He looked different.
The creases of worry that he had worn on his face for nine months had been smoothed out by something, I just couldn’t figured out what. Then it hit me.
It came after my daddy slid out from the family pew, left side and towards the back, walked the long aisle and spoke with his pastor. He was ready to quit doing things his way and chose to give his life back to Jesus. The same life that he had given as a child but had later taken back as his own when he became an adult. From that day forward he was a changed man, using his battle of lung cancer to show his family and friends that Jesus was in control and not himself.
He looked different.
It had been three weeks since my dad’s rededication and rekindled love for Jesus. The peace was still there, but something was behind his eyes. As God orchestrated for our entire family to show up for a visit at the same time on a cold Sunday afternoon in February, we had no idea my parent’s had prayed a prayer and God was answering.
The prayer was to make a way for us to all be together so they could share their recent news from the doctor—once. It was difficult enough and they didn’t know how they would be able to repeat it.
With the entire family sitting around his chair, Daddy began to tell us his news. With tears in his eyes he told us that there wasn’t anything else the doctors could do and they only gave him two to three months to live . . . at the most.
Silence. Then tears and cries filled the room.
I knew what I had to do. My dad was different. He had chosen to follow Jesus with all he had, despite his chemo ravaged body, and I needed to give thanks.
I knelt down beside his chair, took his hand and prayed. It was the most difficult prayer I’d ever prayed before . . .
“Dear God. Thank you for the cancer.”
My dad was a very capable, strong, successful, out-going, independent person who had put himself on the throne of his life. But daddy was God’s son, and God had to get his attention and He did. Because of the cancer, my dad was a changed man and because of his love for Christ he had witnessed to hundreds of people and led many to the Lord.
He is different.
He no longer suffers from pain but is in heaven, whole and free, and will live forever with the One who loves him more than me and my family. He left us a legacy, an example, a path to what was important, and that is serving Jesus no matter what.
And because of that . . .
I thank God for his cancer.
“In every thing give thanks . . .” (I Thess. 5:18 KJV.)
picture courtesy of pixabay.com