“Mr. Edwards you have bladder cancer,” were the words that pierced my sprit like a double edge sword Thanksgiving morning around 1:30 am in my hospital room. As I struggled to make sense of what I was hearing spoken by a young Urology intern my heart immediately was reminded of Psalm 4:1, “When I was hemmed in, you freed me.” Boy did I feel hemmed in. I had wires all over me tubes inside of me and man was I not in the mood for a Thanksgiving meal. I was hoping someone would come in a bust me out. But in reality it was exactly where I needed to be.
As he continued my diagnosis he closed by saying we have you scheduled for a follow up in late January. I though January, really? You must be kidding. Then he left. I was alone, alone with my thoughts, my fears and a million questions. I had been to the emergency room three times in three days and underwent a battery of tests. I remember thinking gosh, is this real?
However, something happened in my aloneness in that hospital room that I must share with you. I was reminded very strongly that I was not alone. I was reminded that there was someone standing guard over me. Loving me, protecting me, speaking to me and encouraging me. I realized that the hemming in process is one of God’s most loving and effective devices for teaching us that He is glorious adequate for all of our problems.
I realized I was at a crucial point in which my attitude could have gone into self pity, panic and unbelief. I knew this type of thinking was basically self-indulging. I could feel a momentary pull but I knew that self-centeredness shuts God out, and blocks His power from reminding us of His presence.
In that moment I prayed the prayer of helplessness. “Lord, I cried out I cannot go through this unless you help me, I am not adequate for this. But you are.” I’m asking you to do what only you can do.” I trust you with my life, fill me with you presence.”
I have learned that crisis brings us face to face with our inadequacy and our inadequacy in turn can lead us to the inexhaustible sufficiency of God. That is a principle written in the fabric of life.
However I was not alone. I felt a strong sense of peace and strength as if there was someone right next to me. That is the peace that Paul speaks about in Philippians 4:7: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
The word for “guard” means to stand at a post and guard against the attack of an enemy.”Listen up! This is so cool! The peace of God stands guard against the devil and his attacks on our hearts and minds. It keeps worry from the clogging our hearts, and worrisome thoughts from tearing up our minds. That night in my aloneness the Holy Spirit was guarding me with His love. Each time a negative hopeless thought would try and sneak in the peace of God said “no, Rick is mine, Leave him alone. You are not welcome here. We have him covered.”
Listen up! The peace of God is aggressive; rather than being victimized by events, it attacks them. It is a divine tranquilizer. God’s peace is the heart’s calm in the midst of life’s storm. That is the peace That Jesus the Prince of Peace fills His children with. Jesus said in John 14:27 says, Rick My peace I give unto you, don’t let your heart be troubled and don’t let it be afraid.”
That is the peace that I felt in my sprit. It was the peace of Jesus that acted as a release valve to take away my stress, worry and anxiety. It is experiential peace. It is a peace you actually feel deep inside your soul. It is the peace of the soul, a settled, positive peace that affects the circumstances of life.
The rest of this very transparent story is this.
I was released Thanksgiving morning. I was able to have a wonderful home cooked meal with my family. But I was back in the hospital less than twenty four hours later with more issues.
I was eventually released the day after Thanksgiving with a scheduled appointment for January 26th. My family doctor called the Urologist and rescheduled my appointment for this past Monday December 10th.
“Mr. Edwards your bladder and kidneys are clean as a whistle you are good to go” was what I heard the doctor say as he looked inside my bladder with a camera called a Cystocope. You are fine.”
Praise Jesus was my first response, all glory to God.” “You had a very bad Prostate infection that went rogue and caused a lot blood clots. There is no tumor, no cancer. You are fine, go home and enjoy your life.
Wow! What a change of events. I mean it’s crazy. Listen! I wanted to be transparent with you in hope that my experience will encourage someone who is going through their own crisis. I have learned that God works best in crisis. So I challenge you to let you crisis lead you to place of faith and peace.
1 Thessalonians 3:18 says, “may the Lord of peace Himself grant you peace.”
The biblical concept of peace does not focus on the absence of trouble. Biblical peace is unrelated to circumstances. It’s that confidence that everything is right between myself and God. That God is lovingly in control of my life in real time and for all eternity.
It is the presence of a calm assurance built on the knowledge that my sins are forgiven, that God is concerned with my well-being and heaven is ahead.
Listen! There are no substitutes for God’s peace. The world has nothing of lasting value to offer us. It is the Lord Himself who gives us His peace and then stands guard Himself flowing His peace through us when we need it most.
What a mighty God we serve!
Walk In Peace,