Daily Devotional 6-25-20


Good morning. I’m Bob Van Ausdle and I’m one of the support group leaders here at Arizona Community Church. Recently, I was talking with pastor Bill and he asked me to talk with you today about some of my personal life challenges that have strengthened my trust and greatly increased my faith in God.

Shortly after I turned 20 years old, I was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive tumor on my neck and head. I was given a 20% chance of survival and would need major surgery chemotherapy radiation. Prior to surgery, the surgeon estimated the tumor to be the size of a golf ball. However, it was closer to the size of a baseball. In order to get a good margin around the tumor, he removed my right shoulder muscle, most of the muscles in my right neck, and the back right portion of my skull.

The radiologist gave me difficult news stating that the radiation would be risky and that I would need to be aware that the total paralysis from the neck down was a possible side effect. I basically would wake up and be a quadriplegic. I didn’t give in to fear and put my trust in God and found insurance in Psalm 112:7, “He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord” (ESV).

I completed several months of radiation and two more rounds of chemotherapy. I knew my heart that God answered my prayers and cured me. I was as sure of that as I was my own name. I informed the oncologists that God had healed me and I wasn’t going to finish the last three rounds of chemo. I explained that I was going back to farming in the summer and returning to college in the fall. And because of my trust in God, that’s just what I did.

Unfortunately, about 18 months later, while working on large farm equipment, I had a bad fall and broke my neck. The neurosurgeon informed me that they were unable to break the malfusion with traction, and the surgery was risky. He told me I was lucky and it was a miracle that I did not die. There was nothing else he could do, and I would need to learn to live with the pain.

What he attributed to luck, I attributed to God. This was indeed God’s miracle and luck had nothing to do with it. I’m reminded of Psalms 56:3-4, which says, “When I’m afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid, what can flesh do to me?”

Over the next three decades, my trust in God grew greatly as I came to him with worries and challenges. Because of his Grace Love and protection in my younger years, I depended on him much more and myself much less. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and came to him in prayer. I was calm and at peace with this new challenge because I had such profound trust and faith in him. He had helped me over the many years. There was no worry or anxiety because I knew he was in control of my life, and he had always been there for me. And this time would be no different.

Three years later, I’m cancer-free and enjoy a much deeper relationship with him. I’m reminded of Psalm 37:5, which says, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.”

In closing, maybe you’re going through a crisis and having challenges in your life. Let not your heart be troubled because God is with you and knows just what you need. He hears all our prayers and he promises that he will never leave or forsake us. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

Thank you for joining me. And I hope my story of God’s work in my life has been a blessing to you. Take care and God bless.