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  主頁 » 聖經靈修 » 週一嗎哪 - 2019年 第十五週

  
其他週一嗎哪

善用值得紀念的時刻

By Jim Langley

回顧過去的生活,你如何看待那些無論好壞,永遠改變你人生的值得記念時刻?也許是失業?找到人生夢想的工作。又或許是不當「員工」而開始創業、結婚或成為父母的時候。

我用「值得紀念的時刻」來稱呼它們,因為在舊約聖經中有許多這樣的例子,上帝指示祂的子民立碑作為紀念,提醒他們的後代上帝對祂子民的良善與愛。這些紀念碑讓以色列人「永遠不會忘記」神的作為。

在我的生命和事業中,上帝帶我度過了各種令人難忘、改變生活的經歷,它們非常值得立碑紀念,至少在我的腦海裡。特別是最近,一提到「值得紀念的時刻」,我就想到我的癌症。

這一切都從2017年的春天開始。那時候,我的醫生對我的PSA(攝護腺特異抗原)升高感到擔憂。自從兩年前的檢查以來,我的PSA已經上升了50%。即使在和泌尿科醫生會面之後,我依然沒有準備好要接受自己罹患攝護腺癌的事實。

在忍受嚴苛的活體組織切片檢驗之前,我詢問了其他可行的初期治療措施。泌尿科醫生建議我進行一項測試假設性癌症風險的檢查。多種血液檢查都顯示我的確需要活體切片組織檢驗。最後的結果表明,我體內的癌細胞必須要被清除。

醫生建議我透過手術切除前列腺,以防止癌細胞擴散到其他器官。但是,我還是決定先尋找其他的替代方案。我的一位保險客戶在幾年前嘗試了創新的前列腺癌治療法,並且在過去五年都沒有復發,這似乎是一個可行的選項。那時美國還未引進這種療法,但是當我診斷出罹癌時,我客戶的泌尿科醫生已經開始在美國本地施行這個名為HIFU(高能聚焦超聲波技術)的創新治療法。

經過初步諮詢之後,我的情況雖然適用該治療法,費用卻高不可攀。我禱告的時候對這件事感到非常不平安。後來我遇到了一位最近剛解決了攝護腺癌的高爾夫球球友。他被政府資助的健康研究錄取,並成功接受了HIFU治療。我調查了參加這項研究的可能性,但是幾項測試都顯示,我 的病情不符合這個為期兩年研究的參數。

後來有人引薦我和這位為了這項研究,執行HIFU治療法的泌尿科醫生會面。會面之後,這位醫生建議我使用冷凍療法,這是他認為對我的病情最有利的另一種微創手術。最棒的是,我的健康保險幾乎可以承擔所有費用!

當我在這個「冷凍療法」的手術後一小時醒來時,我很高興得知手術過程非常順利。在過去的18個月裡,我經歷了一個又一個具有紀念意義的時刻。箴言3章5-6節告訴我們:「你要專心仰賴耶和華,不可倚靠自己的聰明,在你一切所行的事上都要認定他,他必指引你的路。」上帝確實用我無法預料的方式帶領我。我永遠也不會忘記這些事。

商人通常在做出關鍵決策之前會分析替代方案和相關成本。作為基督的門徒,我們也需要超自然分析來確保我們是走在上帝的旨意和祂預定的道路上。當我們在各自人生的旅程中忠於主,我們就可以把最後結果的榮耀歸給神。

反省與問題討論

  1. 你能想到人生中任何「值得紀念的時刻」嗎?如果有,它們對你的生活和事業的影響是什麼?你又是如何度過這些事情的?
  2. 你認為紀念這些改變人生的時刻與事件是重要的嗎?請分享原因。立「紀念碑」來紀念這些時刻會帶來什麼改變?
  3. 你是否有過類似作者,度過數次意想不到轉變的經歷?對你來說那是什麼樣的經驗?
  4. 在聖經中,上帝的子民被指示建造紀念碑,以提醒自己和後代神所做的事。你對設立紀念碑——即便只是在我們的腦海中——的必要性(或重要性)有什麼看法?

備註:如果你想要看聖經中關於這個主題的其他經文,請參考並思考下面的經文:

創世紀35章13-15節

35:13  神就從那與雅各說話的地方升上去了。

35:14 雅各便在那裏立了一根石柱,在柱子上奠酒,澆油。

35:15 雅各就給那地方起名叫伯特利。

約書亞記4章19-24節

4:19 正月初十日,百姓從約旦河裏上來,就在吉甲,在耶利哥的東邊安營。

4:20 他們從約旦河中取來的那十二塊石頭,約書亞就立在吉甲,

4:21 對以色列人說:「日後你們的子孫問他們的父親說:『這些石頭是甚麼意思?』

4:22 你們就告訴他們說:『以色列人曾走乾地過這約旦河;

4:23 因為耶和華─你們的 神在你們前面使約旦河的水乾了,等著你們過來,就如耶和華─你們的 神從前在我們前面使紅海乾了,等著我們過來一樣,

4:24 要使地上萬民都知道,耶和華的手大有能力,也要使你們永遠敬畏耶和華─你們的神。』

撒母耳記上7章12-13節

7:12 撒母耳將一塊石頭立在米斯巴和善的中間,給石頭起名叫以便以謝,說:「到如今耶和華都幫助我們。」

7:13 從此,非利士人就被制伏,不敢再入以色列人的境內。撒母耳作士師的時候,耶和華的手攻擊非利士人。

耶利米書29章11節

29:11 耶和華說:我知道我向你們所懷的意念是賜平安的意念,不是降災禍的意念,要叫你們末後有指望。

羅馬書8章35-39節

8:35 誰能使我們與基督的愛隔絕呢?難道是患難嗎?是困苦嗎?是逼迫嗎?是飢餓嗎?是赤身露體嗎?是危險嗎?是刀劍嗎?

8:36 如經上所記:我們為你的緣故終日被殺;人看我們如將宰的羊。

8:37 然而,靠著愛我們的主,在這一切的事上已經得勝有餘了。

8:38 因為我深信無論是死,是生,是天使,是掌權的,是有能的,是現在的事,是將來的事,

8:39 是高處的,是低處的,是別的受造之物,都不能叫我們與 神的愛隔絕;這愛是在我們的主基督耶穌裏的。

CAPITALIZING ON MONUMENTAL MOMENTS

By Jim Langley

Looking back over your life, what have been the monumental moments – those times when, for better or worse, your life was forever changed? Losing a job, or finding the job of your dreams. Resolving it was time to stop being an “employee” and starting your own business. Getting married, or becoming a parent.

I use the term “monumental moments” because of numerous instances in the Bible’s Old Testament when God instructed His people to establish monuments to serve as memorials, reminders for future generations of His goodness and love for His people. These prompted the Israelites to “never forget” what the Lord had.

Over the course of my life and career, God has brought me through a variety of unforgettable, life-changing experiences that deserved monuments, at least in my mind. But especially since they are most recent, my mind quickly goes to specific “monuments” as they relate to my bout with cancer.

It all started with my physician’s concern over an elevated PSA (prostate-specific antigen) in the spring of 2017. My PSA had risen by 50 percent since my last lab work two years earlier. Even after meeting with a urologist for consultation, I was unprepared to simply accept that I had prostate cancer.

Before enduring the rigors of a biopsy, I asked what other preliminary steps were available. The urologist advised a test that measures the hypothetical risk of cancer. The score from that extensive blood work showed the biopsy was indeed appropriate. Results showed I needed to address removal of the cancer from my body.

The urologist suggested surgically removing the prostate to prevent the cancer from spreading to other organs. However, I decided first to explore all alternative methods. One of my insurance clients had gone through an innovative prostate cancer treatment a few years earlier and had been cancer-free for the past five years, so that seemed a promising option. At the time, the procedure was not available in the U.S.A., but by the time of my diagnosis, my client’s urologist had begun performing the HIFU innovative treatment locally.

After an initial consultation, however, even though I qualified for the procedure, the costs seemed prohibitive. As I prayed, I felt no peace about proceeding. Then I met a golfing acquaintance who had recently dealt with prostate cancer himself. He had been accepted into a government-sponsored health study and had undergone the HIFU treatment successfully. I investigated that possibility, but several tests revealed my condition did not meet parameters for the two-year study that would cover my expenses.

Then I was referred the urologist who performed the HIFU procedure for the study. After meeting with me, he recommended Cryotherapy instead, another minimally invasive procedure he felt would be best for my condition. Best of all, my health insurance would cover nearly all the costs!

When I awoke an hour after the procedure, called “cryoablation,” I was elated to learn the procedure had gone very well. Over the past 18 months I had experienced one monumental moment after another. Being a businessman devoted to following Christ, I had continually prayed for wisdom in dealing with the devastating diagnosis, exploring options, and the subsequent treatment. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.” He truly led me in ways I could not have anticipated. Something I will never forget.

Businessmen typically analyze alternatives and associated costs before making key decisions. As followers of Christ, we also need supernatural analysis to make certain we are in God’s will and on His appointed path. As we remain faithful to the Lord in our respective journeys, we can give Him the glory for the outcomes.

© 2019, all rights reserved. Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his relationship with God. His goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. A long-time member of CBMC, he started writing “Fourth Quarter Strategies” in 2014.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. Do you have any “monumental moments” in your life that immediately come to mind? If so, what has been their impact on how you have proceeded through your life and career?
  2. Do you think recognizing these moments – life-changing times and events – is even important? Why or why not? What difference does making “monuments” to these moments make?
  3. Have you ever had an experience similar to what Mr. Langley has gone through, a process that took several unexpected turns? What was that like for you?
  4. In the Bible, God’s people were instructed to build monuments to remind them and future generations of what He had done. What are your thoughts about the need (or importance) of having such remembrances, even if only in our minds?

NOTE: If you would like to consider other things the Bible says about this topic, read and reflect on the following passages: Genesis 35:13-15; Joshua 4:19-24; 1 Samuel 7:12-13; Jeremiah 29:11; Romans 8:35-39

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