"It is well. It is well with my soul!"
"It is well. It is well with my soul!"
I DON’T KNOW WHY GOD …
Family and friends,
I humbly say to you that I don’t know why God healed my cancer. It is extremely difficult to answer the question, “Why did God heal you, but not my ________?” To which I say, I don’t know. I have literally had this question asked of me on multiple occasions. Some people are hurting so bad that they are unintentionally carrying some bitterness, not towards me, but sometimes I am the recipient of it. When I see it or experience it, my heart craters for them. I wish I had the right words or the right explanation, but I don’t. I have even gone silent about God’s healing in my life, but God is challenging me to stop doing that. Today he introduced me to a lady at MD Anderson. She has been going to MD Anderson since 1995. She has had at least six different kinds of cancer. I asked her to share her thoughts with me. She said, it is simple, I start every day with “STP”.
- S for surrender. She doesn’t blame God. She said, “He didn’t give me cancer.”
- T for thanksgiving. She has a heart of gratitude for every day she is alive, for her husband that battles with her and her family that has changed their lives to accommodate her; but still include her.
- P for praise. That’s right, she gives God praise every day. She knows who he is, and he knows what she is going through, but he is using her for a greater good. Her only response is to praise him.
She mentioned that everybody is struggling with something - some with cancer, some with other diseases, some with loneliness, some with broken relationships, some with addictions, some with homelessness, some with the loss of a loved one - she went on to say, “but what do any of these things have to do with our relationship with God?”
Today, I returned for my quarterly checkup. In a lot of ways, I hate to tell anybody, including my family that I am going because it creates fear in them. I don’t like when they suffer. I was telling my boss that I don’t always want to tell them so I can protect them. He kindly told me or better yet, I interpreted, that withholding from my wife or my children or my family isn’t protecting them, it is being selfish. He also inferred that I need to let them walk the journey with me. Never once did I think I was being selfish, but I now understand how that I was, even though it wasn't on purpose. Withholding isn’t loving them. I immediately told them I was returning today. Those that reached out to me, seemed grateful. There were some mixed emotions, but I got to be there for them, and I got to listen to them. I didn’t withhold! I didn’t quasi-protect them. I listened. I felt what they felt. I experienced what they said and didn't say.
Today, I received another good report. Yay God! My original tumor was found, treated and eradicated in 2017. The second tumor that taunted us in 2018 was declared gone in the spring of 2019. They wanted to do a biopsy and surgery in July of 2018. I took it to God in prayer. He told me and I quote, “Do nothing until I do something”. So, I informed MD Anderson that I was going to wait on God. Needless to say, that was not the popular vote. Over the next three scans, it stopped being hot and it kept on shrinking with each scan. The doctors did not understand it. I got to tell them how I waited on God. In April 2019, MD Anderson declared me healed. They put me on a survivor study. That was at two years and that simply never happens. My naso-pharyngeal cancer was gone! For the first time in the history of visiting MD Anderson, they had me fill out multiple faith-based pages that effectively asked how much do I believe my faith contributed to my healing. Today, my scan was still clear, I contribute everything to my faith and God's ability to use the wisdom of doctors.
A funny thing happened with the nurse who was taking my vitals. She went through the normal protocol and questions. When she was done, she said, “What are you doing here? There is nothing wrong with you.”
Here’s the thing, I can’t explain why God receives some home to be witnesses for him and why he leaves some behind as witnesses to his power and glory, but every time I get to share this, God gets the glory here on earth. Just maybe by me sharing this testimony one more person comes to Christ, maybe one more person overcomes an addiction, or just maybe, one more person doesn’t blame God.
Whatever you are going through, turn to God. Pray. Ask. Believe. However, if he doesn’t answer the way you want or based on what you understand, keep on given God the glory or use the new acronym I learned today: STP
God loves us and I believe He does everything according to His mercy. He does things we can’t understand. Either way, He will use our lives if we will let Him. Our lack of understanding and our pain doesn’t change who He is and what He wants to do through us.
Much love! Message me how I can pray for you and with you.
Houston, I am signing off for now and going home to see my family and friends. God when you are done with me on this earth, I look forward to seeing you in heaven.
TOM O'KEEFE BLOG