Women's Ministry


August 2022

Life's Roller Coaster 

About a year ago, a CT scan was scheduled by a doctor treating me, looking to diagnose a minor issue.  When the scan was read, another more serious issue was revealed—a mass appeared in my lower right lung, which proved to be a surprise cancer.  This resulted in surgery to remove a lobe last February.  Surgery was followed by a recovery period, then by three months of chemotherapy.  Very recently, another CT scan was done and no further cancer is detected, which needless to say, was the result we had most hoped for!  We are very thankful to our Triune God and to all of his family who supported and prayed for us throughout.

This result indeed is a high point, and Rod and I are very grateful and comforted.  Along the way however there have been low points—it was my third bout of cancer—thankfully this one proved not to be related to any previous cancers.  I’ve been cancer free for 20 years and now when over 70, cancer appears again. There was a period several months ago when it truly felt as though the life force was draining out of my body due to fatigue.  My husband, my wonderful support and carer, was being faced with the possibility of moving on alone.  For both of us, mortality was hard to ignore.  That ‘three score years and ten’ passage rattled around in my brain while knowing that our times are in his hand.  I thought of those I’ve known my age or younger who have already made their exit and of the new grandchild I have yet to meet.  Cancer is indeed an enemy, silent and deadly.

David’s enemies were vivid and violent.  But while perusing Psalm 30 in a few versions recently I found it easy to see his enemies in terms of my own life.  His enemies brought death and mine were capable of the same: “You didn’t give my enemies the joy of seeing me die, O Lord my God, I cried to you for help and you have healed me…you restored me to life…weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning…you have turned for me my mourning into dancing…you took off my funeral clothes and dressed me up in joy …O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!” (NIrV & CEB) David knew what it was to face his own mortality, knew who could restore, and knew it would be on God’s timetable not his own.  None of this precluded him from pleading his case as he saw it; nor from dancing for joy when his desires and timetable coincided with the Lord’s.   Not surprisingly, this Psalm speaks to me in a new and very personal voice these days.

While chatting with a friend recently, I was pointed to the words of a Tracy Dartt hymn proclaiming a truth I now know in a much less abstract way -- Jesus never leaves us alone whether in the depths or the heights of this roller coaster of human life.    

For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley.

And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times…

The God of the day is still God in the night.

Ruth Matthews