Before I begin the update, I want to retract a recent prayer request and refocus all prayer requests to be centered on God's will in this matter. The other day I had asked to pray that my problem was tuberculosis. Well, I am sorry I asked you to do that as it was not biblical, and actually a rather selfish request.
First, in addressing the selfishness, it is human nature to want the best and easiest solution for ourselves. But, the problem is this, I was asking for a disease for myself, that would be the answer to my problems, and be the easiest to receive treatment for. In my rashness, I failed to consider the consequences for others. I would have been essentially asking for literally hundreds of others to be exposed to TB by having coming into contact with them. That means my church family, on a small scale so far, but on an even larger scale, my students and friends back in China, and all of the people they would come into contact with. If tested positive for TB, then all would run the risk of contracting the disease as well. Seeing how the exposure to my family and church family has been rather small, contacting them would not be much of a problem. But the exposure to my students and friends in China would be, as stated earlier, be literally hundreds of people, and there would be a great difficulty reaching all those whom I had come into contact with, and that would bring great possibilities that many would be infected and not even be aware of the fact. I would not want even just one to be infected with TB just so I could have a greater chance of being healed.
Second, as for being biblical, we see in Matthew 6:10 that Jesus teaches us to pray this way:
10 ‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.(NASB). Jesus models this prayer again on the Mount of Olives ( Luke 22:42: 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”) when He clearly knew the fate that he would soon be suffering. His prayer that the cup be removed was more a way of asking for another way to accomplish the same purpose that would involve less suffering for Him, and would not inflict suffering on anyone else. ( That is just my take on that.). However, He quickly stated that the will of the Father be done in order to accomplish His Father's will. In other words, Christ is saying Father, I don't really look forward to this horrible death set before me, but if it is to accomplish your will, I am ready willing and able. In praying this way we see in verse 43 that the Father prepares and strengthens Him for the task ahead: 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. I know God will also do this for me as well!
So, dear friends and family, please revert back to praying this way for me: That not my will ( or desire) be done, but His will. Thank you so much for you love support and prayers.
Now for the update: It has been decided that the first step toward a definitive diagnosis will be what is called a Bronchoscopy, a procedure where they will insert a tube into my lung by way of the nostril. What they will do is spray a solution into the airways, and then use a suction device to retrieve the solution, which will bring some of the small particles back into the tube. They will then culture the particles in hopes of making a diagnosis. At the same time, they will also use this procedure to collect some lung tissue via biopsies. Together with the cultures, they will then attempt to make a diagnosis, at least to what they are seeing in my lungs.
This procedure will take place today, April 18 in the late afternoon. Please pray for the God to direct the hands of the operating team and to sharpen their wisdom and skill. The cultures will probably take about two days to yield an analysis.
Then, probably on Friday, they will do GI scope for the purpose of trying to collect some tissue samples of the pancreas and have a look see in the abdominal area. As, I find out more about the results and diagnosis, I will be sure to keep you informed.
As always, thanks for reading. I also especially thank you for your love, support, and most of all your prayers. May you experience the full nature of God's blessings that He has prepared for you today! Until the next time...