There is no pit so deep
that He is not still deeper.
Watching this struggle from the sidelines is almost
physically painful. Here is Joe Feryn (see previous post on Dear Cancer) living his life and he suddenly feels a bit tired and run down. Joe's life is amazingly active so there could be all kinds of logical reasons why he might be tired.
Joe is a school teacher and a counselor and heaven knows by the end of the school year we are all exhausted. He is a husband and father to two young boys. It might make sense that he's tired given that parenting can tire you out physically and emotionally. Joe is a cross country coach and runs with his team so that might tire him out. He works with the YMCA Camp Reed and especially Camp Good Times, a camp session for kids with cancer. That is tiring too.
Yet because Joe knows his body, this amazing and loving man uses good sense and just to be on the safe side goes to the doctor.
When the test results come back, Joe Feryn's world turned upside down. He has cancer, specifically leukemia.
Suddenly he is in Deaconess Hospital having massive chemo
and there is a Caring Bridges website for him on the internet.
People are rallying for Joe and his church has set up schedules for meal delivery and practical help of all kinds. People are praying that this amazing young man, who helps others at the drop of a hat, will be cured and returned home to his wonderful wife Angie and their two precious boys.
Joe, to keep up his morale and strength, has been walking laps on his hospital ward. What else would a cross country coach who loves God do?
Every time I go on that Caring Bridge website and get Angie's heart-felt updates, I am at once hopeful and anxious. The news this week wasn't good. The first huge intensive round of chemo only did a little damage to those awful leukemia cells. So now more intensive treatment is necessary. The next few weeks are critical.
Please, please pray for Joe that God would heal him.
In the midst of all of this heartache, I am praying nonstop as are so many other people. And I am asking God questions, as I always do. I know the Lord God Almighty can handle any questions I have. After all, even Jesus asked if this cup could be taken from him and could he be spared?
If Jesus can ask God the Father questions, then I am sure God doesn't mind my questions at all.
Yet to be honest, as much as I love and trust God and have given my heart to Him, I feel so, so sad when awful things happen to His wonderful children.
Why Joe? Why not someone who is mean and evil? My prayers are mixed with confusion and hurt and even anger. Why when we pray and pray does something turn out in a way that no one wants?
Are those prayers not heard? Is God not listening?
I know in my deepest heart-of-hearts that the God I know and love and serve hears every prayer. He hears Joe's prayers and Angie's prayers and their children's prayers. I know that my God hears your prayers and my prayers.
Yet I may never know, this side of Heaven, why some prayers seem to be answered and others are not.
What I cling to in the moments of hurt and doubt and calling out to God...is that God is there with me and with Joe no matter what is going on. He is there when the hard becomes really hard.
As CS Lewis said with such eloquence...
"There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still."
And believe me there are some really deep pits. I have been in several myself and so have my dear loved ones.
What can I do when the pit is so deep and my faith is tested to the core?
I can pray and pray. God tells me to do that. He also tells me to trust in Him. No matter what. He is in charge and in control.
He is not up on the edge of the pit calling down to me,
"Well, good luck Linda. You are in there all by yourself."
God Almighty is right down in the deepest pit with me.
No matter how bad it gets and how scared I am, I am not alone.
So I will follow God's lead and pray and pray for Joe Feryn.
I will pray no matter what the test results show. I will anticipate and hope, knowing that God can do all things.
I will believe that out of this pain and hurt, God will use it all for good.
Please keep Joe Feryn in your prayers. Please ask others to pray for him.
"If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old." ...