Cancer Didn’t Change The World – It Changed Me!

Three years ago Terry received the phone call that would make any person cringe. The call came from his family doctor who said, “Terry, I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you have cancer.”

The moment was surreal and time seemed to stand still for Terry. The pain he saw in the face of his wife and three boys was beyond description…though he understood it because he felt it himself. Questions immediately began flooding his heart as he struggled to understand the purpose of this. He had surrendered his life to Jesus when he was 18 and entered full-time ministry when he was 22. Here he was one week removed from his 46th birthday facing this huge valley. He cried out, “Why, Lord, why???”

Terry said, “My story is not uncommon. Many have walked down the well trodden path of affliction and asked the same questions. In fact, I found a plethora of the similar questions asked by the writers of Scriptures, from Job to David, from Jeremiah and Habakkuk to the Apostle Paul. I was among friends!”

“We always hear how affliction changes our world.” Terry disagrees, “The world remains fallen and in need of redemption. However, suffering changes us. It moves us out of the vanity of self-absorption, youthful lusts and the idolatry of the American dream, and into the needs of others. It teaches us to count our days, redeem the time and seek God’s glory in all things. It makes us men (and women) of faith. Yes, if we have been born of the Spirit, we are all men of faith. However, when we have looked at death face to face, the certainty of our mortality becomes a constant and sober companion.”

Terry believes, “Regardless of whether our affliction claims our life or not, the change it works in us is of extreme importance to our heavenly Father. Sure we want to survive, but sometimes affliction has much to do with working God’s Love into the core of our being. Our sorrows, torment and crying, all press us into the heart of Christ. Even as a believer, or a church leader, we experience a paradigm shift in our view of God, view of others, and the seriousness of our call.”

In his blog post, Terry said, “I do not know how many years the Lord will allow me to live and preach His glorious gospel. But, as I’ve discussed with my lovely wife Susanne, I know this…the rest of my years will be poured out on the altar of God, not as a means of earning anything, but because His Love has arrested me on a whole new dimension. And I am, by His grace, a debtor to all men.” (Rom.1:14)

“Yes, cancer changed me. The world has not changed, but I certainly view it differently. And now I can thank the Lord for allowing to me walk down this road, and I glory in my infirmities, even the permanent side effects from treatment. Before cancer, I had heard about God’s greatness when in the valley of affliction through the testimony and biographies of old saints. However, now, I have experienced His tender mercies as He held my weakened heart in His hands of grace. My eyes have seen his faithfulness, up close and personal!” (Job 42:5)

If you are in a deep valley, and need someone to listen…Terry is available, because of God’s grace at http://terryivy.com/.

Article adapted from Terry’s blog.

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2 Comments

  1. Kenji Stratton

     /  August 2, 2011

    10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
    Philippians 4:10-13
    God Bless you Terry. Thank you Kirsten.

    Reply
    • Thanks Kenji for that beautiful promise from God. We can do all things through Christ for His glory and to save many lives. Blessings to you.

      Reply

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