6.1 My Story
“I need your decision on starting radiation treatment. What have decided?” asked the surgical oncologist.
“Not today. I just can’t make a decision today,” said my wife.
It was apparent she was overwhelmed with everything.
“Any delay could be life-threatening at the worst and life-shortening at the best. You need to decide on when you want to start treatments,” pressed the oncologist.
My wife rolled her tired eyes. She was less than a month from the initial Melanoma cancer surgery and the removal of both the cancerous area and thirty-four lymph nodes. She had a swollen left arm, wrist, and hand. Lymphedema therapy had just started that week.
“Can you go over the treatment options for us one more time? We’ll then go home and have some time to meditate and pray on what she’ll do next. We understand the urgency for beginning treatment,” I said.
This time it was the young surgical oncologist who rolled her eyes. She nodded and dutifully repeated the options. She concluded with a “Let me know soon what you are or are not going to do. While selecting no treatment is an option, not having the radiation greatly increases the chances of recurrence. If it recurs,” she added with a strong emphasis, “it will be terminal. There will be no treatment or cure. You will die.”
“Thank you. We’ll let you know in a few days,” I said. On the inside, I was mad at how she had restated the obvious — “If it recurs, it will be terminal. There will be no treatment or cure. You will die.”
On the hour drive home my wife slept. She was tired and weary. Over the next few days, we prayed, read Scripture, and then she said, “Call the doctor and find out who I need to contact to schedule the radiation.”
I received the contact information. My wife called and set up an appointment. I was amazed at God’s timing. The radiation doctor had a cancelation and they were able to get her in that very afternoon. If we had rushed and said yes to treatment four days earlier, she wouldn’t have been seen for nearly two weeks. Praying and seeking God’s guidance allowed treatment to begin almost immediately.
I firmly believe seeking God in her decisions is one reason why she lived over two-years longer than the initial projections.
It’s another example of my wife’s Godly wisdom and God’s faithfulness.
6.2 Hearing God’s Voice
Part of learning to care for a person with a chronic or terminal illness is listening until we hear God’s voice.
When we face a constant disease too often, we rush in and try to accomplish everything in our own power. We manage this. We plan that. We listen to this aunt or to a trusted friend. We may hear conflicting recommendations from our healing team, that is the doctors, ministers, social workers, counselors, and other caregivers.
While wise counsel is right, we need to seek God and listen to his voice. We do this through prayer, Bible reading, and listening to sermons. We need to encourage our loved one to do the same.
Sometimes we are in such a rush to get to a solution or get things under control that we miss hearing from The Great Physician. We need to remember the words of Psalm 46:10 (KJV), “Be still, and know that I am God:”
Sometimes we just need to sit and be still before we can hear God.
6.3 Bible Verse
Psalm 143:8 (KJV) “Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.”
6.4 What the Verse Means
As we face trials and hardships, we can find ourselves overwhelmed. When we become inundated by fear, grief, depression, and self-pity, it becomes hard to hear God.
Today’s verse reminds us to spend time with God, to begin our day with God. As Christians, we can trust God. We can ask him to both guide us and to lift us up. We need to stop, that is too slow down and take time for God. We need to at his Word, that is to read the Bible. We need to listen, that his to hear sermons, hymns, and listen to his still small voice answering our prayers.
6.5 Pray Using Scripture
- Heavenly Father draw me to you in the morning where I can hear your righteousness.
- Lord Jesus, I place my trust in you. Help me to always put all my faith in you.
- I ask your Holy Spirit to speak to my spirit and to guide me in the way I should walk.
- I pray you would lift my soul unto you.
- I pray for myself, my spouse, our children, and grandchildren to be drawn to you, to experience you and choose to attend worship services where we can hear your word preached.
6.6 Responding to God’s Hope
Are you including God in your decision-making process? James 1:5 (KJV) reminds us, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
Are you listening for Gods still small voice?
Are you slowing down and waiting on God?
Photo Source: Pixabay
This blog post is from the forthcoming book, “Caregiving: Biblical Insights from a Caregiver’s Journey” by Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.
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