I received the email message below from my Uncle Hans last night. It is one of the most beautiful messages I have ever received. It came at exactly the right time, as I had a bad reaction to something from the doctor appointment or the chemo I had yesterday and was in a lot of pain.
Uncle Hans mentions bad news I received last week. I want to be clear, I didn’t receive any bad news last week. All of the news I received during my stem cell consultation was just news to me, not to my doctors. My prognosis is still good.
In fact, when I got to chemo yesterday, I was congratulated on having the stem cell consult so soon, because my chemo has worked so well and so quickly. While the process seems a bit overwhelming, it is important to note that the University of Minnesota’s stem cell transplant program has a mortality rating of 2%. I had worse odds of dying while having my gall bladder removed and much better odds of going feet up from the pancreatitis I had last fall.
All will yet be well and they still plan on me being cancer free for years and becoming an old lady. There’s just going to be quite a few opportunities for personal growth between now and then.
No one deserves to have a life-threatening disease. I can speak to this clearly and it is always much harder on the patient than it is the onlookers. I don’t think God tests the afflicted so much as he tests those around the afflicted. People get sick because we live in an imperfect world, not because we are did not eat or live right, didn’t think enough positive thoughts or are being punished, tested or judged harshly by God.
We are the ones God refers to as the “least of his”. In the Bible God praises and warns that the way you treat the afflicted is the same as treating God himself that way, “Do this onto the least of mine, and you have done so onto me.”
I have been compared a lot to Job from the Bible throughout my life. In fact, in one church it was my nickname. When people were calling me that, they were mocking me and making fun of my “bad luck.” I got that. It always hurts and made me feel sad for them, because they were living in a world of denial where bad things just happen to the other person. They don’t. We are all going to take our turns. Nobody is going to get out of this world alive.
When was very young I asked God to put my feet on the path he chose for me. I have always trusted that no matter what comes in life he is with me and these bad things that happen to me give me an opportunity to help others. I know that he has walked with me through many serious illnesses. It was those times that made me the person I am today, strong, empathetic, and caring.
I will continue to search for the good in life’s valleys.
Uncle Han’s explanation of God’s relationship with Job is beautiful. It would be an honor to be a “Job” for God.
A Message of Support from Uncle Hans
We heard last week about the bad news you received. That’s not easy! We were already praying for you and will certainly continue to do so.
I’d like to share some thoughts with you that were a blessing to me in the past.
It’s in the book of Job. Not all the speeches but the basics of what happened to Job.
Here he is, as perfect before God as a human can get and out of the blue he is hit with all these awful calamities. You can’t help but feel sorry for him! How did that happen?!
It explains , as you know, that God has a conversation with Satan and Job becomes the center of that conversation. (God is able to use him)
Point 1: Just think what an honor it is for Job to be named by God as an example for all mankind! (If only he knew).
Point 2: God chose well because Job stands up under very close scrutiny.
Point 3: Job clings to what he knows, doesn’t succumb to his feelings or his dreadful situation.
Point 4: Job is innocent, he did not bring this on himself.
Point 5: Job trusts God (although he has some shaky moments, which is allowed)
Point 6: God reaches out and heals him and restores him.
Point 7: Job’s ‘reward’ is not in his restoration here on earth it is in his standing with his God
Point 8: What lessons we can learn, as individuals, from this giant among believers AND from God’s faithfulness
Point 8: Job’s legacy is still vital today, even though it comes from the oldest book of the bible
Point 9: God is vindicated in His dispute with Satan.
There are probably more points to make but I am not a theologian. The main thing, I think, is the flood of encouragement that Job’s example provides.
We wish you well! God always knows what He is doing!