Reflection

After Chemo: Righteous Impatience – by Gerald Givens

January 19, 2016

Our problems look different with God’s gift of patience.

4 January 2016 was six weeks after my last chemo infusion. I had my port removed on 31 December. I thought I might be back to normal by then. Oops, we humans can be so impatient.

I watched The Empire Strikes Back recently – if you will recall Yoda and Obi-wan both counsel Luke to be patient and learn to use “The Force” before fighting Darth Vader.

Revelation 6:9-11 (ESV) reads,

“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne.  They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”  Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.”

Curious, I am not in the judging business, but surely the souls under the altar in heaven are those of righteous people, people who have been or will be judged righteous in Christ.  But they sound a bit impatient.  They are not seriously rebuked, but they are told they must wait a bit longer for things to be as they want.

Young businessman pointing to his watch with an angry expressionNot only was I not back to normal on 4 January, my ankles and calves ballooned about 4 weeks after the last infusion.  I was still very tired. I had no hair.  My nails were just starting to really ‘rot’.  Chemo does a real number on the body and for each person the effect can be different.  While it appears to have done its job, only time and the Lord can tell for sure (patience), recovering from the side effects takes patience. Now two weeks later, my edema seems to be less severe, I am markedly less tired although not ready to try the incline, I seem to have the start of whiskers and eyebrows, and my nails – well seven toe nails have fallen off and finger nails are mostly a bit less gross than they were. My birthday is in March.  I wonder how much progress may occur by then.

In Bible Study Fellowship we continue our study of Revelation.  There is general agreement that no one in the group really wants to see any friends or relations undergo what is described as the destiny of non-believers – fires, plagues, etc.  It has made us more conscious of our prayers.  Those who pray for an early return of Christ have started to pray for patience to allow God to do his work and save as many as possible.  Prayers have become, “Work quickly Lord to save all who will be saved, and give me the patience to allow your will to be done.  I would not have you end the world while any relative, friend, other person waits to hear your word and receive the blessing of salvation.”

Copyright Gerald Givens

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01 CancerGerald Givens is a retired USAF Lieutenant Colonel (1969-1991) and contract satellite engineer/program manager (1991-2011). He was born on 16 March 1945, and blessed to be baptized in April 1945, and married to his lovely wife, Karen, on 23 December 1967. He has served HCLC as Lay Minister and member of the Board of Directors. For many years he served with Karen and a third grade and kindergarten Sunday School teacher.  Recently he has led numerous Financial Peace University classes and co-chaired with Karen the Holy Cross Momentum emphasis,”SOAR” which was intended to bring Biblically based financial management training to the broader Holy Cross community.

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