Mineral Wells Index
By Guinn Sweet
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Joshua 1:9, Holy Bible, KJV.
I was sitting in a Tyler hospital this past week while I studied for the upcoming Sunday School lesson at the church where we are members in Fairfield. The occasion for my being there was for treatment of Colon following his abrupt vomiting in Bible study class the previous weekend. I had just been informed that his problem was caused by an adenocarcinoma’s rupture in his stomach with consequent bleeding.
For those of you who do not have an interpreter for this word, adenocarcinoma translates most horribly as cancer of the stomach, with little follow up treatment for a man of his age. Oh, yes, there was a surgical procedure in place for treatment, as well as chemo- therapy available. But for a man of almost 89 years? Even the surgeon agreed with us when we said “no” to both active procedures. The surgeon agreed with our refusal statement. He went further to state that he would have suggested the same, had we not already decided so firmly.
It was a relief to be so sure that both Colon and I had made this decision years ago, when we were far younger in age, to take this decision from the purview of our family members at some future date. I congratulated myself that it was not a decision that I had to make for Colon, because I was sure that he would make the same decision for me if the situation were reversed. In fact, we had made our desires a legal document at a time of rationality.
When we returned to the room after hearing the surgeon’s diagnosis, we (daughter Coleen and I) prayed for Colon’s continued painless condition. At this time, one week later, those prayers have been answered in that he has no pain involved, is able to be up in the house, watch Western movies on TV and eat his usual healthy diabetic diet. At this moment, he is playing Solitaire on his computer, and probably winning!
Because of the Scripture in Joshua, I am putting into practice the command to which the Lord has led me in His Word. At this point, Colon’s present condition is making it easier. Later, I probably will waver in my courage, and strength … but only when my human mind wanders from the Command.
That is the basis for my telling you all of this. I still have many friends in that area, whom we love and who love us and the Lord. I know that you will pray for us both; first for his comfort and then for my spirit. I am relying on you for that. I have not walked this bumpy road before. We lost a little 2-year-old redheaded son, but it was sudden. All the pain was afterward, but we had each other to lean on. Now, according to the doctor, we are probably going to be experiencing as much as a year of concern, pain, waiting and all those inner feelings that we won’t show him, but will bring us to our knees as we appeal to God’s mercy in Colon’s behalf.
I must tell you I have already been able to glorify the Lord, thanks to the Joshua scripture, and be a witness to my reliance upon His Word. Our “hospitalist” (the title of the day-by-day physician who cares for the in-patient) was obviously from the Middle Eastern lineage. He came to me before Colon was returned to the room and offered me some comforting words, while I was in the Joshua scripture study. I used that opportunity to tell him the story of Joshua and his choice, made by God, to be the leader in conducting the Jews, the “chosen people of God,” into the Land of Promise. He listened politely, even attentively, to the words which I feel were given to me by the Holy Spirit, then he stood, shook my hand, made no verbal response and left the room. I pray that he is thinking of our conversation, even now.
I tell you this to show how great a Heavenly Father we have. He not only gives us His Words at the precise time we need them, He also gives us the Spirit to help us interpret those Words to unbelievers and build our own strengths and courage when we need them the most!