Editor’s Word: Gratitude for God’s Mercy

In our March issue, I mentioned a life-threatening disease I was facing. It was an aggressive carcinoma in the prostate. Radical surgery was performed on Feb. 21, and the results have been amazing!

I cannot capture in words my overwhelming sense of gratitude to God for His mercy. When the final pathology report was explained to my wife and me, tears flooded our eyes. The medical team was convinced they got all the cancer! As of this moment, no further treatment is planned.

So many people called, texted, visited and prayed. Churches, groups and individuals interceded for us before God’s throne of grace. Of course, our family also prayed diligently. My sweet wife, in spite of my objections, did not leave my side except for the actual time I was in surgery.

While the recovery has been much longer than I expected, the opportunity to stay on this earth a while longer leaves Anne and me with the sense of being exceedingly blessed by the God who heals. As God allows, we look forward to serving Jesus, watching our grandchildren grow up, and celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary in a few years.

The surgeon said, “I believe we got lucky and caught this early.” I was encouraged by his words, but deep in my heart I was made humbly aware of the touch of Jesus Christ and the sovereign power of Almighty God. I am thankful for skilled surgeons, caring nurses, committed support workers, and the prayers of family and friends. But the words of a dear friend and medical doctor sum it up for me: “God is the healer. We do not heal. We are simply the tools God often uses to heal.”

The result could have been much different, and God would still be the same powerful and loving God. But, for this time in my life, God demonstrated to me on a deeply personal level His matchless grace, His ability to answer the prayers of His people, and His great wisdom to use whatever means He chooses to accomplish His purpose.

It is my delight to serve as editor of The Courier and to preach in the churches of our convention. The Courier is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, and we are working to make it a memorable time. The first issue of The Working Christian, which later became The Baptist Courier, was published on July 1, 1869.

In our next issue, we will have the plans finalized for the celebration. Space will be limited for an anniversary dinner in June, but all our readers will be invited to attend as long as space is available.

Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 9:1 says, “I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart.” Many years ago, a dear pastor friend used to say, “I just want to brag on Jesus!”

Me, too!