Every day God teaches me something new, whether it’s reading the chapter actually does help you get a good grade, learning my mother may actually know best or realizing my life is truly blessed. I imagine God shakes his head the next day when I’ve forgotten the lesson.
As I stepped into Dr. John Maple’s office Thursday morning, I knew I would struggle the next 35 minutes. I wouldn’t struggle as a result of apathy, even though it was my birthday and my classes were done for the day. No, I struggled out of a feeling of inadequacy.
I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing a man who has spent the last 10 months battling a uniquely difficult form of cancer.
Deciding our newer reporters might not appropriately handle such a story, my co-editor and I assigned me the story a few days before the interview.
As I met Dr. Maple at his door, I forced myself to relax. I looked at him, and he smiled.
After five minutes speaking about his department’s awards recently received, we plowed into the dreaded subject. He did so with an ease that amazed me. He spoke openly about his 22 radiation treatments, four months of chemotherapy and all the complications of his stem cell transplant. Even after the transplant, he explained to me he might only have four more years to live.
Then he said to me, “What I have done is just say, I’m going to accept what the Lord gives. ‘The Lord gives, the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.’”
As he spoke these words, I fought back tears. I didn’t want to seem unprofessional or make anything about me. I didn’t want anything to distract from this man’s story.
I kept my head down as I walked out of his office. Maple’s words echoed through my mind, and I could finally let the tears fall. They were not simply tears of sadness. They were tears of amazement. I left the interview feeling grateful for a God that could help a sick man get through such terrible trials. I left humbled at the mighty power of God.
Maple taught me a lesson I hope I never forget, a lesson of faith, humility and the power of the Almighty.
As I sit here, I map out the next week ahead of me. I feel tempted to complain, but I hear Maple’s words. More importantly, I read God’s words in Proverbs 3:1, “My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart.”
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