The first time I cried about the cancer was about a week after diagnosis. I had already seen the surgeon and the oncologist. I’d gotten the news, the plan, and the prognosis. I knew what the next year would look like . . . or so I thought.
But it was one morning on my way to work when the weight of the entire ordeal broke loose from its moorings and landed on my shoulders. I remember it like it just happened last week. I was doing forty-five down Lehman Road and those pesky thoughts of death wormed their way into my mind. I wasn’t afraid of dying, though. No, I know where I’m going, that’s not the problem. There’s no fear there. I was afraid for my family. I didn’t want my wife being a widow at 31 years old; I didn’t want my three daughters, just 9, 7, and 6, to grow up fatherless. I couldn’t stand even the idea of it. And the more those thoughts bounced around in my head the more the tears pressed on the back of my eyes.
Finally, the dam let loose and the tears surged. And there I was, blurry-eyed, all sniffles and sobs, praying, “God, let this thing be as uncomfortable as it has to be but please spare my life.”
It was the first time in my life I had ever stared death in the face. Like I said, I wasn’t afraid of that beast either, I was afraid of the destruction it would leave in its wake.
I needed that cry too, needed it to cleanse my worries and push me to the point of throwing the ordeal at God’s feet. I wouldn’t cry again until chemotherapy did its dark magic on my emotions.
I learned during that trip to work that suffering serves as a reminder of our own mortality. It forces us to the realization that we’re not as in control as we’d like to think we are.
So how about you. What trial have you endured that reminded you of your own weakness and insufficiency? That pushed you toward a deeper reliance on God?
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