By Jim Langley
Looking back over your life, what have been the monumental moments – those times when, for better or worse, your life was forever changed? Losing a job, or finding the job of your dreams. Resolving it was time to stop being an “employee” and starting your own business. Getting married, or becoming a parent.
I use the term “monumental moments” because of numerous instances in the Bible’s Old Testament when God instructed His people to establish monuments to serve as memorials, reminders for future generations of His goodness and love for His people. These prompted the Israelites to “never forget” what the Lord had.
Over the course of my life and career, God has brought me through a variety of unforgettable, life-changing experiences that deserved monuments, at least in my mind. But especially since they are most recent, my mind quickly goes to specific “monuments” as they relate to my bout with cancer.
It all started with my physician’s concern over an elevated PSA (prostate-specific antigen) in the spring of 2017. My PSA had risen by 50 percent since my last lab work two years earlier. Even after meeting with a urologist for consultation, I was unprepared to simply accept that I had prostate cancer.
Before enduring the rigors of a biopsy, I asked what other preliminary steps were available. The urologist advised a test that measures the hypothetical risk of cancer. The score from that extensive blood work showed the biopsy was indeed appropriate. Results showed I needed to address removal of the cancer from my body.
The urologist suggested surgically removing the prostate to prevent the cancer from spreading to other organs. However, I decided first to explore all alternative methods. One of my insurance clients had gone through an innovative prostate cancer treatment a few years earlier and had been cancer-free for the past five years, so that seemed a promising option. At the time, the procedure was not available in the U.S.A., but by the time of my diagnosis, my client’s urologist had begun performing the HIFU innovative treatment locally.
After an initial consultation, however, even though I qualified for the procedure, the costs seemed prohibitive. As I prayed, I felt no peace about proceeding. Then I met a golfing acquaintance who had recently dealt with prostate cancer himself. He had been accepted into a government-sponsored health study and had undergone the HIFU treatment successfully. I investigated that possibility, but several tests revealed my condition did not meet parameters for the two-year study that would cover my expenses.
Then I was referred the urologist who performed the HIFU procedure for the study. After meeting with me, he recommended Cryotherapy instead, another minimally invasive procedure he felt would be best for my condition. Best of all, my health insurance would cover nearly all the costs!
When I awoke an hour after the procedure, called “cryoablation,” I was elated to learn the procedure had gone very well. Over the past 18 months I had experienced one monumental moment after another. Being a businessman devoted to following Christ, I had continually prayed for wisdom in dealing with the devastating diagnosis, exploring options, and the subsequent treatment. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.” He truly led me in ways I could not have anticipated. Something I will never forget.
Businessmen typically analyze alternatives and associated costs before making key decisions. As followers of Christ, we also need supernatural analysis to make certain we are in God’s will and on His appointed path. As we remain faithful to the Lord in our respective journeys, we can give Him the glory for the outcomes.
© 2019, all rights reserved. Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his relationship with God. His goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. A long-time member of CBMC, he started writing “Fourth Quarter Strategies” in 2014.
1. Do you have any “monumental moments” in your life that immediately come to mind? If so, what has been their impact on how you have proceeded through your life and career?
2. Do you think recognizing these moments – life-changing times and events – is even important? Why or why not? What difference does making “monuments” to these moments make?
3. Have you ever had an experience similar to what Mr. Langley has gone through, a process that took several unexpected turns? What was that like for you?
4. In the Bible, God’s people were instructed to build monuments to remind them and future generations of what He had done. What are your thoughts about the need (or importance) of having such remembrances, even if only in our minds?
NOTE: If you would like to consider other things the Bible says about this topic, read and reflect on the following passages:
Genesis 35:13-15; Joshua 4:19-24; 1 Samuel 7:12-13; Jeremiah 29:11; Romans 8:35-39