Reflections from

Mike's Heart

Mike and his Taylor 

 

Jan. 2, 2004 – The Good That Can Come From Cancer

Recently a friend from the Acoustic Guitar Forum asked me to write what ‘good’ things can come from having cancer.  His thoughts were that we could pause in the midst of the holiday feeding frenzy and be reminded, or perhaps humbled, by the true realities of life, as opposed to the commercial stresses of the season.

I am certainly not an expert on human nature, but I would suggest that I have learned much about being human in the flesh as well as a human filled with the Spirit.

My reply to my friend’s request is below.  I pray that we are reminded of what is important and simply ‘good’ and ultimately perfect.

 

Mike's Reply (published on the Forum on Dec. 22, 2003):

You are so right, there have been “good things” that have come from this battle with cancer.   Although I am not the only person going through trials, I am happy to share what you have requested.  Perhaps it will help others in similar situations or those looking for more “substance” or peace in this life.

It may not surprise you that much of what I have learned are the simple clichés that we’ve always heard at one point in our lives, yet they are so very real when you face your own mortality.  This is something that I hope others truly take to heart and not pass off as ‘stock’ conversation any longer.

Live one day at a time and don’t sweat the small stuff.  And by the way, as I’ve said before, just about everything is small stuff.  Because I don’t know how I feel from one week to the next, or sometimes one day to the next, we live our lives one day at a time and believe me, it really does weed out the trivial worries of the day.

Others – It is truly more blessed to give than to receive.  Give yourself and your love to others; your ear, your time, and your heart of sympathy/empathy, share your abundance - you can’t take it with you.  Yes indeed, it is more blessed to give than receive.  Living self-centeredly only brings temporal satisfaction.  Real blessings come from the pleasures and blessings implanted in the hearts of others.

Your relationship with the living God.  I am very mindful that many who read this would disagree and perhaps even be offended due to their different views, opinions, and perspectives.  However, I will state what I believe is the absolute truth.  A truth that has been validated confirmed and sanctified by the Lord Himself.

The first 36 years of my life were of no real faith or true belief that there even was a God.  I went my own way, satisfying myself with whatever spirituality I found self-serving, non-offensive and 'user friendly'.  I amassed possessions, success, and abundance.  Now at 44 years old, almost 9 years after I became born again by the Holy Spirit of God, I realize that everything (yes, everything) is secondary to having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  As one that used to 'blast' the 'Jesus freaks' in my past, I can relate to some of the reactions that many are most likely having to this, but please know that I speak with a love that is above us and wish not to offend.  

If you’ve seen my letters on the website that our dear friend Rebecca (Rejoice Music) has developed, you will see that I’ve lost much more than my health in the past 4 years - much more.  Yet, we are more blessed than we’ve ever been.  How so? That’s simple....Jesus Christ indwells my heart.  He is meeting with us through this cancer battle in the most remarkable and miraculous ways.  There is no hope in things, no hope in money, no hope in the world’s pleasures, no hope in dutiful religion, just a relationship with the living God, as real as any relationship you have in the flesh.  It is so simple that it goes over almost everyone’s heads.  It did mine for 36 years.  I must tell you though, I am no iron man and have my moments of blues and unhealthy 'what if' thinking.  I am still wrapped in sinful flesh.  But my Savior is quick to meet with me, wiping away the fears and tears replacing them with His perfect peace and comfort.  

 

Steve and Jon, taking after Dad

Count your blessings.  Hug and demonstrate your love to your family at every opportunity.  The simple pleasures and little things are by no means little.  I see my family differently now - I see more of them.  Why did it take cancer to change my vision towards them?  I’ve never neglected them and have always been a very present and loving father and husband, yet I do see deeper into their hearts, like x-ray vision.  Love your friends and let them know it.  Don’t go to bed angry.  Thank God for everything He has provided, and give of yourselves and your possessions to others in need.  Swallow your pride and realize that this life is just a vapor.  Invest yourself in a dose of humility and seek to know Jesus, honestly and prayerfully.   When He knows that your heart is sincere and ready to receive Him, He will enter in and you will be filled with a satisfying love that is unspeakable and overflowing.

I am very open to talking with anyone who wants me to share and expound further.  This is getting long and I could talk about the battles, blessings and goodness of God for hours...just not tonight. 

The AGF family has shown us tremendous support in many ways.  Many of you, through your personal touch, have demonstrated the love of which I speak about in this letter.  You have shown me and contributed to the life lessons that I am sharing...thank you for blessing our family.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas, holiday season and New Year.

With His unfailing love and blessings to all, Mike

 

 

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