An Unexpected Blessing
Written by Lew Turner
Hello I am Lew Turner. For those of you who do not know me. I was a member of Farrington Road Baptist, which is the church that built the building that Waypoint meets in. Upon moving into the new building, we changed our name to Journey Church at Southpoint and then later merged with Waypoint. How all this happened was a miracle by God. But that is a story for another time.
First of all, I want to praise and thank God for the love, grace, and goodness that he has shown me as He walks me through this struggle with cancer. God is so good to us! Also, thank you to all the members of Waypoint who have so loving, and caring, and for praying for me. I cannot put in words how much this has meant to me.
My journey with cancer started back last June when I was outside, and I knelt down to cut some weeds around my driveway. When I stood up a pain shot through my right side. It felt like I had been stabbed with a knife. It was an intense, sharp pain that remained constant in my side. I ended up having to go to the emergency room, where I was diagnosed with Diverticulitis. This turned out to be wrong. What I really had was colon cancer. I had colon surgery which was successful in removing the cancer in my colon but the surgeon found a tumor on my liver and I am currently undergoing Chemo treatments for my liver and to make sure there are no tumors in my lymph nodes. There has been progress and complications during my recovery from surgery, but this is not what I want to focus on today. I want you to understand how I can praise and thank God for allowing this cancer. I can honestly say that If I could go back to June and stop this cancer from happening, I would not do that. God has taken this evil meant to kill me and turned it to good in my life. I would not change a single thing that has happened. You might think how could a person say such a thing and really mean it? I will try and explain what God has done for me.
When the doctor told me that I had colon cancer for the first few minutes it was like I was drifting, not knowing what to do. Then I thought God loves me. He can fix this. So I went running to God like a little boy who has fallen and skinned his knee runs to his father because he knows that he can make it all better. God had my full attention and for the first time in my life I was completely focused on Him. I started praying to Him but I didn't know how I should pray, also I was concerned if I truly had enough faith. I felt weak and afraid.
I called my sister and asked her to pray for me over the phone. She prayed for God to increase my faith and I also asked God to strengthen me and make my faith in Him strong. It was at that moment that I felt my faith in God rise up in my chest and harden like a rock. I had no doubt that I believed God and my fear was gone. I was completely at peace with the situation. Also God told me how I was to pray by bringing to my memory how Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane right before he was arrested.
Matthew 26:37-39 (HCSB)
37 Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, "My soul is swallowed up in sorrow—to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with Me.” 39 Going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”
I was to pray telling God how I felt and that I wanted to be healed, but to finish saying not as I will but Father your will be done. So, by faith I believed God and trusted and obeyed Him. He knows what is best and will always do what is right. This was the beginning of a miracle that God was working in me.
I completely understand that I can physically die from this cancer. I can be healed in the now or my body can die. But I know that what happens is in God's hands and He loves me, and God is going to do what is best for me and everyone. So I trust Him completely, knowing that He is taking this evil and turning it to good. So I say God's will be done, not my will. I say this because if I am healed now or when I go to be with the Lord I am healed! Thank you, God!
Romans 8:28 (HCSB) 28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.
Speaking of God doing good. He has restored and improved relationships with me, my wife (Mei-Yin) and my sister. God has shown me sin in my life where I had hurt them and had me go to them and confess, asking their forgiveness. They forgave me and I felt the weight of that sin lifted, and I was set free from the guilt that I had pushed way down in my soul. I repented, turned away from the sin, and my heart is full of love for God and a desire to please Him like I have never had before. My whole relationship with God is now on a level of love that I have never had before, and I would not give this up for anything. Each day God walks with me and talks with me it is a wonderful experience!
So, what I am saying is that whatever problems you have, first don't focus on the problem but focus on God. Remember that your life is not about you, it is about what God is doing in your life. Look to Him and see what He is doing and get onboard with God. Believe God so that you may trust and obey Him. If you do this it will change your life! It certainly changed mine.
Romans 8:31 (HCSB) 31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
We gain assurance knowing that God is for us. When facing times of suffering, we can be confident that we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us. Jesus tells us that we can expect times of difficulties in this age; but we can know that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:35,37-39 (HCSB) 35 Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?37 No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, ⌊hostile⌋ powers, 39 height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!