“She Won’t Be A Sommelier!” (James 5:13)

My wife and I were meeting with the neurosurgeon who just completed a ten hour operation on our daughter. “Good news, we got the entire tumor removed with minimal bleeding.”

My wife and I hugged the surgeon. “Thank you so much! We are so relieved!

“You’re welcome! The post-op MRI looked good, no residual tumor. We did have to sacrifice the right olfactory nerve because the tumor was wrapped around it but don’t worry, she will probably only have a very slight deficit in smelling and tasting.”

I nodded and blurted, “Oh well, she won’t be a sommelier!”

Our surgeon flashed a bemused smile. “Oh, she likes wine?”

I laughed. “No, I do!”

“I do as well! Don’t worry, she can still be a sommelier!”

We all laughed and hugged each other again. It was a sorely needed moment of levity. It was the first time my wife and I laughed during this very tense week for our family. Five months earlier, we learned that our daughter had a rare brain tumor. It would require three complicated courses of treatment over six months. Once the tumor had been reduced in size, the neurosurgeon would then surgically remove any residual tumor. The first course of treatment was uneventful. Two months later, she underwent the second round of treatment. Hours after the treatment, the tumor began to bleed. Assessing the situation, the neurosurgeon recommended that he operate immediately. We agreed and what followed was a surgery that took far longer than was initially planned since the timeline had been significantly moved forward. During these tense hours, my wife and I prayed, joined by family, friends, and church members. God in His grace and mercy, guided the surgeon and his team to a successful outcome. One week later, our daughter was home and healthy. We celebrated with my wife’s sister who graciously flew in from Vancouver, Canada, to assist us. 

Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. 

James 5:13 (NLT)

When his wife, Joy, underwent cancer treatments, the great Christian apologist, C.S. Lewis, wrote to a friend, “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”

In spite of the roller coaster ride of emotions that our family experienced that week, we all trusted God to do the best for us, but we did wonder how painful His best may be. In His sovereign will, God is holding each of us-tenderly, so that we may cry; firmly, so that we do not despair. 

Amen.

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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