Jack would never complain and probably doesn't like me typing so here, but I have to say that this has been very HARD. (It has been hard on those of us who love him and we aren't the ones having it!) I thought of him this morning when we began our Sunday School study of James with "Consider it pure joy brethren when you face various trials..." I'm sure that there is little joy in chemo or radiation or dry heaves or exhaustion beyond belief. But through it all, I do believe God has been giving both Jack and Ruth moments of Joy. These moments will be their "ebenezer" stones that they can look back on and see what God has done in them, through them, to them and for them. And in this, they certainly will be able to rejoice. (In the photo above, Jack is tending their grapes.)
As Jack begins his chemo this week, please pray that God will heal him totally of the cancer and if you feel led, that somehow miraculously he would not have to endure more side effects. Pray for strength, encouragement and endurance. This is the heat of the battle! It will feel endless while he's in the middle. Please lift him up to the Father daily and moment by moment. (Photo shows Jack with his cousin Dwight and wife Mary looking at the scrapbook of Jack's life that I made for his 60th birthday.)
As Jack faces this battle, please pray for those who love him... his wife Ruth, who is still working during this time, his mother Doris (in the photo above) and for all those who are helping out with rides, visits, meals and care. Pray that they will endure, encourage him and be strengthened for their parts of this battle too. Please pray an extra measure of strength for Ruth.
This is the beginning of the end. This is a reason to rejoice. There are good things to look forward to. We are selfishly excited for a late fall visit with Mom and Jack in our new home. Here Jack is having fun at one of his favorite things... a garage sale!