STILL LEAN'N ON YOU, LORD...
February 11, 1974 was a cold Kansas wintry day.
"Your tumor is malignant, Barbara." Dr.Myers said over the
telephone. "We'll schedule you for a modified radical
mastectomy in a week. OK?" Silence filled the
room. I was stunned and could not answer. "Are you
okay, Barbara?" he asked. "Yes, I'm okay," I
finally replied and he hung up. A week earlier he told me since I
was only 28 years old, he doubted the tumor was malignant.
However, they wanted to be 100% sure so they sent the biopsy to a
Kansas City lab to confirm it was cancer.
Soon my husband Paul came home from work.
"Honey, Dr.Myers called this afternoon and told me the tumor is
malignant and I will need a mastectomy," I said
calmly. He drew me close and we hugged and cried together.
In 1974, if you got cancer it was like a death sentence.
While our three beautiful children were napping, we
dropped to our knees by the sofa and prayed. As a chick runs to
its mother to hide under her wings when a storm approaches, so we ran
to Jesus to be under His strong and secure Wings when our storm came. "He
shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou
trust: thou shalt not be afraid..." Psalms
41:4,5. We literally ran to the Lord and tearfully sent up our
SOS's to Him and clung to Him in prayer. I will never forget that
day as long as I live! Paul prayed first. Then I prayed. We
both claimed God's precious promises. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
says, "In everything give thanks:
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that all
things work together for good to them that love God, and are the called
according to His purpose." Paul had recently
attended a Bill Gothard seminar in Kansas City where Bill Gothard
taught the principle of thanking God in everything. He also taught God's promise that if we trust in Him, God will bring good from everything we go through
because He is in control. "Dear Lord," I prayed
tearfully, "I need you to help me now as I face this
surgery. I am claiming with my husband 1 Thessalonians 5:18
and Romans 8:28 and trusting you will bring good from our
tragedy. I thank you in advance for it because I really believe
you are in control of all our circumstances. In Jesus Precious Name,
Amen." Paul got up and tearfully called all our family
members. We were in such a state of shock we could not say the
C-word! "Paul, I 'll come by train for a week to help take
care of your children," said my sister Brenda from Ohio.
When she and her daughter Eve left, my parents from Pennsylvania came
for another week. My family's love and support encouraged me so
The day of my surgery arrived. God gave me
such wonderful peace that whole week waiting for the surgery!
None of us like being in waiting rooms do we? Not even
God's! However, the Lord was preparing me so I could handle this
valley. I ran to His Word and claimed so many of His precious
promises to sustain me and strengthen my faith in Him.
"What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee."
Psalms 53:6. The peace that flowed through me could only come
from God! "Thou wilt keep him in
perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in
Thee." Isaiah 26:3. I never really
questioned God, " Why me?" Deuteronomy 29:29
says, "The secret things belong
unto the Lord our God." I was lean'n on the Lord
perfectly content knowing my Heavenly Father designed this affliction
for my good.
"Barbara, wake up. Your surgery
is over," the nurse said. "Good news! There was
no evidence of cancer in your lymph nodes but pathology will check them
to be sure. We'll know in a few days," Dr. Myers told
me later. WOW! Were we praising the Lord!
Paul, our friends and our Pastor, Rev. Bill Bingham all
had prayer with me before leaving. The Lord gave me His strength
as I leaned on Him one day at a time. Pastor Bingham one day
said, "Here's a poem, Barbara, to help encourage you
today." Oh, how it did bless and encourage me. It was
about a jeweler chiseling away on his precious diamond to make it
sparkle more and become more precious and valuable. The author of
the poem compared this diamond to our lives being a diamond. He
said God chisels away in our lives through valleys and trials to make
us more precious and valuable to Him conforming us to be more
Christ-like. It was so beautiful to think on that. As I
did, I rested in Jesus even more and said, "Chisel on
Lord!" "That the trial of your
faith being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it
be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at
the appearing of Jesus Christ." I Peter 1:7.
I became attached to one of my nurses, Rosemary. She said,
"Barbara, I've stood outside your curtain many a day and night
listening to you and Paul pray. I have watched you everyday go
through having cancer. The hospital staff is talking about you
and how well you are handling all this! It's your strong faith in
God, isn't it?" she asked. "Yes, Rosemary, I couldn't
have made it through without the Lord beside me." Having
recently gone through cancer herself, she told me, "Barbara, when
I heard my cancer diagnosis, I didn't handle it very well."
She realized what a difference it makes when you are born again and can
turn your burdens over to the Lord and leave them there. He is a
sovereign God and we must trust He is in control and that He can handle
the situation better than we can. She later found that out
herself from personal experience. She came to know the Lord in a
very personal way. Her faith in God was strengthened. The
joy of the Lord was now her strength as He was mine! I told the
Lord later, "Lord, I'm willing to go through cancer surgery all
over again to be used of You to bring someone to You or to a closer
walk with You." I really meant it.
A few days later as Dr. Myers was making his rounds he told me, "Barbara,
your lymph nodes were all free of cancer!" " So, when
can I go home?" I asked. I shed a few tears as we
talked and he sat down on the bed beside me and put his arm around me
to comfort me saying, "Well, now I know you're normal."
(I hadn't cried the whole time in the hospital until then.) We
The first night home from the hospital I prayed all
night, "Dear Lord, please let me live to raise my three
children." The Lord has allowed me not only to live to raise
my three wonderful children with my husband of over 42 years but now I
am a Grandma ("Nanny") six times! After our oldest
daughter Ann, had her first baby (our 1st grandchild), I silently
whispered to God, "Thank you Lord, for letting me live to be a
Grandma!" Now isn't that just like the Lord! I can't praise
Him enough! "Yet I will rejoice in
the Lord. I will joy in the God of my salvation." Habakkuk
3:18. My first Sunday back at church I sang, "He Touched
Me!" from my heart.
GRANDMA'S BLESSINGS...Left to right: (front row)
Alyssa Blake, Preston Blake, Justin Crank; (back row) Chelsea Crank, Twin Brittany Crank & Benjamin Blake.
I want to challenge you as you
face cancer or some other trial in your life to come to Jesus.
Come and place all your cares and burdens on Him. Lean on
Him. "Casting all your care upon
Him; for He careth for you." 1 Peter 5:7. Trust
He is in control. Claim His precious promises from the Bible as I
did. Remember the lives and suffering of Job and Joseph who
suffered unjustly. God brought good out of all their
suffering. They trusted completely in Him. He will give you
such peace! He is the only One that can. Run to Him and His Word
as a chick runs to its mother under her wings! Thank Him as He chisels
away at your diamond (life) to make you more beautiful and valuable to
Him. Bring glory to His Name as He uses your testimony to bring
others to salvation in Christ or to comfort and encourage Christians
going through a valley. Remember...He says,
"this is the will of God concerning YOU."
(1 Thessalonians 5:18).
The Lord has brought me
through 24 years of chronic back and leg pain with
depression. Our Silent Missionary ministry began in 1993 when I
asked God what I could do as a disabled person confined to bed so
much. A job related injury; in addition, 4 car accidents resulted
in 12 surgeries yet I'm...
STILL LEAN'N ON YOU,
As the years pass by in this pain wretched
Still lean'n on You, Lord
Not worrying or wondering "why" for this thorn
lean'n on You, Lord
For in Your Word all through the
You demand trust in our storms
I'll keep lean'n on You, Lord!
It's as simple as that!
and suffering bring me into beautiful valleys
lean'n on You, Lord
Where the most beautiful lessons
Always lean'n on You, Lord
me closer to You, Lord,
Giving me grace to
So, I'll keep lean'n on You, Lord!
as simple as that!
Barbara J. Summers
More encouraging GEMS from the Word of
"Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to TRIUMPH in Christ..."
Philippians 4; James 1:3;
5:10-16; Job; Genesis 50:20; Proverbs 3:5,6;
1:9; Psalm 37:3-7; 40; 73
II Corinthians 1:14