This morning, we woke up, and Dave said, “Last year, I was doing the Murph Challenge.” Last Memorial Day, Dave participated in the Murph Challenge; an intensive workout in honor of Navy Seal, Michael Murphy, who died serving his country. The Murph is also done in honor of other veterans, to thank them for their service to the United States of America.
The Murph Challenge consists of doing all these exercises on Memorial Day:
1 mile run
100 pull ups
200 push ups
And another 1 mile run
Whew! It takes some serious training to get there! Dave trained and worked out every day; determined to do it. A veteran himself; Dave ate healthy, built up muscle and stamina, and was proud to complete the Murph Challenge in under an hour.
This year, Dave’s doing something even more difficult: fighting the battle of rare, stage four colon cancer. How does one prepare for a battle like this? To fight cancer, is to be at war with an enemy you never saw coming at all. It steals your strength in an instant, and threatens to kill you every single second of the day. It matters not what strategies you use, how healthy you are, or how many soldiers surround you.
Cancer has no mercy. It cares not if you’re young or old, male or female, father or mother or innocent child. It is like the war in Ukraine; because the devil comes to kill, steal, and destroy; anything, and everything in its way.
So where is our hope now, when Dave can’t do a single push up, and now weighs 179 pounds, at 6 feet, 4 inches; and is going through chemo for four months? Where is hope, when his previously ripped body is now scarred down the middle of his stomach from invasive surgery; and his abs and chest are almost completely covered with a chemo port, G-tube, and an ileostomy bag? Where is hope, when chemo is weakening him even more, as it kills off everything good in his body, in the hopes of killing off the cancer?
Our hope lies in Jesus Christ! The silver lining is in the impossible: God can do what chemo cannot, what soldiers cannot, what wishing cannot: God can do miracles!
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (Jn. 10:10 NIV).
There is power in prayer, and prayer leads to miracles! Right now, there are thousands and thousands of prayers going up for Dave, and we are grateful for every single one of them! Dave has asked only for God’s will to be done. Everyone else is praying for his miraculous healing through Jesus Christ, according to God’s will. Our hope is in Jesus!
What hope does a soldier have while dying on the battlefield? What hope does a cancer patient have while dying of cancer? What hope do any of us have, while facing eventual, imminent death in the future? None… except for those of us who place our hope in Jesus. Jesus promises eternal life for those who call upon his name. When you know you’re going to a better place, and that your death actually leads to life in Heaven; it really helps you have a brighter outlook during the darkest days.
All of our battles here on earth are only temporary. But, God also cares about us as we suffer here on earth. God does not abandon His children. We’ve had brothers and sisters in Christ; hundreds and hundreds, whom we don’t even know, praying for Dave! We’ve had meals brought in by people who care, groceries and gifts delivered, and many loving, encouraging messages sent to us; every, single day!
We’ve had family and friends come to visit and help, uplifting us and giving us joy along this painful journey. Dave, our veteran battling cancer, received the Quilt of Valor; to comfort, honor, and thank him for his service to our country. Our friends set up an in home concert, so he could enjoy a night of music with the guys, just like he loves to do! We’ve managed to celebrate every holiday and birthday with joy, since he was diagnosed right before Easter. Dave is very, very sick. These miraculous joys are only because of our Great Big Loving God!
Whatever battle you are fighting today, take Jesus with you. No battle ends in victory unless we follow him. When Dave was first diagnosed with cancer, he told me there were going to be miracles… lots of miracles! He’d been talking to God, and he was ready to fight. And there have been… miracles… many of them already! Please say a prayer for Dave’s healing today. Our prayer is for your salvation, and a healthy relationship with Jesus Christ, so you can navigate the dark storms in your life. We are fighting for you, by telling our story and praying for you; as we fight Dave’s cancer. May God bless you, on this Memorial Day, and into The Great Beyond; in Jesus’ name!
“He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” ( 2 Tim. 1:9-10 NIV).
Our entire cancer journey, in order by dates, at the bottom of this first post:
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In Christ, Angela Royse Pelleman