¡§In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts. Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith. You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.¡¨ (Isaiah 26:1-3)
Isaiah chapter 26 is a hymn describing Man¡¦s appeal to and trust in God. The first 3 verses of this song tells of the saving grace established for mankind by the Lord as being like the protection of a strong city, whose gate of blessing is opened wide for Man so that the faithful may enter. Those who venture forward are called a righteous nation. The people who rely wholeheartedly on God will of course receive absolute peace from Him, for they trust in God. This draws a picture of the ¡§cities of refuge¡¨ in the Old Testament, pointing out that the protection for those who trust in God is absolute peace. (In Hebrew, perfect peace indicates the plural. In the original text, it is peace peace.)
Last November, my wife underwent a routine physical examination. The doctor later recommended a tissue biopsy, and she was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. The doctor proposed surgery for her. It was with much apprehension that we went to see the surgeon. After explaining the pathology of the disease, she offered us two choices: either a radical mastectomy, which is a thorough treatment, or lumpectomy, followed by twenty sessions of radiotherapy. At that time, many concerned opinions and the sharing of past sufferers¡¦ experiences arrived from every corner, so that we became instantly uncertain. After careful consideration and prayer, we decided to pick the latter course. On the day of the operation when my wife and I walked into the hospital, we saw an oil painting hanging on the wall of the waiting room. It depicted a scene inside an operating room. Besides medical personnel, there was the Lord appearing like the Son of Man standing next to the surgeon, guiding his operation on the patient. This painting gave us much comfort.
Thank God, the operation was very successful! On the day of the follow-up consultation, the surgeon even told us that because the area affected by malignancy was very small, she did not feel there was a need for further radiation treatment. Later, the doctor at the Cancer Agency also expressed the same conclusion. We were naturally very glad to hear this peaceful news. But three weeks later, the doctor at the Cancer Agency told my wife that they found two more defective samples in the excised tissue, and recommended that she undergo the twenty radiotherapy sessions immediately. These all happened by the permission of God, and we still trusted Him fully in our hearts. The doctor quickly arranged the times and dates for the regimen. When my wife and I stepped into the Cancer Agency, the layout of the waiting room brought back memories of the time over a year ago when I accompanied my sister to see the oncologist. Now she is resting in the bosom of the Lord. This time I was again accompanying my loved one to the same place. The peace in my heart was being tested once more.
Thank God! The twenty sessions of radiation treatment for my wife ended three weeks ago. Everything went smoothly. Because of the protection of God and the intercession of the brothers and sisters, my wife experienced peace bestowed by the Lord. He not only cured her cancer through radiotherapy, but also healed her soul, and brought her out of the dark valley of her existence. As well, God relieved her of the tiredness generally associated with this course. That is truly the grace and peace that transcend all understanding given to us by God.
During this period, God taught my wife and I many precious spiritual lessons. We truly experienced what was described in the hymn: God hath not promised skies always blue, flower strewn pathways all our lives through. God hath not promised sun without rain, joy without sorrow, peace without pain. But God hath promised strength for the day, rest for the labor, light for the way, Grace for the trials, help from above, unfailing sympathy, undying love.
Dear brothers and sister. My wife and I really appreciate everyone¡¦s concern, kind regards, intercession, service of all kinds and transportation of my wife to radiotherapy etc. during this time. Our family hereby conveys our sincere gratitude to you. May God personally reward you for the love and kindness shown to us in the Lord.
By: Daniel To