(The following is a post from my wonderful wife, Susan.)
True to my nature, I have been researching nutrition and supplements to help build Newt's immunity before, during and after chemo. I am learning a lot even in the midst of conflicting theories and advice. Mostly, for now, I am focusing on preparing a variety of healthy foods and supplementing with basic vitamins, and trusting God to lead us each step as we take one day/week at a time.
I have been reflecting on Psalm 33 this week. I wrote it out and posted it on my refrigerator so I will remember it on our journey:
The plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.
No king is saved by the size of His army; no warrior escapes by His great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance, despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love,
to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.
We wait in hope for the LORD;
He is our help and our shield.
In Him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in His Holy Name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.
Psalms 33: 11, 16-22
Our hearts are at peace knowing that despite the uncertainty of the past weeks and the uncertainty of the next, God's purposes for us and this trial He has given us have been established from before the foundation of the world. What an amazing thought that is! It is so humbling, sobering and yet, what a gift. God has chosen to do and teach us something through this that in His unfailing love for us, He knows we could not learn some other way and we need in order to make us trust Him more.
I have been tempted more than once to take comfort in the statistics and stories of those "cured" of lymphoma, both through chemotherapy and nutritional supplements. I look at Newt and he is so strong, and I think that surely he can beat this. How I am prone to rely upon what I can see and do. But God has shown me in these verses from the Psalms that "a horse," whether it be a chemo horse or a nutritional horse, is a vain hope for deliverance. Despite great strength of both, they cannot save Newt, or me. Even Newt's strength, "goodness," or integrity cannot save him. But GOD, whose eyes are on us who fear Him, who love Him, whose hope is in HIM, is the one who delivers from death, even as He kills the cancer in Newt's body and restores him to health.
This verse reminds us and focuses our sight so that we wait in hope for the LORD. HE is our help and our shield (though we walk through the fire we will not be burned...see Isaiah 43:1-7).
While there have been many worrisome moments and the night is darkest on those occasions when we have not been able to sleep because of Newt's pain, we turn in trust to God to deliver and help us. As Isaiah says later in verse 11 of that same chapter, Is. 43, "I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me, there is no Savior." How our hearts rejoice in that truth because we know that He has redeemed us with His own blood, through the death of His own Son, and that nothing can be against us if God is for us.
Thank you so much for your continued prayers. Newt's first chemo treatment is on Thursday so please pray for him as we begin this phase of the battle. We are so honored that you are praying for or thinking of us; know that we are praying for you as you pray for or think of us. Please keep joining us as together we hope in God's abundant and unfailing love for each of us.
With much love in Christ,