Monday, January 28, 2008

THANK GOD FOR CANCER?

Milton, here. Kristy has asked me to post for a few days so hopefully she can get back into her writing. So, here goes...

I caught just a few moments of a touching testimony Sunday afternoon by a young teenager on Dr. Ed Young's (the senior) television program. She was sharing how God had changed her life through dealing with cancer. I didn't hear what kind of cancer she has, but as she read her story she raised the wig she was wearing exposing her slick bald head to the thousands present. Then she ended with these words, "I thank God for cancer."

God used a harsh trial to turn her heart toward Him and in the process she has touched thousands and maybe millions of lives for Christ.

I will have to admit I paused for a few moments wondering about the theology of her experience. Does God give cancer to people? Why does he allow cancer to attack some people? Can you thank God for cancer? I know all the pat answers, but believe me, when you see the dearest person in your life suffer, all the simple trite answers go out the window.

Obviously God allowed this young teenager to get cancer as He as allowed Kristy to get it. I know cancer is not God's will for anyone, but I also know that He can use all things for His glory.

Saturday afternoon at a united prayer meeting held at our church by a number of Jacksonville's churches and pastors, someone told me that God was using Kristy's experience to touch the City of Jacksonville. So many couples and individuals have written emails, snail mail letters, and cards and have called sharing how Kristy's trial has changed them and moved them toward God and strengthened their faith.

It has changed me. I am not the same husband, minister, or person I was just two months ago. Now mind you, I wasn't a bad guy at all but this has moved me closer to Him and made me even more appreciative of my wife, my family, and people in general. Our family has been changed and changed for His glory.

Can we thank God for cancer? That is a hard one for me, but I am thanking Him through it for His grace, love, and holy work in me. I see others with a keener, sharper compassion. I have a deeper sense of empathy and understanding for hurting people.

One day all cancer will end! Praise God! There will no more sickness, pain, sorrow, or death. We will be like Him and we will see Him in all of His glory. What a wonderful day that will be!

Until then, we will give thanks to God through all trials for His great grace and love.

How has Kristy's story or a trial in your life touched you and changed you? Please comment.

How Is Kristy?

After some serious nausea and headache Sunday morning, she got much better and the nausea and headaches left. Praise God for His goodness. Jesus is the mighty healer and restorer of our bodies.

13 Comments:

At 12:27 AM, Anonymous Nicole said...

I learned of Kristy's brain surgery from Richard Mabry's blog. For whatever reason it hit me hard and strong. Up to that time I'd only seen Kristy's comments on a few other blogs, and they were always positive, joyful, thankful, or encouraging to the blogger.

The Lord impacted me with her courage and burdened me with prayer for her. I remind those who visit my blog that she needs prayer and keep updates posted so others can join our chorus of prayers.

You both have demonstrated tremendous bravery and have been honest about your struggles with this life and death circumstance. Your witness is sound and strong and reminds us how trials are supposed to be faced as believers.

Because of Kristy's interminable joy and her attitude to be thankful in spite of all kinds of severities, she is an inspiration to both the healthy and the sick. I keep reminding the Lord that we need MORE people down here like Kristy to remind us how life should be experienced and lived. I can certainly understand why our Lord would want her up there with Him, but the vacuum that would be created by her absence is so enormous, surely He can be merciful to those that remain and leave her to do more for His kingdom down here.

Please . . . in the Name of Jesus. (I apologize for taking up so much space.)

 
At 1:44 AM, Blogger Beth Goddard said...

I love to see how God takes something bad that's happening in someone's life and makes something good out of it. . ashes to beauty:)

Beth

 
At 7:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're entire family has shown such strength, courage and love during this trial. It has touched many people at my workplace who are not even christians and I don't think you will truly know the extent of your witness until we are all in heaven. Kristy is one amazing woman and we love her dearly! Thanks for your transparency and honesty...it is a blessing to many!

Priscilla

 
At 9:14 AM, Blogger christine said...

Pastor Dykes,
Yes I have been deeply touched by Kristy and your entire family. The unfailing faith that all of you have shown has pushed me to to expand my faith in God. I can remember staying at the house with Jen, and Kristy was never the "unapproachable pastors wife" she was always so warm and fun to be around. I loved being in your house. You and your family have been used to minister to so many lives and I have really been touched to see the way you have all dealt with this. You reminded me even today that no matter what happenes, God has a plan and purpose and he is working behind the scenes in our behalf. We may not know where or to what he is leading us to, we just have to trust and know that he is in control.
Christine (Matthews) Jackson

 
At 9:34 AM, Blogger Robin Bayne said...

Still praying!

 
At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Milton & Kristy,
We have followed your FAITH journey and have fasted and prayed with you.I commend you for your legacy of Faith. You are CHAMPIONS. Thru it all you have indeed shown your trust in God. Isn't that what Christians are to do? Only Heaven will fully reveal the impact you had on so many people. Your truthfulness in sharing all your feeling, not sparing the pain, has blessed thousands. We will continue to walk with you and ask Our Great God for His Healing touch. "Now unto HIM who is able....."

Gary & Ida Finch Ruth 2:12

p.s. I am a car nut. Is the classic Caddy conv yours.

 
At 10:24 AM, Blogger Macromoments said...

Kristy's battle with cancer has reminded me that God is bigger than anything any of us will ever face. He is enough. Kristy has not run from it, nor has she demanded healing. She is open to whatever God chooses, and that kind of honesty and surrender can't help but touch others. Living life in the realm of "Whatever, Lord" is a very good place to be.

This has also made me glad that I memorized plenty of Bible verses when I was a child. The Lord brings them to mind exactly when we need them--food for the soul. Thank you for sharing this very personal experience so openly. May God continue to bless your family with his peace.

 
At 10:52 AM, Blogger DayleShockley said...

When I was diagnosed with cancer as a teenager, I couldn't see the big picture. But as the years passed, I was made aware of how much the experience changed me, and all for the better. I was able to relate to suffering people, and not a day went by that I didn't thank God for sparing my life. I saw each day as a precious gift.

Now, 34 years later, I can honestly say that having a cancer diagnosis at such a young age prepared me for other times of suffering that I would experience through the years. Like you, I don't thank God FOR sickness, but I praise Him THROUGH it, and that has been the secret of my joy. No sickness can sever my relationship with the Lord, and no matter how bad it gets, He will be right there with me through it all, even to death.

Kristy's experience has reaffirmed my belief that no matter what we face, we should praise God in all of it, for He is always worthy of praise.

Thank you both for sharing this personal journey with others. You have shown others how to respond in hard times.

 
At 2:08 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

Kristy's walk through cancer has drawn me closer to God. Like you said, when someone you love goes through this, you can't remain unchanged. You take on an eternal outlook on life.

All I know for sure is that Kristy's faith has blessed me. And so have your posts, Milton.

As always, I pray for you both.

 
At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Kristy and Milton,

Though I have never met you personally, I feel I know you both. As a member of ACFW, I began reading Kristy's blog after she went to the eye specialist. God has not only touched my life through your sharing, but He has also touched those in my family who are praying for Kristy and the whole family.

Kristy's faith and joy in God has been awe inspiring. To totally rest in Christ's arms should be the goal of us all. God loves you, Kristy, and is near.

There are many things in life I don't understand, and bad things happening to Godly people is one of them. Last Spring when I was sharing with my Adult Ladies Sunday school class, I said IF I were God things like that wouldn't happen. One of my precious ladies who went to glory in May said, "That's why you're not God." Ouch! God IS in control, and He knows what He is doing even when I think things should be done differently.

Please know that you are being used of God in a mysterious way. I am praying for Kristy's complete healing, but I know that God is in control. If he sees the sparrow fall, how much more important to Him are we? May God surround you with His love, mercy, and grace. Keep sharing. God is using each word that you key.

Your Sister in Christ,
Sharon Bailey

 
At 8:20 PM, Anonymous Carrie Turansky said...

Dear Milton and Kristy,
Walking with you all on this journey has made my heart more tender toward the Lord and those who are going through difficult times. It has caused me to be more appreciative of my husband and to treasure our partnership in ministry. It has drawn me closer to the Lord through times of questioning and prayer.

Your example of honestly sharing the joys and the sorrows have helped me see the benefit of opening myself up more to others even when I am going through painful times. I know that will deepen my ministry and allow me to touch more lives for Him.

Watching the courageous way you have faced these trials has inspired me and reminded me that I can face anything with God's grace and the love of my family and friends. You have reminded me to enjoy every day the Lord gives me, and to not waste my time on things that don't matter.

Thank you for all you have given me. Your sacrifices of trust and faith are storing up a wonderful reward for you in heaven, and they have deeply blessed so many people.

I continue to pray for Kristy's healing and for grace to handle the challenges you face each day.

Much love and many prayers,
Carrie

 
At 3:21 AM, Blogger FUNKYSIREN said...

Hello I came upon your story from Deena's site. Im so sorry for your fight you are in at this time as a family. No dear sir God did not give Kristy cancer, as you know he is a loving god he would not do such a thing. Time and Circumstance befall us all as we live in a world at this time which lies in the power of the wicked one satan. God will restore us to perfect health and soon, he cries with you he knows when a sparrow has fallen all the more he will know of Kristys plight. SOON he will take back the power satan has at this time..so pray yes for Kristy to have comfort and the strength to fight and pray also for Gods kingdom to come because this is the true and only answer so that none of us shall have to deal with such a wicked disease anymore. Look to his word for comfort he is the god of all comfort he is heart broken and cannot wait to relieve all mankinds suffering SOON. Hang on Kristy fight the battle with joy and knowledge and the power of gods holy spirit. You are loved and treasured by all that know you and ones like me who's heart flew out to both you and your dedicated husband but your father loves you perfectly he will sustain you learn his name and use it in your prayers Ps 83:18 my heart to you and my prayers for strength and the hope of your living forever on a paradise earth. Michelle

 
At 5:13 PM, Blogger THOMBU1 said...

This is the hardest thing in the world to do, is to give thanks to God in all things. The Bible did not say in so many words to thank Him for all things (murder, hatred, racism, etc.) but it does say to thank Him in all things. I feel it is only when we give Him praise in all things that He notices our faith. If we are willing to praise Him when all things are not going our way, then He can step in and give us strength when our faith is faltering. THE FATHER is in the business of tending to His kids. He will not give up on us, and sometimes lets us go through tough times, if we are faithful to His calling. When we are weak, then we are strong with the strength of the Lord, through His Spirit. Praying for you. tom

 

Post a Comment

<< Home