The following is an excerpt from the book, Real Life Moments, by J. Mark Fox, C4FIC Board member.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)
A young man in our church was nearly 12 years old when he fell out of a tree in his backyard and broke his leg. When the doctors prepared to do surgery on Micah, they discovered that he had leukemia. Micah’s battle with the deadly cancer continued for four years. He had a bone marrow transplant at Duke Hospital. One of his sisters (Micah was the third-born of nine children) was a perfect match with her bone marrow, so hopes were high that this would be a cure. But not long after the transplant, the leukemia came roaring back, meaner than ever. The doctors at Baptist Hospital tried a stronger chemotherapy to bring Micah into remission so that a second bone marrow transplant could be attempted. But the leukemia did not budge, and the doctors told the family there was nothing else they can do.
Micah went home from the hospital and Hospice was called in.
But Micah was in no way giving up hope. When the first bone marrow transplant failed and the powerful drugs did not work, Micah said to his father, “This means that either God is going to heal me or take me home to be with Jesus.” Once when I visited him in the hospital, I said, “Micah, what are you asking the Lord to do for you?” He replied, “His will.” Then he flashed that shy smile that was Micah’s trademark.
He didn’t want to talk about himself. He would much rather talk about his passion, which was playing and singing worship music. I wish all of you could have heard Micah play his guitar and sing at the top of his lungs about the Savior he loved so much. On a Friday night, one of his last at Baptist Hospital, two families came to visit Micah and ended up playing guitars and singing with Micah for two hours. It was the talk of the hospital. The nurse that stopped in to check on Micah lingered longer than usual. Another nurse said later, “That sounded like angels’ singing.” Who knows? Maybe there was a heavenly chorus joining in.
A few weeks before he died, I asked Micah if there was a particular passage of Scripture that meant a lot to him. He quoted Psalm 147:3: “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Micah knew that God was going to heal him completely. He knew that God would either heal him from leukemia through a miracle, or God would heal him from leukemia through death. Either way, his hope was in the Lord to do what was best.
“Micah,” I continued, “do you have any fear about what might happen?”
He shook his head, “No.”
“Are you at peace, then?” I asked. Again, Micah gave me that shy smile and said, “Yes.”
God gave Micah and his family His amazing grace to walk through this valley for four years, and to hold onto the Lord all the way through. During the last days, at the memorial service, and to this day, the family continues to give God the glory and tell all who will hear about Micah’s battle and his ultimate victory. Micah’s father would stand up often in church and say, “Our hope is in the Lord.” It is the best place for hope.
Prayer: “Lord, thank you for Your promise that You will never leave or forsake us, even when we walk through the dark valley of disease and death. Be my only hope, Lord!”
Action: Is there someone in your church or family who is walking through such a valley right now? Have your family send them a card with encouragement from each one of you.