Thank you Father for making the invisible visible, for answering prayer for your name’s sake. Thank you all for continuing to lift us up in prayer as we try to discern how best to move forward.
Theresa has had a good week. She had a bit more nausea and fatigue for the first three days after treatment a week ago. She now is going out shopping on her own and doing a few more things with the kids, but by the evening she is worn out. We have an appt with the surgeon on Thursday to discuss what direction we should go. We are in a difficult bind trying to decide what to do, though our oncologist believes to get the best longterm outcome she will need surgery. The difficulty is that at Stage 4, there really isn’t a roll for surgery, as the cancer has spread. Though an argument can be made for debulking the cancer in the breast and axilla if it is still there. And this is the rub, the PET scan was normal, though there was a slight increased activity above baseline in the breast and even less in the axilla – not enough to call it a concern. But as I have discussed before, PET scans and MRI’s are just not sensitive enough to know for sure. A negative scan just means nothing was seen, though it could still be there at a level too small to be found. A positive scan is more helpful as it shows an abnormality, such as her studies before treatment began. Now that Theresa’s liver is clean, by MRI and PET scan, the question is do you treat her now as Stage 3 where surgery is essential for long term outcomes? I am thankful that God has given us this dilemma, since the deck was stacked against her even getting to this point. Once again we ask you to come along side us and pray for God’s guidance. We have discussed the options and know which way we are leaning.
From Theresa’s point of view of being a mother, she wants to live as long as possible. What mother wouldn’t want to comfort and care for her children in all stages of their lives, experiencing their joys and comforting them in the sad times? She will do what ever is necessary to improve the chance of this. Six months ago, this would never have been a discussion or thought, but as Hezekiah (2 Kings 20) was granted more time, so too God in His graciousness has provided such for Theresa. You were with us in earnestly petitioning our Father to intervene and He did for His name sake. How long? We don’t know. What is our role? We don’t know.
Sam Storms, “More Precious Than GOLD”, got my mind thinking this week. The book has 50 daily meditations on the Psalms. Chapter 14 and 15 are on Psalms 23, but his focus is unique. Psalms 23:5 “He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name sake”. For his name sake is used over 200 times in the Bible. (See Isaiah 48:9-11, Ezekiel 36:21-23, 1 John 2:12). God acts to defend His reputation. Quoting John Edwards, he writes “These things seem to show that the salvation of Christ is for God’s name’s sake. Leading and guiding in the way of safety and happiness, restoring the soul, the forgiveness of sin, and that help, deliverance and salvation that is consequent thereon, is for God’s name”. The great “I AM” has provided for us, given us bountiful promises which we can claim. He will act, He will defend His name, He is to be counted on. Our lack of faith is in part our lack of confidence that God is who he says he is, and that his promises can be counted on. Our limited understanding of God, limits us not Him. “Your greatest good is in the enjoyment of God. God’s greatest glory is in being enjoyed”.
In Chapter 15 he discusses Psalms 23:6 “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever”. Sam Storms writes “He is my shepherd. He cares for me, watches over me, provides for and protects me, all the while doing it for his name’s sake, which is why it’s truly an act of love….The Lord is my shepherd, therefore I lack nothing… everything we have above and beyond God is a luxury”. He writes of a story “of an elderly Puritan who sat down to dinner to find one potato and a glass of water. He looked upon his meal and with profound gratitude declared “All this, and Jesus Christ too!” God will defend his reputation. He has promised that he will “walk with us through the valley. He pledges his personal presence with us. He prepares a table for us, our cup overflows. We overflow with God’s blessings as an expression of his lavish and unstinting affection for us…The spillover of His love and goodness in our lives is to benefit and encourage those around us”.
God is good and can be counted on. God’s idea was to send Christ, provide the bridge to him, where we can be equipped with forgiveness, clothed with Christ, his spirit in us, given the fruit of his spirit, his armor, and sent out with God surrounding us -God with us. We are a new creation, as baptism illustrates, empowered from above, to be strong and courageous for him. This can be counted on. His word, which he will defend, is Truth and Life. No room for doubt. Thank you Father.