The Phone Call You Never Want To Have

by Apr 17, 2016

GRACElifeapps1920x1080Our Life Apps sermon series was all set but my heart was uncommonly unsettled last Wednesday morning. The sermon plan called for me to teach on what to do with stress and worry that Sunday and then teach on encouragement the following Sunday. Unsettled, I came out to the front office and told several staff members, “I am not teaching on stress and worry this week. I’m switching and teaching on encouragement instead!” Little did I realize that God was orchestrating things behind the scenes. He had important lessons for me to learn about stress and worry first. Experience has taught me that divine lessons are sometimes only learned out of desperation.Divine Lessons.001

Later that day at 5:46 PM, the phone call came. It’s the phone call you never want to have. The kind of phone call that rocks your world when your doctor tells you, “Candy has cancer!”

A few minutes before the phone call came, God gave me the Central Point for the following weeks’ sermon on stress and worry. I knew it was from God because my mind was not remotely focused on the subject and it was a profound statement – an occurrence that is rare coming from me. It was so profound that I wrote it down on my notes app on my iPhone while still parked in my driveway. Here is what God gave, “Our stress level is determined by our object of trust.” Two minutes later, the phone call came. God was going to have me apply this central point before ever preaching it!

Stress level.001My wife has melanoma. A birthmark mole by my wife’s left ear has now become cancerous. We don’t know when it started but my doctor said the pathology report shows an extremely aggressive cancer. Our doctor, is not only my good friend but also the chairman of my elder board at church. He quickly lined up a PET Scan and a surgery date in Seattle. He was concerned that there were undetected tumors throughout her body.

On Monday April 11th, her birthday, Candy underwent a full-body scan. Thankfully, the scan was clear! This was a HUGE answer to prayer! Now she awaits surgery next Tuesday, April 19th, at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle where they will remove more tissue from the mole location as well as removing lymph nodes to see if they are cancerous. This is our next HUGE prayer request – that the cancer hasn’t spread to the lymph nodes!

Candy and I have been married 30 wonderful years. She is the love of my life and the joy of Barry and Candymy heart. She is also an incredible mother and model to our three girls. I cannot imagine my life without her! Needless to say, we have shared more tears in the last week than all of our married life together. We have prayed with tears, read scripture with tears, listened to worship songs with tears, and listened to sermon podcasts about trust while tears ran down our cheeks.

We are on a journey of trust in the midst of stress, worry, and fear. But the object of our trust, our Heavenly Father, has tempered the natural stress, worry, and fear because of Who He is and His sovereign plans for our lives. He has carried us and held us close in His arms this week and will continue to do so into the future.

God has also given us the prayer of King Jehoshaphat from 2 Chronicles 20:12 where he says, “For we have no power to face this…We do not know what to do but our eyes are upon you.” Later the prophet Jahaziel tells the king, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this… For the battle is not yours, but God’s… You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions, stand firm, and see the deliverance the Lord will give you.” (20:15, 17)

Cancer definitionAs I told my 17 year daughter, Kailey, late Saturday night, “This road is going to be really bumpy or really scary. We will go through this together and God is good regardless of what happens.”

Please pray for my wife, Candy! We will appreciate and cherish each and every one of them!

To WATCH my sermon where I shared this with my church, with more details, click HERE.

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