for strength that I might achieve; I was made weak that I might learn to obey. I asked for riches that I might be happy; I was given poverty that I might be wise. I asked for power and the praise of men; I was given weakness to sense my need of God. I asked for all things that i might enjoy life; I was given life that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing I asked for, but everything I hoped for; In spite of myself, my prayers were answered – I am among all men most richly blessed!
Posted on FB: 13 March 2015 – 2:52 PM
About the Author
Rev. Ronny Luces is the Minister for Administration and Community Service of Jaro Evangelical Church (JEC), Iloilo City, Philipines. He and wife, Martha have been with JEC’s ministry since 1994.
Pastor Ronny graduated from Central Philippine University College of Theology in 1985 and was pastor of several Baptist churches.
In January 2015, after tests and two long hospital confinements, Pastor Ronny got the word he has lung cancer. He is undergoing chemotherapy.
Praying for healing and going through all the medical processes, Pastor Ronny writes his reflections “Lessons Learned from My Sickness”.
May Pastor Ronny’s series of reflections and meditations strengthen your hope and faith as you go through your own life’s battles. Please pray for Pastor Ronny’s healing.
Our 10-year old son Theodore (Tea) was very much a part of our challenging journey since July 2012. His Manang Kima was away for her internship from May to August 2012 so he was with us when his mom’s condition was detected by mammogram and he was also with us when it was confirmed by our family physician.
He was with his mom during the lab tests and was with her when the staples were removed from the surgery area. He did not ask any questions when we made major changes on how we pray, he just held our hands and joined us in asking for God’s divine healing love.
From the start, we just told him that mom’s breast is “bumpy,” she will undergo surgery to remove the bumps and she will receive medication that might cause her hair to fall. With the extent of his participation however, we were thinking that deep inside he knows that his mom’s condition is more than just a “bumpy condition.”
Last July 27, 2012 (Thursday), Tea’s school held the Terry Fox National School Run Day.
Terry Fox (July 28, 1958-June 28, 1981) was a Canadian humanitarian, athlete, and cancer research activist. In 1980, with one leg having been amputated, he embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Although the spread of his cancer eventually forced him to end his quest after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 mi), and ultimately cost him his life, his efforts resulted in a lasting, worldwide legacy (From Terry Fox – Wikipedia).
During the run, the students were given a sticker with a blank space for them to write the reason they are running. When I came home that Thursday afternoon, I saw Tea’s sticker with a note, “I run for my family.”
I immediately anticipated that there will be more questions from him about cancer because for sure, they were given some lectures about it in school. That’s one of my fears because at that time, I still don’t know how to explain it to him. Fortunately, he did not ask me anything about it.
We were busy with our usual chores the next Friday morning. I had my breakfast ahead of them because I need to prepare early to bring Tea to school and to go with Nina to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre (TBCC) for her bone scan. Nina and Tea had their breakfast together and I don’t know what they talked about.
We were already in TBCC when Nina told me that Tea asked her if we have cancer in the family. Nina asked him “why?”
Tea told her that while participating in the Terry Fox Run, he was thinking that he should run to fight cancer for his family. He didn’t understand why but he just kept thinking about it.
Nina told him straight, “yes, we have cancer in the family and I have breast cancer.” Tea simply answered, “Now I know why I had that kind of feeling.”
Nina might have handled her condition well that at Tea’s tender age, he was able to accept it well too. God did not only strengthen Nina, He also strengthened Tea and ready his heart and mind to discover the truth by himself in His own appointed time.
Tea surprised me again two weeks ago.
Before we went to sleep, he asked me if he can talk to me for a while. I said, “Yes, what it is all about?” He replied, “Is mom ok now?”
I immediately responded that his mom is okay and he should not worry about her.
He further asked, “But what about the news on cancer medicine?” (He was referring to the news on TV that chemotherapy medicine in Ontario was diluted and about 1500 patients might be affected).
I explained to him that we are in Alberta and his mom is already done with her chemotherapy. She was administered a different kind of chemotherapy medicine and the remaining medication until October will prevent the “bumps” from growing again.
Tea however had another follow-up question, “But are you sure that mom is well now?”
I don’t know what to say so I just told him, “You know, all we need to do is to eat healthy food and help your mom all the time so that she will not get sick.”
He answered, “So she got sick because of unhealthy food and too much work?”
Again, I don’t know what to say so I simply replied, “Maybe.”
Our conversation ended but deep inside I felt that I did not gave him the right answer. I went to one corner of our room where I prayed and asked God for guidance.
After a moment of silence, I went back to Tea and told him, “Tea, all we need to do is to pray all the time. We don’t need to worry about anything because God will take care of your mom, she will be well.”
Tea did not answer me, he was just smiling and I noticed that he was already praying. I felt a lump on my throat, I wept and I smiled.
We know that while family members and friends are praying for Nina’s healing, they are also praying for the family. I kept on saying we can feel it…yes, we can feel it.
Prayers did not only help Nina overcome the impact of two surgeries, chemotherapy, series of tests, and a lot of pain.
Prayers also strengthened our family, blessed our family, and brought spiritual enlightenment to our family especially to our youngest child Theodore.
Yes, God answered our prayers! We will be witnesses of His healing power and we will always bring glory, honor and praise to Him. Amen!
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