Monday, July 18, 2011

July 18: News and Why Vanderbilt?

There was a Bible sitting in the "family room" this morning. (I put "family room" in quotes because it's only big enough for a family because we're really supposed to be limited to two visitors at a time, something which, thank God, they do not enforce on this floor. I had five visitors watching the Women's World Cup finals in my room with me yesterday.)

Anyway, despite the fact that it was a KJV (and thus qualifying as a foreign dialect not really written in my language), I felt led to pick it up and read something.

It fell open to Zechariah 6, and I started reading about chariots and horses, their four colors, and the various directions from which they had come. I recognized the relationship between them and the four horsemen of the Revelation. The writer of the Revelation was certainly familiar with Zechariah and Daniel, and a lot of the symbology is similar in an eerie and meaningful way.

But today I thought, "Am I supposed to do a study of symbolic prophecy today?" I really didn't think so, so I just kept reading.

As I read, I thought, "Why does God need these horsemen? Why are they traveling throughout the earth, and why does God need them to 'quiet his Spirit'?"

The answer is that he doesn't.

Every bit of ministry that we do is God's gift to us, not our gift to God. I assure you, everything you do, God could do better on his own. The horsemen, spiritual though they may be, are living out a purpose. That purpose is given to them by God, and he's letting them do something that himself could do.

That reminded me that even God delegates, and that I need to keep learning to delegate better. But that's not what God wanted to show me.

I got it when a sweet lady who received a stem cell transplant Friday night came in the family room. She was incredibly chipper and full of energy. I remarked how well she was doing, and--skipping a lot of other conversation--she said, "I'm blessed."

Clearly, she was giving honor to God for her healing, as am I.

So why Vanderbilt? Couldn't God heal me and Crystal (the lady I just mentioned) faster and better? Couldn't he heal us instantaneously and completely?

Yes, but he's letting men and women be his hands. Their work is God's gift to them, and they are the vessels of God's kindness to me.

It's really not much different than if a minister laid hands on me and healed me instantly except for the fact that the minister with the healing touch is more likely to wind up being an arrogant cuss. (Sorry, I felt it would be okay to be honest.)

We need more people with the gift of healing in churches that don't idolize healers and prophets.

Anyway, to me the doctors here at Vanderbilt are no less the ministers of God's healing than someone with the gift of miraculous healing. Both have opportunity to--in addition to being vessels of healing--preach the Gospel or preach themselves. In both cases, some glorify Christ and some glorify themselves.

Anyway, to me, that's why Vanderbilt.


Medicine's working. My lesions are completely flat, and my white blood cell counts (my immune system) is plummeting towards zero. 2.4 yesterday, 1.3 today.

On the other hand, my red blood cells stayed the same. They even climbed by a number too small to really be significant. Even my hemoglobin was up a bit. My body did that on its own!

Really, though, I have no idea whether that's good news or meaningless.

I feel great, though. I must be getting used to the low blood count. I'm just barely above needing a transfusion, but I walked a quick mile this morning. It was so easy I was able to sing as I walked at the end of it. So I jumped on the exercise bike afterwards. That got me breathing hard.

What's most exciting is I'm learning how to talk to strangers and how to take an interest in people. So much for not being able to teach an old dog new tricks!

I chatted with a guy about my age who is apparently staying in the hospital room with his dad, who has AML (he thinks). His dad's 74, so he's having struggles handling the treatment, though his chemo has already ended. Apparently, though, he's doing better than the doctor's expected, so that's a good thing. (Please feel free to pray for that man!)

Okay, I better let you go. I have my own dangers of preaching myself and not Christ.

To God be the glory for the great things he has done!


  1. One time I prayed for someone who had an STD (uncurable) and God healed them. We didn't find out immediately, but later. But I don't really consider the fact that *I* prayed significant. I could be wrong but I think God looks for people who a) are trying to be sensitive to His will (does HE want them to be healed, or is He giving them a tool?) and b) have faith. Seems like faith is a better gift than healing (it's more multi-purpose, hehe), but I suppose you couldn't have a gift of healing without at least some faith. Anyway. Interesting stuff.

    I didn't know they let you exercise when you're a leukemia/chemo patient!

  2. It's good for us to encourage one another in faith. America's riddled with unbelief like a cancer.

    As for the exercise, it's mandatory! They warned me the first day that they'd be pushing me to walk. Of course, they've not said that since. Now they say, "Don't overdo it."

    I think they're used to 70-year-olds.

  3. Mandatory, eh? How fascinating.