Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Strength In Times of Weakness

There's a line in the Lord of the Rings film that I can't completely remember
When the darkness closes in
And all the lights go out...
When there is no light at all...

I had been praying and praying that they wouldn't find the tumor in my kidney. So had my wife. Our prayers were that they would look for it and it would be gone. No explanation except God. We prayed right up until the biopsy.

But they found it. The dissappointment hits you. Right in the deep part of your soul. You close your eyes and the darkness closes in and there's no light at all....

I think that there are times when God places us in the most vulnerable positions. Where you can get scared the worst and hurt the most. Where you are so far from your comfort zone that it area codes away. Where your fears can attack you right in the soft spot.

All night long my dreams scared me. Woke me up in a sweat. My chest aching. My breaths coming with sharp pain. My mind racing with fears and more fears. My dreams so real they fool me into thinking they're still there. I didn't get much sleep and it's the day of my biopsy. Something I've been playing and replaying in my mind for days. Often replaying with fear. Now I'm overtired and exhausted in addition.

As I said:
I do think that there are times when God places us in the most vulnerable positions.
The most exposed places. The weakness of our weakness.... I'm lying there upside down on the table. I don't like being upside down. I like to see what's going on. The less-than-ample hospital gown is opened up. I'm on the table exposed. Waiting. Now they're going to biopsy me. Stick me with the needle. Four times in and four times they come out with a little more. I feel so weak. So absolutely helpless.

But I'm not. That's the incredible thing! I can feel them. Literally FEEL the prayers of the people and the power of God. He is not absent! He has not left. His prescence is there. Almighty. The Rock. The Father...

And I can close my eyes and let all the lights go out. I can embrace the darkness and the pressure of the needles. Let them find the tumor. Let them stab it. Let them call it what they want. I will not be discouraged. I will not be dismayed. I have a God whose strength is displayed in my weakness. His glory is to show me that He is more than sufficient for the day.
His joy is to show that His strength is made perfect in my weakness. His greatness is to show that He can meet any challenge (the bigger the better). And I gloried in Him though the biopsy.
I sang in my heart as they pulled samples. I smiled at my wife in confidence as they wheeled me away. "It's okay."

What kind of a God is this? How much can I trust Him?

It's a different kind of confidence. Not that He will take away the pain. Not that He will take away the difficulty. Not that He will make my life all lovely and comfy. But that He knows my every thought. But that He knows my every fear. And that He walks with me though this. And His strength is immense! More than enough.

I trust Him. And that's enough for today. Thank you for walking with me.


At June 28, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And we continue to pray!

At June 28, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dwayne, God has expanded your territory, just as you once prayed the Prayer of Jabez. Your blog is reaching many people and it does much more than keep us informed of your journey; it teaches us of God's unmeasurable love and comfort even in our darkest hours. We are praying for you every morning.

Denise and Laverne

At June 28, 2005, Blogger Don Neufeld said...

Hi Dwayne,
Sorry that I haven't been in touch since I heard (via email) of your life challenges.

Janet and I were in New York with our kids, attending the Billy Graham Crusade. Many, many people came to know the Lord, this past weekend in New York! It was really an exciting time.

Please be assured that we are praying for you and your family through these incredibly tough times. We have some understanding of your situation since it is 4 years ago today (June 28, 2001) that our youngest son, Robbie, had his biopsy and was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma. Since I think that you've met Robbie, you are aware that the Lord has given him (and us) 4 great years together, since that diagnosis. Each and every day for us, has been a gift and blessing from God.

During or critical times 4 years ago and again when I heard of your situation, the old hymn, "It is Well" keeps going through my mind. If you get a moment, you may want to read over the words from each of the verses. I've found them to be incredibly meaningful and encouraging.

God bless you and give you strength Dwayne (and Janet) on this journey. We've found the physicians and staff at the Cancer Centre to be fantastic human beings. I'm sure that there will be a special place in heaven for many of them! They encouraged us time and again.

Call me anytime (and I really mean anytime), if I can help you or your family during these times.

God bless.

Your friend,

Don Neufeld

At June 28, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We continue to pray, to walk beside you and lift our eyes to Him!


At June 28, 2005, Anonymous Jo-Anne said...

Dear Dwayne,

My family and I were campers at Oskidee last year when you were the speaker. Your stories at camp had an incredibly positive impact on our family, particularly for our teenage boys. They have been attending church regularly this year and have been involved in our Church's Youth Bible study group. I know it was only through God using you during Oshkidee that this thirst to know Christ has happened. My greatest disappointment was that my husband, who is not a believer, could not be there to hear God speak through you. Our family was deeply saddened to hear about your diagnosis. I have been reading through your blogsite which Milton shared with us. While reading your entry about your distress about how short your ministry on Earth could be, I thought of Jesus. How He must have struggled - only three years to minister - did He think of how many more people He could reach with 10 years, or even 6 more months? Imagine the conversations He and God must have had.
I read today about your biopsy "surgery" and thought of Daniel in the pit. I remember many times as a young child growing up in an abusive home being in that pit, too. Such a lonely feeling - believing that nobody cares, nobody can help, nothing can take away the pain. And then hearing the Lord's voice or feeling His presence and realizing that you're not alone, that He cares, that He can take away the pain.
Our God is an awesome God, and our family gives thanks for the opportunity to have drawn closer to Him through you. You and your family have our prayers and our thanks. God bless.

At June 28, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dwayne, thank you for sharing your experience with us. I (Debbie) continue to pray for you many times throughout each day. And if it is God's will we look forward to smokies on the deck this July and all of our crazy stories.
Although you will not be ministering to us with your speaking hopefully all of us at camp can minister to you and your family.

Debbie & Doug Rarog

At June 28, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for sharing today. I continue to be amazed at what God is birthing in you.. if it had been left to me I would have picked a different road for you and Janet--an easier road--with no mountains to climb. So for today I am humbled by you ability to get up and take one step at a time.

Recently I bought a book with a title something like--Smelling Like God. As I picked the book from the shelf my mind cried out--

Please may I one day be so close to God that His fragrance will linger on me....

Dwayne, last night as we prayed I realized that this has happened to you. I hope you will be able to close your eyes and take a deep breath---can you smell Him...... I hope so. May you find strength and comfort in those dark moments knowing that He is so close His frangrance lingers on you.

I'm praying you will get a good sleep tonight.....and may your dreams not disturb your rest.

At June 28, 2005, Blogger Ed and Diane Cooper said...

My God is too wise to make a mistake.
My God is too loving to be unkind.
My God is strong to let you go--
So I am glad God, that You're in CONTROL.

At February 15, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"To you Frodo I give you the light of Elendil. May it be a light for you in dark places when all other lights go out."


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