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Facing the enemy

I was 15 000 km away from home when I heard the news, "The doctor says the tumor is large, growing rapidly and most likely malignant."

News like this numbs.

Being seven time zones away from your wife when she breaks this news to you is not good. I longed to hold her, cry with her, tell her everything would be OK. Instead, I stepped into a training event.

It's impossible describe the multitude of emotions that raged through my soul. For the first time in my life, I understood panic. Trapped on the other side of the world, I felt powerless. Angry. Alone. Abandoned. The uncertainty of the news was almost debilitating. But there was no way to be certain. We had to wait for the surgery.

The attacks and accusations came rushing like an unstoppable flood. Fighting them was like trying to block a raging tsunami:

"You will be left all alone when she dies."

"You gave away all your money and now you cannot afford the medical bills!"

"How could you help so many others but not your own family?"

"Where is your faith now? What good has it done?"

"How could you be away from your wife at this time?"

"You have no right to be teaching others!"

"God is not good. Neither are you!"

The hordes of hell that get unleashed against the vulnerable have no mercy.

"Honey, I'm coming home," I blubbered while fighting back the tears.

Michelle's reply was quick, "No, you finish what you went there to do. Please don't come home. There is nothing you can do here. The surgery is scheduled for after you return."

It was déjà vu. Michelle has said this previously - five days before my first trip abroad. Two armed men broke into our home, tied up her and the children, threatened them and tried to steal our belongings. I wanted to cancel my trip. Michelle told me to go. So, I faced my fear, did the unthinkable, and went on the trip.

She is my hero.

The god of the west provides only comfort, security and certainty. He promises joy in attachment to this world. So, we have promoted a form of godliness devoid of sacrifice. This god beckons me constantly.

He tells me to store away instead of give away.

He tells me to control instead of surrender.

He tells me to know instead of trust.

He tells me to be safe instead of risk.

He tells me to stay instead of go.

But his religion is devoid of purpose and meaning. So many western Christians wander around aimlessly seeking comfort in certainty. They confuse safety for joy. Fear dictates their every decision. Such a gospel will not change the world. And it will never fulfil our deepest longings. We avoid danger, discomfort and uncertainty while we die a slow, empty death.

But Christ calls us into an unpredictable adventure filled with real danger and peril. He calls us to a life of temporary sacrifice for eternal reward. In the timeless words of Isaac Watts, "Were the whole realm of nature mine - that were a present far too small. Love so amazing, so divine - demands my soul, my life, my all."

I eventually returned home after a grueling but fruitful 25-day trip. Michelle went into surgery a few days later. It was an intense battle. She is recovering. The tumor is benign.  We have a long journey ahead. This time, I have cancelled my trips. I have placed my life on hold to fight for my wife. This year, we are married for 25 years. I love her more than ever.

But I have faced the enemy and learned his name.

His name is not cancer. It is not discomfort. It is not risk, danger or lack.

His name is a life not lived. A person not known. An adventure not experienced.

His weapons are shame, guilt and fear.

They cut deep.

But they are lies.

I have faced the enemy and I have overcome.

I will be back with more determination than ever.

I will love. I will serve. I will go. I will not hold back.

I will step into uncertainty and take senseless leaps of faith.

I will dive with raw vulnerability into the face of rejection.

I will boast of my weaknesses so that Christ's strength may be displayed.

I will give beyond my ability and trust Him to meet my needs.

I will risk with reckless abandon.

I will pour out my life for others.

I may not change the world. I may die trying.

But I would have lived.

Comments

Thank you for sharing David. Thinking and praying for you all. Praying for health, peace and safety. Praying for God’s protection over you all.

Thanks David. Very encouraging. Sending live from Gerrie and me. We now live and minister in Vancouver with our son Wesley.

David, thank you for sharing this. It has blessed me reading it. Our God is a mighty, loving and faithful God. Praise to Him alone!
Thank you and Michelle for your faithfulness no matter the situation. Thank you for being a model.
Blessings

Thank you for sharing your story. I pray that you and your family will continue to walk in God’s Blessing. From Mike and Annalise Hodgson

David - what an amazingly transparent and honest post! You pinned so well our struggles in this world and to whom we need to turn, and how, through Him and by Him, we need to live our lives! My wife and I will continue to pray for Michelle, you and your wonderful family!

Been there, six years ago. Tumor was malignant but by his grace, I survived. Quite a gamut not feelings. May you both be closer than ever, more grateful than ever for every simple moment you share, more passionate than imaginable as you both pour yourself out for him.

Wow! Hell and satan cannot destroy God's warriors.

Thanks for sharing. This is amazing reflection and way to learn about God’s faithfulness. Keep on keeping on.

Thanks for sharing, David.

Crying and praying with you brother. Much love and prayers to your wife from St. Petersburg, Russia.

Thank you, David. This was the encouragement I needed in an extremely stressful and uncertain time in our lives. I have resolved to do what I know I must.

Wow, David, thank you for sharing your heart and for letting us know so we could stand in prayer with you & your family for the operation.
I continue to trust with you for the road ahead.
Love to Michelle and your kids

Amen to these God inspired words. God bless you and your family, David.

Thank you for sharing your deep insights. You are showing high anti-fragility. This is the fruit of deep obedience. May prayer for your wife. Lord Jesus, please heal David wife M. We have prayed and you listened to us. This is a huge privilege to have such a God. We want to see your glory in the whole story and we want to live to your glory. In the name of the promised Savior. Amen

You always said to keep the main thing the main thing, and that you did. This is such a powerful message, it allayed so many of the fears, questions that one experience every day, so much gratitude for you sharing this remarkable act of faith and perseverance. GOD be with you, Michelle, Emily and Kyle!

Wow mate, I didn't know. So sorry. However I know you guys will get through it by His grace! Another eloquent piece, Mr. Broodryk!

Thanks for sharing your life. What an incredible encouragement to trust and rest in the grace of God.

WOW! What a vulnerable story...and the story is still ongoing...thanks for sharing. Blessings to you and Michelle and your kids. Miss yall!

Thanks for sharing your ongoing story in such a beautiful and vulnerable way! Blessings on you and Michelle and your children as you continue to walk with Him "what 'er may come your way" He is good. He is love and you are being found faithful! Miss y'all!

David, I am in prayer for you and for your bride. I appreciate so much your thoughts in the blog. While with you in that training we understood the torment that must have been going on inside of you not being with Michelle, but selfishly I am thankful you did not go home as the wisdom you provided that group will change our families, communities, cities, state, and our country. I am grateful for your dedication to our Lotd and Saviour, but even more, I am thankful our Lord and Saviour does not leave us alone in times of war and when we are the most frail. God is good and you are the living testimony to that truth. Blessings my friend! Our prayers are still being lifted for you, Michelle, and the family.

The Hungarians have a saying: "one eye is crying, the other is smiling". One eye cries for Michelle and her plight, the other smiles for your abandon, and your awakening/awareness of life--with Michelle.

The Hungarians have a saying: "one eye is crying, the other is smiling". One eye cries for Michelle and her plight, the other smiles for your abandon, and your awakening/awareness of life--with Michelle.