Bereaved

Steve Marquez
January 16, 2015

“And Jacob their father said to them, “You have bereaved me of my children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and now you would take Benjamin. All this has come against me.” Genesis 42:36, ESV

In October of 2014, I was walking with a weak left leg and fell to the ground in my room. I landed on my back and was in pain that was unimaginable at the time. I attempted everything I knew from deep breaths to laying down on the bed to rest in order to alleviate the pain to no avail. The pain quickly progressed to agony. It was now excruciating and we finally ended up in the Emergency Room. I thought I had injured my back in some way, but after a CT scan, the ER Physician came in and in a clinical, kind of cold way said, “You don’t have a back problem. Your cancer has returned. You have a six centimeter tumor on your spine. We are going to admit you to the hospital.” With that, he turned and exited the room.

My mind was a swirling mess. I was laying in an ER bed, and my wife, Monica was sitting in a chair about five feet from me. I don’t know what the temperature in the room was, but it seemed to get colder as the seconds of silence went by. It had only been about three months since my first surgery to remove a seven centimeter tumor from my left kidney. In that time another tumor had grown! I looked at her and said, “I wonder if I’ll be here for Christmas?” With that, we both began to cry.

Well, after six weeks in the hospital, two more major surgeries to remove the tumor, chemo and radiation, and most especially the hand of God, I made it to enjoy Christmas with my family. I believe that God has much more in store for me. I don’t know what that will entail, or how painful it will be, but I know that He is in control, and that’s good enough for me.

Sometimes when we read Bible stories of old we don’t realize that these were real people with real fears and real tears. It is hard for us to imagine, but in Genesis 42, Jacob didn’t realize the events that would transpire in chapters 45-47. He didn’t realize that although everything in his life, from the loss of his children to the famine would all be exchanged for the restoration of his children and wealth beyond imagination! 

We have a choice to make. Are we going to live in chapter 42, or trust God for 46-47? Sometimes it takes getting to our wits end in order for us to finally resolve to trust God no matter what befalls us. 

For me, I am in Genesis 42 as I write this. I am trusting God for complete healing and His great provision. I can’t see into the future, but I know that God has already been there and has made every preparation for what His will is for me and for you as well. Our heart’s cry must be what the apostle Paul’s was in Philippians 1:21 – “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

May God’s will be done no matter how much time we have left. “So teach us to number our days 
that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

D. V.

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