Our hearts ache, but we always have joy….
2 Corinthians Chapter 6
As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. 2 For God says,
“At just the right time, I heard you.
On the day of salvation, I helped you.”
Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.
3 We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. 4 In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. 5 We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. 6 We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. 7 We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. 8 We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. 9 We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. 10 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy.We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. 
Almost 19 years ago my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. It wasn’t our first encounter with the awful word of cancer. Her mother had died 18 years earlier with melanoma. But reality hit us both very hard with the news of my wife’s cancer and knew that we would face a very difficult year of treatment. When the doctor told us the news, one of the first things my wife said was, “ help me find the joy in this journey.” I wasn’t for sure I could do that, but the word joy became our favorite word and God’s word continues to speak to us through all of our circumstances.
Once again I am reminded that joy is what God gives us because of his promises and despite what we go through in this life he is in control and assures us the hope of eternal life through his Son Jesus Christ. I am reminded that what pain and suffering I have experienced the past year was nothing compared to the troubles and hardships that Paul went through for sharing the gospel. And, I am always drawn to the cross for which Jesus endured and it was for joy that he did so. (Hebrews 12: 2) Why? He knew the future; he knew that the cross gave us victory over sin and death. That is the only reason we can have joy through our heartaches. Without Jesus there is no hope and there is no reason to find our joy.
In these verses we find a plan on how to address our difficult moments in life. Use the weapons of righteousness. We attack our weaknesses and we defend righteousness. We serve God first and foremost. Live a life of integrity full of honesty. Know that people will ignore us, fight us, call us names and try to destroy the joy we have. Death surrounds us with threats, health and terror. But we are still alive! And, we still have joy! We have everything we need.
I am getting stronger every day. I still struggle with an appetite and with eating certain foods. But each day I see improvement. I am hoping to have my feeding tube gone before Christmas. I am taking all of my medicine by mouth and have stopped taking my supplement. The bad news is that I have lost some weight because I am still not eating enough. I think I will start leveling out soon with the ability to eat more. I have a Dr. appointment next week. I had a swallowing test done last week and the Dr. said everything is working well. However, I still have problems swallowing medium sized pills. I have to cut them to make them smaller. I will have chest x-rays and a PET scan in December, although the PET scan is not scheduled yet.
THANK YOU for all of your prayers. God has been gracious and I am looking forward to what God has next for me. Please pray that all goes well with my feeding tube and with the PET scan.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation(2 Co 6). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.