Nobody has asked me this question. But I have. As I face a 6-hour operation to cut out a cancerous tumor and rearrange my entire digestive tract, followed by weeks of painful recovery, I have a certain amount of anxiety, but this is not what I fear most.
The doctors have said that if I had not had such severe diarrhea and weight loss, I would not have known I was hosting a tumor. Pancreatic tumors go unnoticed, wreaking destruction, because they are silent and have few symptoms. Thank God, my symptoms revealed this terrible thing in me.
Likewise, God uses our hard circumstance to reveal the worst in us—they bring out anxiety, impatience, a critical spirit, to name a few. My hope is that my ugly self-life will be revealed and I will cooperate with the Spirit’s work of extraction and annihilation! Pray that even as the surgeon removes the cancer, I will allow the Great Surgeon to circumcise my heart. Pray that this circumstance which brings out the worst in me will not be wasted. That is my greatest fear.
“Let me know myself, Lord. And then I will know you” (St. Augustine).