Thoughts about a peach...

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

Normally I use this space to reflect on my devotional of the day, but I felt the Lord nudging me to do something a bit different.

Yesterday is a day I don’t think I’ll ever forget, and in a way it all came about because of a peach. A couple of months ago my mom started coughing like crazy; a CT scan revealed an unknown mass in one of her lungs, and a biopsy confirmed the diagnosis - incurable cancer. The doctors are hoping chemo will slow it down and extend her life, but apart from a miracle from God it will take her life.

I’ve had my own struggles as of late; my chronic pain flared up about six weeks ago, bringing the return of anxiety with it, and as a result I haven’t had much of an appetite during the day. Around noon yesterday I suddenly had a craving for a juicy Colorado peach, so I drove home to grab one from the refrigerator. When I pulled into the driveway, my parents were there, returning my daughter’s booster seat (they had taken my kids to school/daycare earlier that morning because I had a doctor appointment in Des Moines). My mom had seen the oncologist in Des Moines that morning to discuss treatment options, and when she got off the phone she came over to chat with me.

What happened next is a bit of a blur - mom talked about chemotherapy options, and then mentioned several times that the “doctor was very honest” and said “this is a hard cancer.” A bit confused, I asked “What does that mean - a hard cancer?” Her reply hit hard - “The cancer will eventually take my life.” I leaned over to hug my mom, and as I started to say something I just started sobbing as she cried as well.

Then I realized what time it was, and knew I had to get back to the station to get on the air for my 12:15 Bible verse of the day. I was still crying when I walked through the door of the station, and with seconds to spare I quickly pulled out my iPhone and opened the YouVersion app to get my verse of the day. When it appeared on my screen I dropped my phone and said, “Ok God, you’ve got to be kidding!” wondering to myself how in the world I was going to get through my break without falling to pieces.

What was the verse? Revelation 21:4:

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

I did ok until I got to the end of the verse, when I broke into tears again; thankfully by that point I was basically done and could turn off the mic. Later that day I met with my good friend Denny Brand, who is dealing with his own cancer diagnosis. I tried reading him the verse but immediately broke into tears again and instead passed him the phone to read it himself. I’m so glad I have friends like Denny; he gets the tears and understand the pain.

Thankfully Denny brought something else yesterday - hope. About two years ago his bone marrow stopped producing red blood cells, and about every 2 weeks he’s had to go to the hospital for a blood infusion to stay alive. Denny had some unexpected news yesterday - recent tests showed his red blood cell counts were increasing - somehow, someway his body was making more blood cells again! A bit shocked he told me, “I’ve been praying for healing every day for over 2 years, and it seems like it’s happened! And who knows, maybe things will go back to they way there were before, but for right now we’re just going to rejoice at what God has done!” I needed to hear that - my own experience with chronic pain over the past six weeks often has me wondering if the “good” days are gone forever and I’m heading back to a life of disability and isolation. God does hear and he does answer prayers - sometimes in the most unexpected of ways.

Peachy ain’t it?