Or have a heart attack. Or a stroke. Someday one of us will be diagnosed.
I’m not trying to bring in the new year with doom and gloom. I’m not instilling fear. The point is, we need to prepare our minds before the crisis.
We used to listen occasionally to James Montgomery Boice preach, late Sunday nights as we lay in bed in the dark. His voice was deeper than the ocean and full of gravel. That voice! I honestly pictured a huge black man like James Earl Jones. The first time I saw a picture of Boice I about choked. He was as white bread as could be! Where did that voice come from?
Curt and I will never forget hearing Pastor James Montgomery Boice’s announcement that he had been diagnosed with liver cancer in 2000. We were driving in the car and I can remember reaching over to turn up the volume of the radio. I can see the very farm we passed on our right when I heard these words.
Boice’s response has been my model–the definitive practical application of the sovereignty of God. Over the years I have searched (and found) the text of his talk. I’m writing this post so I have a quick way to find it when it is needed.
The entire text is here.
If I were to reflect on what goes on theologically here, there are two things I would stress. One is the sovereignty of God. That’s not novel. We have talked about the sovereignty of God here forever. God is in charge. When things like this come into our lives, they are not accidental. It’s not as if God somehow forgot what was going on, and something bad slipped by. […]
Everything he [God] does is good. And what Romans 12, verses1 and 2, says is that we have the opportunity by the renewal of our minds—that is, how we think about these things—actually to prove what God’s will is. And then it says, “His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Is that good, pleasing, and perfect to God? Yes, of course, but the point of it is that it’s good, pleasing, and perfect to us. If God does something in your life, would you change it? If you’d change it, you’d make it worse. It wouldn’t be as good. So that’s the way we want to accept it and move forward, and who knows what God will do?
Boice died a little more than a month after he said these words. Wow. Thank you, Lord God, for your servant, James Montgomery Boice.
Please pray for my friend Sonya who mentioned in the comments that her husband was diagnosed with cancer in 2008.
Related post: After the Diagnosis