Moses and Aaron have just received the pep-talk (Exodus 3-4) of their life with one salient promise from God- "I will deliver Israel from out of Egypt!" With renewed energy, strength and confidence they approach Pharaoh with this message, "The God of Israel says, 'Let My people go!'" One problem. Pharaoh has no clue Who this God is, and he is not about to let this God's people go!
Exodus 5 follows. Exodus 5 ain't so hot of a chapter. In fact, it's a lousy chapter. I can feel with the Israelites. Moses begins to feel for his people as well. They are promised deliverance, and the only result has been increased labor thanks to Pharaoh. Or should we say thanks to Moses. Moses' frustration finally erupts in Exodus 5:22-23: "O LORD, why hast Thou brought harm to this people? Why didst Thou ever send me? Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Thy name, he has done harm to this people; and Thou hast not delivered Thy people at all."
Has that ever happened to you? A great "spiritual" event followed by nothing but trouble, pain and anything but deliverance.
Last night Julia and I were lovingly invited to join a Small Group Bible Study from a neighboring church so they could lay hands on us, anoint us and pray for us personally. It was a fabulous evening of intense prayer and a fantastic experience of God's love in action. This is the first time any group invited us to come and be prayed over! This is truly the church in action.
Today I felt like Exodus 5. So many are praying. So many are supporting us. So many of you are on your knees interceding for us, and today it all seemed to just get worse. I was fatigued, tired and discouraged.
Today we had another oncologist visit at Health Sciences with Dr. Fatoye (who confesses to attend Calvary Temple in Winnipeg and he confessed to believe in Jesus Christ). The KRAS test is back from Toronto (where the Maple Leafs are not doing so great, chuckle, chuckle- sorry Mom). The test showed that I am a candidate for the next treatment regime called CETUXIMAB INJECTION. This is a drug used to treat some kinds of cancers. It is a monoclonal antibody, a type of protein designed to target and interfere with the growth of cancer cells. This is the biological treatment I have been talking about. Cetuximab does not attack the blood cells, so the White Blood count will not be affected. Side effects include heightened visual acuity, restricted mental differentiation, reduced inhibitions, increased sex drive, increase drive to drive Hogs, and eye lash growth. Only one is the right answer! The treatment happens once a week for an eight week period and then assessments are made on its effects. For some it works, for some it does nothing. Just like a well done steak at a drive-by diner. We were told that this treatment is not very tough on most patients. Just like a Ronald's value meal on a family budget. This initial treatment would be administered at Health Sciences Center since there is the danger of an allergic reaction and they are best trained to deal with such an unlikely event at HSC. So folks, this is the treatment we are hoping that will do wonders for my situation. With God, nothing is impossible.
Today I was discouraged and the thoughts that brought me down were that nothing has helped so far. Please, step into my shoes for just a moment before you cast the stones from your edifice of glee. For 19 months we have been going to Cancer Care and we have NEVER, did you hear that, NEVER had a positive report. NEVER! Never have we heard that the cancer is shrinking. We have never had conclusive evidence of there ever having been a positive effect on cancer death in my body. The tumors have continually grown from the first report we ever got.
I can just hear it that some of you are saying you are too pessimistic Chuck. I am stating to you that truth, and to do otherwise is a lie.
So for 19 months we have juiced vegetables, watched what we ate, we have become social misfits because we eat like tree huggers, we have paid more for groceries by buying organic and we have bought herbs after herbs after herbs and it all seems not to have helped get rid of the cancer. 19 months and not a single solitary lone positive doctor's report!
I guess the Tamp Bay Buccaneers can feel with me. They joined the NFL in 1976. They went 0-14 that season. The next season started the same. They went to 0-12 and somehow managed to win the last two games. They had 26 game losing streak. And then they won. That's what I am hoping for- a win! This I hope will give us a win.
So we went to Safeway to shop for organic juicing veggies and I felt lower than Toronto Stock Exchange on Black Monday. I knew I had to get out of my depression. Julia and I spent time praying in the car pleading for God's mercy and help.
He did. Praise God He did.
We press on! Exodus 13 is coming soon!
Thanks for your prayers.