Cancer Journal (08.07.10)

Again, I’ll leave today’s reflection to someone else. One of the meds I received yesterday kept me up most of last night, even as the nurse predicted. I was up until about 4am, after which time I dozed on and off until about 6. My stomach was growling, so I ate some breakfast and watched a little SportsCenter. Then I turned in again about 6.30 and mercifully was enabled to sleep for about three hours. Needless to say, my mind is a bit mushy right now. =)

At any rate, in the wee hours of the morning while reading C. H. Spurgeon’s autobiography, I happened upon the following excerpt of a letter that the famed Prince of Preachers wrote to his father.

Since last Thursday, I have been unwell in body, but I may say that my soul has been almost in Heaven. I have been able to see my title clear, and to know and believe that, sooner than one of God’s little ones shall perish, God Himself will cease to be, Satan will conquer the King of kings, and Jesus will no longer be the Savior of the elect. Doubts and fears may soon assail me, but I will not dread to meet them if my Father has so ordained it; He knows best. Were I never to have another visit of grace, and be always doubting from now until the day of my death, yet ‘the foundation of the Lord standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are His.’

I see now the secret, how it was that you were enabled to bear up under all your late trials. This faith is far more than any of us deserve; all beyond hell is mercy, but this is a mighty one. Were it not all of sovereign, electing, almighty grace, I, for one could never hope to be saved. God says, ‘You shall,’ and not all the devils in hell, let loose upon a real Christian, can stop the workings of God’s sovereign grace, for in due time the Christian cries, ‘I will.’ Oh, how little love have I for One who has thus promised to save me by so great a salvation, and who will certainly perform His promise! (C. H. Spurgeon Autobiography [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1962], 1.115-16).

For what it’s worth, Spurgeon penned these words about two months before his sixteenth birthday. Would that grace like this might be operative in me! Praise God that it is! For we “have obtained a faith of equal standing with [gifted men like Spurgeon] by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. [Therefore let us pray that] grace and peace [might] be multiplied to us in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” (2 Pet 1.1-2).

Because of the deep, deep love of Jesus. It is all I need and trust.

Because of the encouragement received through reading Spurgeon’s life.

Because of the contemplation of my sin and the consequent repentance brought through the book of Proverbs over the last two weeks.

Because of the joy and conviction God brought through a lunchtime conversation today with a good friend.

Because God answered prayer and brought me safely through my first chemo treatment. I have had very few side effects so far, and for that I praise God for his mercy. I deserve every side effect, including death and then hell, yet our Lord delights to glorify himself by showing pity on unworthy rebels like me. I was able to work for a few hours today in spite of the short night of rest last night. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of you who have been the means of God’s sustaining power through your prayers.

That the cross would become exceedingly glorious to me. May I quote Spurgeon again?

My sole hope for Heaven lies in the full atonement made upon Calvary’s cross for the ungodly. On that I firmly rely. I have not the shadow of a hope anywhere else. Personally, I could never have overcome my own sinfulness. I tried and failed. My evil propensitities were too many for me, till, in the belief that Christ died for me, I cast my guilty soul on Him, and then I received a conquering principle by which I overcame my sinful self. The doctrine of the cross can be used to slay sin, even as the old warriors used their huge two-handed swords, and mowed down their foes at every stroke. There is nothing like faith in the sinners’ Friend; it overcomes all evil (81).

That God would continue to grant minimal side effects. And, should he choose to do otherwise, that I might respond to his kind providence with humility, submission, and joy.

That God would be glorified in a wedding ceremony that I plan to officiate on Saturday.

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5 Responses to Cancer Journal (08.07.10)

  1. fd4jc says:

    Matthew – This week is the 19th year since I too was diagnosed with cancer and subsequently by Grace treated sucessfully- it was this event that Christ used to bring me to Himself of which I am eternally grateful My verse became: Ps 119:71 It is good for me that I was afflicted that I might learn your statutes (ESV) You are one of those who the Lord has put in my life to continue to teach me those very statutes, I Praise God for your ministry – with much love in Christ- FD

  2. Jon says:

    Matt, I was encouraged in the Lord by reading your updates today. Thanks for repeatedly taking us to Christ and his cross. Also, I benefited greatly from your connecting the books you are reading and the music to which you are listening to your life’s circumstances. Love that. Continuing to pray for you and the family. JD

  3. Matt:It has been a few moons since driving around Tampa seeking God’s will! From a distance, I have followed your path and writings and have appreciated your commitment to God’s Word. Be assured that Sherry and I will add you and your family to our prayer list. We have been in similar waters. Continue to revel in God’s abundant grace.

  4. Miss Crumley says:

    Matt, Your honesty is such an encouragement to me!God has been shewing me lately that He wants me to see Him in every event of my life. Through your blog, I see an excellent example of someone who does exactly that. Thank you!

  5. Christy says:

    Well, I was one of your students, and one of your lectures in New Testament Messages (I think it was called that!) is one lecture that I have never forgotten…well, at least part of it. You taught me for the first time that when God looks at me, since I am in Christ He sees His righteousness…and that nothing I could ever do/not do could make God love me more nor less. It was so freeing to realize that I did not have to perform…it was also humbling to realize how often I did try to perform and earn His favor. The Lord used your teaching in a great way as part of His gracious plan for teaching me His Word.Praying for you and your family during your trial. God bless.

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