I Shall See the Goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living!

I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yea, wait for the LORD! (Psalm 27:13-14)

As of this week, I have now completed three out of the four scheduled three-week rounds of chemotherapy.   Thanks be to God!  It has been a long and arduous sojourn.  I have had many doubts that I would be able to complete the treatment.  And yet, today, with only one more three-week round left, I do believe I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  I really felt I was on a long slog through the darkness of the valley of the shadow of death.  Today, I feel like I can begin to see the end of this wandering through the wilderness.

I think about the Prophet Moses towards the end of his 40 year wandering through the desert on the sojourn to the Promised Land.  Yet he was told he would not actually enter that Land, but would die after seeing it from afar.

And Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho. And the LORD showed him all the land, Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the Negeb, and the Plain, that is, the valley of Jericho the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. And the LORD said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.” (Deuteronomy 34:1-4)

Moses heart must have been mixed with joy and grief.  Gladness at being able to finally see the end of the sojourn, but grief knowing he himself would not enter that Land.   My heart has been heavy the past 9 weeks as I really couldn’t see the end of this chemotherapy.   The path seemed too daunting and I often wondered whether the cancer could be as bad as the effects of the chemo.

The last three week leg of my journey begins in two weeks.  This week’s chemo will now have its way with me, but because I can glimpse the end of the journey, I know I can survive this and even triumph over it.

There is one verse from Psalm 118:17 which is recited at Matins every morning which has sustained me through the darkest times of my life.

I shall not die, but live,
And declare the works of the LORD. 

Like Moses, I know I have not reached the joyous goal of the journey.  I have been granted a blessed vision that the sojourn will end.  And then will start a new sojourn of vigilant watchfulness to see if the chemo conquered the cancer.

Moses may not have lived to enter the Promised Land, but he did live to see Christ.

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2 thoughts on “I Shall See the Goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living!

  1. Father Ted, Be heartened to know we pray for you at Divine Liturgy and regularly light candles in front of our icon of St. Seraphim. Also, today, we gave your little book “Am I Saved?” to our newly enlisted catechumen, Jorge, as we believe it will answer many of his queries about salvation and the Orthodox Church. As you begin your next round of chemo, we thought you’d like this little reminder of how your serving the Lord really has touched people, and continues to help new catechumens! May our Lord Jesus be with you during the next round of chemo, your very Help in this time of trouble. Kindly, Deb & Fr. Steven

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