Dear Praying Friends and Family scattered around,

I should have come back to you sooner about my health situation, but in lots of ways there was nothing much new to report until now. So I waited.

So, because so many of you have been praying for me, and writing the most wonderful letters, not all of which I have been able to reply to personally, let me kick off now with giving you my new bit of . . . Good News.

I do feel the Lord has blessed and answered the prayers of seemingly a lot of people in a lot of places relating to my health after I was diagnosed in mid-December with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia. This was thankfully not what they call Acute Leukaemia, which is a much more unruly rascal. Mine is what they call non-aggressive, which means it is very slow working, but it supposedly remains indefinitely in the system which is why they call it chronic. 

All of this has put me on a good and positive journey with new dimensions of depth added in terms of my walk with the Lord and my attempt to be ever more deeply surrendered to him. One friend who was talking to me about my health situation was obviously startled and even a bit perplexed to hear I was not personally praying for my healing but rather was praying for a deeper measure and level of surrender to the Lord’s will and purposes in my life. I told him I was profoundly thankful for people in many places, around the world, in fact, who are and have been praying for my full healing, and for this I do not have adequate words of gratitude. But in terms of my own prayers, I have felt differently led, rather to pray for the deeper thing in my own spiritual heart of coming more fully into the presence and purposes of the Lord for my life. I have concluded that in my own heart I am basically quite an unruly character and needing ever so much more of the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit within if I am to fulfil the Lord’s purposes for me. So being tested in these ways in my health has brought nothing but positives in my spirit. I have been learning in new ways to number my days that I may apply my heart to wisdom (see Psalm 90:12). Likewise have I been luxuriating with new delights and appreciation in the unspeakable and almost unbelievable truth of Psalm 139:16 where the Psalmist says: “In thy book were written every one of them, the days that were formed for me when as yet there was none of them.” I find this almost too awesome to take in, that God would have had each one of my days, from my date of birth on September 24, 1936, right up to this very minute, numbered, seen, planned, and purposed even before they happened. Just think about it. Even to meditate on it for a few moments is to be overwhelmed by the sovereignty, power, and graciousness of our God. 

All of this has been so good, so beneficial, and such a blessing to me that I have indeed been able to declare leukaemia my new friend! 

Thus has the journey progressed. . . Then, wonder of wonders, good news of good news, the oncologist declared my situation to be stable, and in reality undeteriorated since last December. Moreover I remain not needing any chemo treatment at this time. There is even a reasonable chance I might not ever need it. But I take nothing for granted. . . When I saw the doctor I was in spirit ready for anything and for whatever I might hear. So this news went way beyond my expectations. And I do thank many people who have already texted or written to me with thanksgiving to God that this is my reality at this time.

What I can say is that by the Lord’s grace I am continuing to experience the truth of Acts 20:24 where the apostle can write: “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may accomplish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” I bless the Lord with all my heart that by his Spirit I am able to feel this and declare it.

A divine of yesteryear wrote this little poetic stanza: 

Then, oh my soul, be ne’er afraid,
On Him who thee and all things made
Do thou all calmly rest;
What’er may come, where’er we go
Our Father in the Heavens must know
In all things what is best.

I do long to reach this level of awareness and yieldedness.


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