Story of Wonder
We learn in 1 Chronicles 16 that telling stories of God’s goodness and giving thanks was at the center of Hebrew worship. The Israelites set aside time to practice gratitude within their worship by speaking of God’s mighty deeds and remembering his blessings, wonderful works, and faithfulness.
We’ve begun asking folks in our community to share their Stories of Wonder at our public worship. These are stories of God working in our midst, speaking, leading, and providing for his people. This gives us an opportunity to recognize and rejoice in God’s powerful deeds, and it also trains us to pay attention to how God might be at work in our own lives. This one is from Josh.
In 1999, I was diagnosed with cancer. At the time, I was single and although I had some relatives by my side, no one really knew how scared I was or how I was truly feeling. Sadly, this was nothing new for me. That was simply how I led my life. I was an emotional loner. Thankfully, all went well and I received a clean bill of health in 2004.
Given my history with cancer, I make it a point annually to get a physical, complete with blood/lab work. My last physical was in September of this year. I left my doctors office unconcerned as I always do. Three days later, I received a call from my doctor. This time, my blood work was abnormal.
A test for tumor markers came back high, really high. My doctor referred me back to my oncologist for some additional tests as a precaution. I hung up with him and immediately called my wife. I tried to be strong, but broke down and told her how scared I was. You see, just one year earlier God’s grace and love tore down the walls around my heart that kept me from being vulnerable with others, even with my wife.
This time I was open and honest. I was scared. Trust me, I love life but I was void of any selfish feelings. In fact, the overwhelming feelings revolved around my wife and my son. I wanted to live for them, to care for them, to serve them.
I then shared my fears with my friends and brothers from Rhythm. I asked for their prayers that God would restore my health so that my family would not suffer. They prayed over me and kept encouraging me daily, something I will never forget.
A few days later, my wife and I were in my oncologist’s office. He ordered a CT scan and additional blood work. Within a week, I received the awesome news that I was cancer free. My blood work was still elevated, but cancer was definitely not the culprit.
Once again, God came through in the clutch. I truly believe in the healing power of prayer. There is something to be said about a community of Christians praying for one another. I assume this pleases our heavenly father. More importantly, God has transformed me beyond just this one pivotal event. I continue to learn new things each day because of God’s grace and I can’t wait for the new lessons that lie ahead.