“ I had to trust the Lord all the way through this.” -Dr. Lichi
Life was going well for Dr. Lichi when the unexpected happened. He was very active, a father, grandfather, psychologist, speaker and runner. In November 2011, Dr. Lichi collapsed, fell to the floor and could not stand up. He was taken to the emergency room where he received a diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma, a cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell. The doctor told him his life would never be the same.
“It rocked my world” said Dr. Lichi. He couldn’t walk for over three months and was in a wheelchair for over a year. He fought the cancer with chemotherapy, but the cancer kept getting worse. Many times he questioned God and asked “Why is this happening to me?”
Eventually God brought healing to Dr. Lichi using a complete stem cell transplant. Dr. Lichi said he received a divine process rather than a divine intervention. Like most of us, he wanted instant healing but God had other plans. God’s plans included opportunities for Dr. Lichi to give hope to other people, including the very people that provided care to him. “I had to learn to let the Lord work in my life” he said.
If you are struggling with a serious illness, here are some points to consider:
God will give you opportunities.
- God’s plans may be different than our plans.
- God does not promise a pain free life. He asks us to trust Him in all our circumstances.
Look up to the Lord Jesus Christ. Put your trust in Him.
- God will give you unimaginable opportunities.
- The safest place you will ever be is in the arms of Jesus. Allow Him to work in your life and in your heart. Look to Jesus as the Healer in your life.
Be open to ways you can help or comfort others in the middle of your struggles.
- God will use your darkest, most unusual, and most questioning moments.
- Stay open to God. Use this time to draw closer to Him. Take your questions, fears, sorrows and anger to Him. He is a great God who loves you.
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Words to Live By:
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me” II Corinthians 12:9 (NIV).
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding" Proverbs 3:5 (ESV).
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God" II Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV).
Cancer – the terrifying word no one wants to hear or speak about. It strikes fear in the hearts of most people, triggering images of suffering and death. A cancer diagnosis makes one feel vulnerable and fragile. Shock, fear and disbelief are also common reactions. Many people wonder, “Why is this happening to me?” Some are afraid to die, and indeed, some will. You are not alone in these feelings and reactions. Many others who have received a cancer diagnosis are afraid too, but there is always hope! Death may be the end of life as we know it on Earth, but it is also the beginning of a new life in Heaven for those who are saved through Jesus Christ.
Like many of us, Dr. Lichi examined his life and could not find a reason for his suffering. One of the things we do in painful times is catalog our life and figure out a reason why this is happening to us or to people we love. Many times there is no explanation. We can spend years asking why and never find a satisfying answer.
God will help us bring meaning from the suffering we experience. One way to find meaning in suffering is to help other people. It is powerful when you say to another person, “I get it.” “I know what you are going through because I have been there. You will make it through this.”
Helen Howarth Lemmel found a purpose and joy even though she suffered many heartaches. Her husband left her when she turned blind and she lived in a small sparse room. This did not stop her from finding joy, in her lifetime she wrote close to 500 hymns, including the hymn "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus."
"Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus"
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.
Morgan, R. (2003). Then sings my soul: 150 Christmas, Easter, and All Time Favorite Hymn Stories (Special Edition ed., pp. 234-235). Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson
Real People, Real Stories, Real God®