Dear friends, dear family, dear brothers and sisters,
How fondly I think back to the Sunday when I was able to join the service and the congregation’s sermon via livestream!
How have I been since then? There are, as you can imagine, ups and downs, but overall I can truly say that I have many reasons to thank God for many good things:
- For the many comforting words, psalm verses, phone calls, messages and other signs of closeness.
- For the deeper sense of the Lord’s nearness, especially in the evening and night hours.
- For his response when I had attacks of pain and he helped me.
- Of course also for the excellent medical and nursing care, and for the other helpful examinations and medical clarifications.
- For the “luxury” of having the two-bed room as a single room since the transfer to the oncology ward – until today! Of course, I would be happy to have a room neighbor like on the first days, with whom I can have a conversation about faith. But this way I could talk on the phone, especially in the early days, often until the evening, I can talk to my family via Skype, I can listen to songs, e.g. even at night.
- And God also sends people to my room, among others an intern named Noah, whom I recognize as a brother in faith after a short conversation; he is looking for help because he is still at the beginning of his life of faith – triggered by an autoimmune disease at the age of 15 years that made him question the meaning of his life. So I can give him one or the other hint, for which he is very grateful. Also how to judge certain practices in his present rather Pentecostal church that disturb him.
- This morning my siblings provided me a great surprise: After waking up I got a link to the song “Befiehl du deine Wege”, which they had recorded together in their different places of residence and countries and put together by video – you can listen to it here. I was very moved and pleased by it. (Please copy and paste this link into a new browser window and remove the blanks in between: www. youtube . com / embed / 1mR2zaI1q9w – it is a private video which I cannot embed directly.)
You are welcome to pray for this:
- Tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. I go to the interventionist radiology department where my two damaged vertebrae will have what is called a “vertebroplasty,” a non-surgical penetration of the vertebral body with needles from the right and left over which a type of “cement” is injected that then hardens and stabilizes the vertebrae. It is done under sedation and local anesthesia, without general anesthesia. Will you please join me in praying that the hoped-for effect is achieved? The back pain should usually be almost completely gone shortly after or after the painkillers have worn off for a while.
- That the chemotherapy will continue to be well tolerated. So far I am struggling a bit with my stomach (upset) and appetite (less) and fatigue (more). But it would be nice if it doesn’t get much worse.
- That Dietlind and our children are strengthened by the Lord.
- That we may continue to see God’s hand in them and honor Him through our lives.
Yes, the Lord let his hands be pierced on the cross under most unimaginable suffering. And in these palms he has “marked” me. My life is inextricably interwoven with his. “No man ever hated his own flesh, but nourished and cherished it.” How much less does the Lord hate, but on the contrary loves, nourishes and cares for His Bride, of whom I may be one, for “This mystery is great, but I say it concerning Christ and the assembly.” (see Ephesians 5:25 following).
Be at the mercy of the Lord!