On one occasion, my oncologist said it was worth a million dollars to him to have one of his serious cancer patients respond to his care as I did. He called one night in a panic, saying tests showed my cancer had return with a vengeance. However, later tests proved the previous tests were mistaken! He and my surgeon once told me that my cancer situation was the worst they had ever treated! Even though I did not die thirteen years ago as expected, there is always the possibility that cancer can reoccur and this be my last year before glory. I was reading of the great commentator and Puritan pastor, Matthew Henry, who died in June, 1714. On January 1 of that year he wrote:
I this morning renewed the dedication of myself to God, my whole self, body, soul, and spirit. Father, I give Thee my heart; use me for Thy glory this year; employ me in Thy service; fit me for Thy will. If this should be a year of sickness and pain; if a year of family affliction; if a year of public trouble; if of silencing and suffering; bonds and banishment; if it be my dying year, welcome the holy will of God. If this is a year of continued health, peace and liberty, Lord I desire to be busy in Thy service, both in study and preaching, in entire dependence upon Your divine grace, without which I am nothing, and can do nothing.” That day, he preached a sermon to young people, from Proverbs 23:26: “My son, give me thy heart.” He then added in his diary the following affectionate and devout aspiration. “Lord, take my heart and make it such as it should be.