by Robert Earl Houston
Today I returned to my surgeon’s office, after having cancer surgery on Friday. Since then, I have not been outside of my home. I’ve been wearing a boot containing a splint. I’ve had to utilize a scooter to give me some kind of ambulatory movement. I’ve been forced to be home, taking prescribed medications, moving about every hour, and sleeping most of the time because of the potency of the medicine. Jessica and I drove to Lexington, not knowing what the doctor’s prognosis would be.
We got our answer today.
According to the pathology report: “FINAL DIAGNOSIS: Skin, right foot, melanoma wide excision: (a) Prior biopsy site changes noted, with no residual melanoma in situ or nevus identified . . . (b) All peripheral resection margins are benign.”
In other words, the Lord and the surgeon got it all. I’m cancer free! My healing and deliverance have come! It was truly an infirmity (thank you Dr. Bernard Sutton for that term) – and you do know that Jesus heals infirmities! And the words “in situ” or “nevus” means that it was in the very early stages of cancer – but God has other plans!
I don’t have the vocabulary to express my gratefulness to God for what He has done. I have a friend, Pastor Terry Jones, who when I shared the initial diagnosis of cancer with said, “Robert, I don’t feel that in my spirit. I believe God has and God will heal you.” Terry was absolutely right. The calmness that I’ve described previously was confirmation in my spirit that the Lord was healing me and working on me, even when i didn’t know it.
Jessica (who I have no words for during this season . . . I’ll blog about her later) and I have been praying intensely since the early diagnosis. It’s been quiet around the house during the past month and now our house is filled with tears of joy, uplifted hands, shouts of hallelujah and chants of thank you Jesus! We are recipients of the mercies of the Lord and yes, it is marvelous in our eyes.
A note to my fellow Black men – PLEASE GO SEE A DOCTOR. Make sure that an examination, a physical, a check-up is on your list of things to do this year! Why not celebrate the NBA playoffs with an NBA physical? Do it for yourself, your loved ones, your significant others, your children, do it for the Lord so that He can continue to use you in His service.
I’m had multitudes praying for me. First, my extended family in Portland, Sacramento – even relatives I haven’t met who gathered in Las Vegas last week have reached out and prayed for me; Secondly, the people of First Baptist Church in Frankfort, (Y’all rock!) the “bestest” church in the whole, wide world – and the people of Frankfort, Franklin County, Louisville, Lexington, and the entire Commonwealth, have called out my name in worship services and prayer meetings; Third, my preaching and pastoral colleagues from near and far. My God, I’ve heard from National Presidents, Pastors, Bishops, Apostles, Leaders, Ministers, PNBC Family, Kentucky State Convention Family, Central District, Laypersons from throughout the nation – you’ll never know how much your encouragement has meant to me and Jessica over the past few weeks. Special shout out to the REH Ministers Forum and the Kentucky Pastors and Preachers and Friends Forum; Fourth, I’ve heard from people I’ve never meant, fellow bloggers, friends across all spectrums, GMWA Family, Portlanders, Fresnans, San Diegans, Nashvilleans – and even some folk I’ve never heard of before who called and said, “Pastor, the Holy Spirit told me to call you and pray with you” – literally around the world. Thank you!!!
My next steps? I’ll be down for a few weeks. I returned home today with a new splint on my feet. My grafting area (the doctor says) looks extremely good, especially for someone with diabetes. So, I’m off my feet for 2 to 4 weeks – plan to do some reading, some reflection, some writing, some refreshing of the mind and some serious time with the Lord. He’s kept me alive because He has more work for me to do. My voice is still weak from surgery, but it’s starting to heal and I’ll be following up with an ENT in a few days.
I’m looking forward to being back in public worship and back in the pulpit in a matter of weeks. But until then, I’ve turned my living room/bedroom into a worship space. My home office is a worship space. The kitchen, the dining room, even the bathroom is a worship space. I’m full of praise and thanksgiving tonight – for the Lord has made a way.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you . . . plans to give you hope . . .” (Jeremiah 29:11)
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