Tuesday May 12, 2009
We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4
This is a peculiarly Christian text. I doubt the average man on the street would agree with it. It is only in the recognition that there is value to be found in the adversities of life, particularly that God is at work in those circumstances, that produces a perseverance of faith, strengthened character and hope for the future. From a general point of view, it is readily noticeable that a life of ease encourages a superficial attitude to life; those that have had much difficulty to deal with frequently have a greater depth of character and personal resources.
We are currently dealing with three areas of adversity. We have already mentioned our daughter’s sister-in-law L. who has been fighting cancer for some time and is still holding on to life. But now she is only given days to live. Faith in these circumstances is the difference between despair and hope. Secondly, we have a niece in England whose son is a dwarf. After much research and soul searching, and committing him to the finest surgeon in the UK, he will commence leg lengthening with a five hour surgery on Monday. He is now five years old, and the process will take him until he is eleven. He is an outgoing, plucky lad, but prayer for him would be appreciated.
Thirdly—hardly adversity now!—I have been told I am free of cancer, that all the numerous samples of tissue taken from around the removed prostate are clear. While I am feeling like my old self again, I am still dealing with some of the after effects of the surgery. But in my case the worst is over, and it would be highly difficult to get prostate cancer again! Many thanks for those of you that prayed for me and to the medical staff and others who worked with me through the surgery. And especially to God who continues to be my rock and stay though all of life.