This month is our 10-year Anniversary. Wedding? No. It has been 10 years since I completed a one-year regimen of intense cancer treatment which included surgery and chemotherapy. Why celebrate? It is because cancer became my friend. I had Hodgkin's lymphoma. This began a journey that required surgery, a year of chemo, an allergic reaction which caused a lung disease, and a process that caused my doctor to say, "We are killing you with this treatment." My doctor's assessment was correct, but God was merciful and ultimately spared my life.
The passage of Scripture that the Lord used during that time in my life was Psalm 34:8-10. David exclaimed in the midst of his trial, "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!" He then continues to describe what our response should be to such a good God. If indeed the Lord is good, then we should respond to Him in three ways: we need to trust Him (8); we need to fear Him (9); and we need to seek Him (10).
The Lord very graciously and tenderly used cancer in my life and in my wife's life to expose areas of "pride and self" that needed to be removed from our hearts in order to prepare us for what He would have us do next in service for Him. It was an incredibly painful, yet wonderful experience to have this spiritual surgery. My doctors were working on my body. The Great Physician was working on my heart. The doctors used chemo and other treatments. The Great Physician used His Word and His Spirit. That is why I can say that "cancer became my friend." For what better friend is there than one that would draw us closer to the Lord Jesus Christ?
When I was first diagnosed, the medical community in Hungary (we were missionaries in Romania at the time) and the USA used x-rays and many other methods to see into my body to reveal my cancer. Those medical tests were good in that they were able to reveal my problem; however, they were too weak to resolve it. It was required that I have other medical procedures to remove the cancer. In the same way, God's Word is able to reveal our sin problem through the law which is good, but weak, AND provide the solution to that problem through the gospel of grace. The written Word points us to the Living Word who is able to transform our hearts so that we might have a personal relationship with the God who is good. God has provided all that we need through His Word. He is able to both diagnose our real problem and treat it for His glory and for our good. It can be very painful at times, and we may need to die to self, but the results cause us to be a trophy of His marvelous grace. "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!"
What does this have to do with Bibles International? We pray that God would provide "a reliable translation in every language and a Bible in every hand" to the millions who still wait. This is because the world needs that which can reveal the problem of sin, AND provide the solution to that problem which is found only in Jesus Christ. He is able to cure the "cancer of our souls." For this reason, the translated Word of God is urgently needed so that the spiritually lost and dying might come to know the true and living God! This is our passion!