Chris' Blog


Chris Philbeck

Random Thoughts

As I write this blog I’m seven days into my radiation therapy which is exactly 1/5th of the way through.  That might not sound like a big deal to some but it’s a big deal to me.  Every day closer to the end is a big deal to me.  It’s also enough time for me to formulate some random thoughts about where I’ve been and what I’ve experienced.

When the Dr. first told me that I had cancer my first feeling was anger.  But I wasn’t angry with God.  I was angry that cancer is a part of this sinful fallen world and that anyone has to have it.  As time went on that anger remained but it slowly became replaced by a resolute trust in a Sovereign God who doesn’t make mistakes.  That’s not to say that I don’t have my “down” times. The absolute last thing that I want to do is make it seem as if I’m some kind of spiritual giant in this journey.  Sandy and I both continue to have moments when fear creeps in.  We continue to shed tears and fight the temptation to ask, “Why me?”  But here’s the great thing about faith…it’s a foundational thing that keeps the fear and the tears and the questions from being in control. 

Every time I go to the cancer center I’m struck by the kindness of those who are working/serving there.  I guess we get used to some pretty lousy customer service when we shop and dine, etc.  But I’ve encountered a lot of kindness in my cancer journey.  There should really be a way to honor people who give hope to the hurting.

I seem to be the youngest person in the Cancer Center…and I’m not that young.  I mentioned that to Sandy today and then said, “That just gives me a longer period of time to be a cancer survivor.” 

I ran across this quote today when I was doing some study.  “God brings men into deep waters, not to drown them, but to cleanse them.”  (John Aughey)  I don’t think I have cancer because God is punishing me.  That thought never crossed my mind.  I do believe, however, that every Christian could use some cleansing on a practical level. I’m praying that God would do just that for me.

One thought that keeps coming to my mind is, “Will my life ever get back to being normal?”  In some ways I believe that it will.  I’ll have normal days with normal activities and normal outcomes.  At the same time I hope that it doesn’t in the sense that, just like Jacob walked with a limp after he wrestled with God (Genesis 32), I can see great value in “limping” through the rest of my life because the limp will always remind me of an incredible encounter with God. 

Finally, one of the things that sustains me is the knowledge that thousands of people continue to pray for me.  I don’t know where I’d be without the prayers of God’s people.  Please continue to pray for me, Sandy, Andrew, Tricia, Kara and Grace.  I love you all and can’t tell you how much I miss being with you each weekend. 

Jesus cares,

Pastor Chris

Specific Prayers:

  1. Pray that I will be able to eat and drink and maintain my weight.
  2. Pray that some of the “extra” problems I’ve had this first couple of weeks (cold – stomach problems) will go away and not make this more difficult than it has to be.
  3. Pray for my Dr.’s (Dr. Garrett – Dr. Fairchild – Dr. Smith) as well as the nurses and therapists who are caring for me (too many to name).
  4. Pray that my witness will be strong.
  5. Pray that every day the cancer in my neck and throat is being completely destroyed and eradicated from my body.
  6. Pray God’s blessing on the church and all of our staff.