My first Radiation Treatment showed that God is Awesome. That probably sounds weird. Maybe even wrong? I’m getting radiation for prostate cancer. And during my first treatment, while I’m inside the Tomograph machine getting zapped by dangerous radiation, I thought about how awesome God is.
I have prostate cancer.
Cancer that surgery didn’t completely remove.
Cancer that God didn’t prevent or even guide the surgeon to remove all of it. Not to mention, that God didn’t miraculously cure me.
Cancer that was aggressive enough to quickly move me from active surveillance to treatment. Twice. After initial the diagnosis and after surgery.
And now in I’m in a large donut-shaped thing like the adjacent image.
And I’m thinking that God is awesome?
How can I say, God is awesome, after that list of events?
Yes, I really thought that. It’s tempting to write, even with that list of events, God’s awesome.
But really, it’s that list of events which led me to think it. So it’s not in spite of what happened the last three and a half years since my primary care doctor told me to go get a biopsy done. Rather, it’s exactly because of these events.
Just think about it.
People get cancer.
OK, so how does the reality that people get cancer make God awesome?
Well, remember that in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve would have lived forever if they didn’t eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We know they would have lived forever because of what God told them would happen if they ate from it.
Adam and Eve
Ge 2:15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
If you check out the inset box, Why Were Adam And Eve Kicked Out Of The Garden Of Eden?, you see the original text actually said “die, die”. Yes, the Hebrew word for death was repeated. For whatever reason, we don’t see that in our English translations. But I think we lose a lot by not staying true to the original.
It makes sense to keep both instances of “die”. The first death, for both Adam and for us, is spiritual. We are separated from God. In our case, even when we are first born. For Adam and Eve, it’s when they ate from that tree. And that’s why they knew they were naked.
So, God is awesome, because we were meant to live for eternity. And He’s even more awesome because if we accept His offer of salvation, we will receive a so-called resurrection body in which we will spend eternity in God’s Kingdom.
And that body will not die. Or even have sickness.
Is God awesome when He doesn’t miraculously cure my cancer?
In a word, yes. we see plenty of examples in the Bible where people were healed. So, why not me?
Is my faith not strong enough?
Just in case you haven’t read it yet, the series in the adjacent inset box gets into that question and answered it with a resounding no, that’s not what’s going on.
The truth is, just knowing that God is capable of healing us is enough. In fact, more than being enough, it’s critical.
God created us. And the way we’re made is so precise that “little” things, meaning tiny, not unimportant things, can have devastating consequences for our bodies.
The fact that we can do surgery shows God is awesome
Do I really mean to say that us, doctors, being able to perform surgeries shows how awesome God is? Again, in a word, yes. All knowledge comes from God. And what we’ve learned about our bodies is nothing short of amazing.
Having said that, we still have a tremendous way to go before reaching the original Star Trek model of Dr. McCoy, aka “Bones”, where he can just hold a little cylinder over us and diagnose all sorts of things. Or inject medicine without a needle. Or where there are empaths that can heal just by touching us and absorbing our sickness.
But even that is infinitely less than God being able to create and heal us just by His word or touch.
But no matter how far away we are from God today, we’re still far beyond where we were even a hundred years ago. And we did it with the brains God gave us and the knowledge He imparted to us. Whether we choose to give Him credit or not for any of this, well, that’s another matter.
How is the knowledge God gave us make Him awesome when my surgery didn’t remove all the cancer cells?
The biopsy on the prostate after it was removed showed cancer cells on both margins. That is, on both ends of what was removed. Therefore, some cancerous cells remained in me after the surgery.
Since Christians usually pray for both the ill person and their doctors, nurses, and care teams, doesn’t that mean either God let me down, that He didn’t properly guide the care team, or even that God just wasn’t capable of doing the job properly? None of that is any more true than the claim that a lack of faith on my part was to blame.
God allows things to happen for a reason. I don’t pretend to know all the reasons. Or even one of them. However, I do know that because of the ongoing situation, I continue to write about it. People continue to read it. And while I’ve received only one comment, I do pray that it does help someone. Even if it only helps that one person, that’s OK. If it doesn’t help anyone, that’s OK as well. After all, whatever you feel isn’t between you and me. It’s between you and God.
Regardless of His reason(s) for allowing this to continue, as a Christian, I do believe that He has a good reason, and that it will turn out for good.
More Than Conquerors
Ro 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
Ro 8:31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
That whole passage really fits the topic. The underlined verse is the one specific point above.
How is God awesome when my second active surveillance is so short?
Here’s another opportunity for God to heal me. Back in active surveillance. Yes, the cancer was aggressive. But still, God could have done a bit of miraculous healing. However, He chose not to.
I understand some guys go for years in active surveillance. The cancer just kind of hangs around, fluctuates a little, but doesn’t get so bad that treatment’s not needed. Not for me. The surveillance period wasn’t that long.
Does that mean God’s not so awesome? Hardly. Just the reality that the amount of cancer can be determined based on a blood test with an accuracy out to three decimal places is pretty awesome. And that’s possible because of knowledge. From God.
So, How is God awesome while I’m in that tomograph machine?
Well, I do have something to write about that. From my first treatment. But now, it’s time for me to check in for the second one. So, time out for now. We’ll see what comes up shortly.
I guess it wasn’t so “shortly”. Didn’t write anything else yesterday. Or this morning. It’s now Thursday, and I’m back for treatment #3. Regardless, no great revelations during yesterday’s session. It’s just like being in the hole of a giant donut with the sounds of horses racing around inside the donut. So, back to the original thought.
I can certainly say more about knowledge from God. There is, of course, still the huge difference between what we can do via technology and medicine as opposed to what God can do. But who ever would’ve thought that something as dangerous as X-Rays can be a cure for cancer?
There are side effects. But even there, we can see more of God.
First, as is common with lots of medical treatments, there are side effects, to be sure. However, many times there are things to alleviate the side effects. Not surprisingly, given our fallen status with God, even the stuff to control the side effects can have its own side effects. It can feel like a never-ending cycle of drugs to help with other drugs to help with still other drugs and on and on.
However, if we take the longer term view of things, we know that in the next life, none of this will happen. When there’s no sickness, there’s no treatments. And where there are no treatments, there’s also no side effects. The cycle never even begins.
This is an example of something I often wonder about. How come the good news of the Gospel isn’t seen so much as good news anymore?
I wrote about the same thought the other day over on my other site. That one was about food. How so many people can’t get either good food or sometimes any food at all here in this life. But food will be plentiful in the next.
So why isn’t that seen as good news? The poor were excited to hear about Jesus. It feels like that’s not so much the case today.
It’s similar here. This world is fallen. Broken. Not the way most of us want it to be. However, there is a better place. A better time. Why can’t we look beyond what’s happening now and look forward to what we can have? That’s what Paul wrote about in Romans.
Ro 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
Ro 8:22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Ro 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
Why do we have so much trouble with our present sufferings in light of our possible future glory?
That’s a promise from our awesome God.
Is God awesome if I have bad side effects?
You probably know my answer by now. Of course He is. Yes, God could intervene and be sure I have no bad side effects from the radiation. But even if I do have some, the promise for the next life isn’t taken away.
I used to know someone who said, if the devil can’t make us bad, he’ll make us busy. These days, that’s still a possibility. But maybe even more than busy, he’ll just distract us so we pay attention to something else. Anything else. Even everything else. Our attention spans are so short. It’s like we all have ADHD. And there’s so much information stimulation that we can’t focus on hardly anything for more than a few seconds.
But if we can stay focused on God for long enough, we will realize that all these things will go away in the next life. We’ll have true peace. And not just fake happiness, but real joy.
If the path is bumpy, well, then Jesus was right. It’s not easy. But it’s more than worth it.
And if part of my role is to write about these experiences, and to help someone, anyone, then that’s a good thing.
Is God awesome if radiation treatment doesn’t work?
Yes, God is still awesome, even if the radiation treatment doesn’t work. The reality of lie is that we’re going to die. And not that many people die a pleasant death in their sleep. My grandfather did. 99 years and never went to a doctor. He just didn’t want to be 100. And he wanted to be with his wife, my grandmother. One day he accepted Jesus. And he passed away in his sleep that very night.
But that’s not the norm. So am I going to say, at any point along the journey, that God’s asking too much and I’m going to tell Him I don’t want His salvation? Heck no!
Conclusion – My first radiation treatment showed That God is Awesome
Yes, my first radiation treatment showed that God is awesome. But then, so did every step along the journey before that treatment. And even though I don’t know what’s coming next, I know that every step in the journey that will follow, will also show that God is awesome.
Here’s a paraphrase of something David wrote in Psalm 8: I Can’t Believe God Cares About Me.
Ps 8:3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
Ps 8:4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
Ps 8:5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
That’s pretty awesome too.
Image by Piotr Sadowski from Pixabay
The post My first radiation treatment showed That God is Awesome appeared first on God versus religion.