I am not worthy.
I work in the darkness. I am a radiologist and in order to view the diagnostic images on my monitors, I must keep the room dark. I am surrounded continually by shadows. It is my world.
For the past few months, those shadows have slowly, inexorably moved into my world outside of work. They have slowly and quietly slipped along the floor and the walls and the ceiling with cold tendrils of blackness. The shadows have embraced me.
When I am strong; when I am attentive to the moving of God in my life, my mind, and my soul; when I pay attention to that still, small Voice; when I am seated at the foot of the cross the Light presses back the shadows. But, when I am weak; when I am troubled; when my attention is captured by the immediate and the urgent instead of the important I am distracted. I fail to look over my shoulder at the creeping darkness. I take my eyes off the Source of Life for my every breath.
For the past few months, health issues have overtaken me. I can share with the world now that in November I was told I probably had prostate cancer. My PSA had climbed higher than it should. In the aftermath of that revelation, I began to work on getting a biopsy. The process was long and arduous and unnecessarily tedious. Weeks passed as I tried to get an MRI. Weeks passed further as I tried to get in to see an expert in Dallas. Then, after seeing this expert, I fell through the cracks on scheduling and more weeks passed before I could get my biopsy. A week ago yesterday, I had my biopsy in Dallas. I was supposed to hear back on Wednesday but those shadows had closed off all communication; all hope; all light in my world.
Thursday night I lay in bed exhausted and spent from 11 straight days of work. I was in limbo. I had not heard the results. I was worn down. I was hopeless. I wanted to die; to get it all over with; to escape the pain and the uncertainty and the darkness all around me. And then, my wife brought the Light into the bedroom and reminded me once again that God is the one in control, not me. The Light is in control, not the darkness.
I have had such moments in my life when I am confronted with the very real choice of trusting luck or trusting God. These moments, like the shadows, sneak up on me. Before I know it, I am trusting in blind luck and not trusting in the providence of my Creator. It is a moment of failure; very human failure; very broken failure. These moments come too often even now after living with Christ as my Savior for 52 years. How easy it is to forget! How easy it is to fall into despair! How easy it is to turn away from the light into the darkness and wander around arms outstretched desperate for an answer I want, NOT the answer that will come.
I gave in. I gave out. I gave it to God. No matter what — I gave it God. Cancer? If so, He would see me through. The shadow of Death — He would be there with me. No matter what the fear; no matter what the failure; no matter how much I had let Him down — he would be there for me. Always. Forever. Eternally.
Friday at 2 PM after sending several emails and texts I got my answer. The biopsy was BENIGN! The light blossomed and the shadows retreated. I reached for the phone to call my wife and I stopped. She was not the first person I should tell. No, the first Person should be my Lord. I raised my hands to heaven and thanked God for this good news. But, more importantly, I thanked God that He was there with me in the shadows no matter what the outcome would have been.
Today’s world is shrouded in growing, smothering, all encompassing darkness. Hatred rules. Selfishness is the norm. Our god stares back at us each morning from the bathroom mirror. Trust your heart. Find your strength within. Love yourself. Well, I have found these admonitions sadly lacking. I will always let myself down. I’ve seen God’s job and I know I am not good at it. And, there is little about me to love — I know my thoughts and I know my failures. Jesus did not die on the cross so I could learn to be a better person on my own. He died on the cross to show my I was loved by God and God has a plan and a hope and future for my life. I can find myself only in the light of God for I am made in the image of God. I am a mirror to reflect His love to the world. A mirror cannot create its own light! If I want to defeat the darkness; if I want to dispel the shadows; if YOU want to live in a world of light and life and love — then only Jesus Christ can illuminate the way. After all he said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
My son, Sean, just shared this video with me. I have watched it three times and rejoiced that in the darkness, there is only One who is worthy to solve the pain of this world.