In Matthew 14, the disciples are facing a storm. They are sinking and fearful of destruction. They are anxious and overwhelmed—focused on survival. Their world is chaos, confusion, desperation. And in the middle of this madness, Jesus Christ comes to them literally walking on the water. Their first thought—it’s a ghost! As if a life threatening storm isn’t enough, now we have to deal with evil spirits! But then Jesus calls out to them…
“…Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” (Matt. 14:27)
Did he really just say that? In the middle of a chaotic, life threatening torrent, he calls out a standard picnic greeting—”Be of good cheer!” Really? Be of good cheer? Like—smile, laugh, slap each other on the back, relax, have a good time? In a storm? Hmmm… in a storm, Jesus says to experience cheer! Now that’s a different take on life for sure!
And so is this blog—a different take on life, on cancer, and on what’s really important. One month ago I received news that I had lymphoma. A couple weeks later I got a phone call that it was Hodgkins—good news in the cancer world—but hey, it’s still cancer. And in those moments I had to make a choice. Do I sit down in the face of this storm and just pout and pity myself, or is there a better way to respond? Is there a greater significance to all this? Perhaps I can use this to help others.
And then I read Matthew 14. Not long after Jesus says, “Be of good cheer” he invites Peter out on the water. He tells him to step out of the boat and come to him. And Peter obeyed. Oh sure, moments later he lost his whits and became fearful of the storm—but he left the boat! Gotta hand it to him! He obeyed.
And so, a few weeks ago, Jesus essentially did the same with me. He brought me into a storm, shouted to me, “be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid” and then said, “come”—inviting me onto the water. And I’m trying to be like Peter and obey. I’m out on the water, in the storm, rejoicing, and occasionally noticing the raging waves as well. But generally rejoicing. And I’m discovering a lot! A lot about my God, my own heart, and what’s really important in life.
So that’s what you can expect on this blog—stuff about cancer, stuff about HodgkinsLymphoma, stuff about treatments, and stuff about the life experiences of trying to stay alive for my family and for the service of Christ. I’m warning you—at times I will share the humor, other times the depths of the struggle, and other times the biblical thoughts that provide grace and strength. Whatever the case, it will all be written with a spirit of “good cheer” just as Jesus commanded.
If you are family and friends—this is where you can follow the unfolding work of God in my life and our family. If you happened across this blog from google or from another link—then you are the main reason I’m doing this. In a world of uncertainty and an internet full of pointless drivel and discouraging cancer news—perhaps these posts will point you to my best friend and Saviour—Jesus Christ. He alone can walk with your through your trial and help you see His eternal purpose in it all.
So, no matter where you are—hear and consider the words of Jesus, “Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid!
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