Christian CPA: A Believer’s Guide to Spiritual Survival
I learned to lean into the pain by seeking God’s will to overcome all that comes my way. In learning more and writing about Job, I was inspired and motivated to great expectations, heightening and growing in my faith and my relationship with God by leaning on him during life’s fiery trials. God does not promise that our life will be easy but he does say that with him our yoke will be light. And that became very evident to me in November 2004. Maybe you have already dealt with your life’s biggest challenges, or perhaps you are in the midst of one right now. Over a several month period, each bit of news I was to receive brought me another step closer to what I felt was life’s end. In the fall of two thousand four, I began to experience a bit of discomfort in my lower abdominal area. I shared with my doctor the nature of my discomfort and the side effects and symptoms I had been experiencing. My doctor immediately referred me to a specialist who took exhaustive x-rays, sonar tests and cat scans, concentrating on my abdominal area. With each appointment, prod, and procedure, I became more and more concerned as to what the doctors were looking for and why they were so worried. My doctor never mentioned any particular disease but I knew he was screening for cancer. The end of November found my wife and I talking one morning as we readied ourselves for the day ahead. Within just a few moments the phone rang with the doctor confirming my steadfast belief and worst fear, I had cancer!
Due to cancer’s aggressive nature, the surgery was set for late the following day. The surgery went well with the surgeon explaining what he had done and his belief that the procedure had been a success. I immediately began twenty radiation treatments, designed to eradicate any cancer cell remnants, which might still remain in my body, spanning over a period of five weeks. As the treatments wore on, I became increasingly more fatigued and often would have to rest for several hours after a treatment to regain my strength. Along with the exhaustion, I also found myself extremely nauseous to the point it was debilitating, making every muscle and joint in my body wrench in pain.
Finally, the treatments were over and my physician advised that I might continue to feel tired and nauseous for some time due to the lingering effects of the radiation. Though we knew the symptoms could worsen, they soon were far more difficult than we expected. Though I began to struggle more each day, I continued to believe in God’s sovereignty and ability to guide me through this. I also thought my ordeal would soon be over and my health would quickly begin improving. Hoping to have an additional cat scan and blood work soon to ensure the cancer’s blight had been completely removed from my body, I waited, ready for God’s and the physician’s proclamation of my healing.
The cancer surgery behind me, my radiation treatments complete, I was ready to begin life anew. Ready and poised to take on life’s 9/11’s; I looked forward to the day when the doctors would announce the successful elimination of the cancer from my body. My ordeal had already spanned several months and I was preparing for what lay ahead. I know my cancer was God ordained and therefore part of my destiny. However as time wore on, my health did not improve but quite the opposite. It soon got progressively worse as I waited, anticipating the moment when the tide would turn and my health would improve. But as I would soon learn, that was not going to happen anytime soon. Through a series of events, I ended up in the hospital in February with diverticulitis (a disease that in essence shuts down your colon) that just about killed me. I was in the hospital for a 4-week period and there were times we didn’t know if I would ever leave. As I lay in the hospital bed, I saw God work in so many ways and help me overcome my fear. Though in pain, I was in great peace knowing that I was as ready as any man could be to go and be with my Heavenly Father. Over the four-week period, I had an opportunity to witness to doctors and nurses and anyone who came into my room. Without me even being aware, God was in my room every step of the way and while I didn’t always feel it, others did and many nights my wife and I lay awake talking of our faith, our walk with Christ and many, many prayers were said in the quiet darkness of my hospital room. My overall stay at the hospital turned out to be five weeks and then I had to return 6 months later to finish the operation. It was a very trying time for my family and for me, but by turning it all over to God and relying on my faith and not giving into my fear, I was able to gain strength and a deeper relationship with my Father. I have never seen a firestorm with fire falling from the sky as the one, which occurred in Job’s life, but I have watched events occur in my life and others that felt the same way.
It was during this time that I realized even more that my heart was sick and that the only way to get it better was to get right with God. I had to lower my demands on others, seek God with all of my heart and learn to not strive to control my wife.
I have always tried to live in my faith. I have always had confidence and a sense of “Why not me?” But it is only through God’s grace and mercy and love that I have been able to simply forge ahead, taking whatever comes my way and dealing with it in a way that I think God would direct me to do. Having faith without fear is not an easy place to be, but it is definitely the most rewarding place. Full of blessings, failures, surprises, miracles, highs and lows – but having faith, sharing faith, taking on the world with God at your back – that helps ease the fear. I learned that whether serving in your family, your work, or globally, God has a task for you and he will always give you the tools you need to complete that task. By faith as small as that of a mustard seed, you can step out of the relative safety of your present position, and watch God guide and measure your steps. Seek after God with all your heart. Seek his ways allowing him to guide your very steps along your journey. By beckoning to the great helper, the Holy Spirit, we are able to tap into the strength of the Lord, one that surpasses all understanding and live our faith without fear.
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John Dillard is an author and Certified Public Accountant (All Rights Reserved). To See how he takes Christ along with him to work visit http://www.hiscpa.com/ (a Christian CPA firm) “Dare to Attempt Something so Great for the Kingdom of God that it is doomed to failure, lest Christ be in it!”
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