Moving From Discovery To Recovery

Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth.  And his disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents , that he was born blind?"   Jesus answered, "neither this man nor his parents sinned, but the works of God should be revealed in Him." John 1:1-3

Yesterday began a really important chapter in my ongoing health saga.   With the beginning of chemotherapy I moved from 2 months of discovery (trying to find out what was wrong with me) to recovery, (as I finally begin the process of dealing with this cancer).   If all goes well the treatment will go about 2 months total, so if that's the case I'm at the half way point!   Yesterday everything went smooth.  No nausea last night (praise God for that) I did have some acid reflux which made sleeping uncomfortable but that was the only side effect!  I also showed about a 5 pound weight gain (back over 160 again) I'm sure that was all the fluids they gave me yesterday but I'll take it!   There are some breaks in between but I am currently scheduled for 21 days of chemo, so after today I'll be 2 days down and 19 to go.   By this coming Monday I'll be 1/3 of the way through!   I asked the nurse today how soon I should shave my head, she said when the hair starts coming out, she said that could be this week, if not next.   So prepare to see a shiny noggin next time you see me!   The doctor did tell me yesterday that I should be able to start eating solid foods next week!  Not sure i'll be able to eat cheesburgers and pizza yet (we're checking with the nutritionist on that) but I am starting to see them in my near future!

I have thought a lot about the question that we are often told not to ask God is "why?"  That is the question posed by the disciples in John 9 about the blind man born blind.  Sometimes "why" is an appropriate question to ask, "why did I have a wreck?" "Because you were driving too fast on a wet road".  Asking why in those situations where there is a clear cause and effect can be helpful to avoid the same thing happening again.   But... when random sickness, out of the blue devastating accidents, sudden loss of a family member, the "why" question can be very problematic.  We often know the answer to that better in retrospect than we do walking through it.   I have absolutely NO idea why at 47 years old I have been diagnosed and am having treatment for a type of cancer much more common for men in their 20's.  The 3 oncology doctors I have talked to don't know why, and even if there was a "why" chances are there would be nothing I could have done to prevent it.    I certainly don't want to go down the road of the disciples in John 9 and start looking for someone to accuse and I'm not looking to heap guilt on myself either.   I believe the best answer in these situations is the answer that Jesus gave, "that the works of God may be revealed" in me.   If you read on through the chapter you'll see that Jesus healed him of his blindness but he became such a vocal supporter of Jesus that the religious leaders rejected him.   So sad, but he was happy because he had received his sight!!

I do believe with all my heart that through whatever suffering we face in this life God is good & is working all things for our good, He is with us in the boat while the storm rages, & one way or another we have resurrection in our future.   In the meantime rather than asking "why this has happened" I believe a better question is "how can God reveal His works through me in this"?   I have, and will come in contact with more people I don't already know, how can God touch them through me?   I can share my journey and hopefully encourage those I love to trust Him in their storms, I can celebrate the good days and trust Him in the hard ones, allowing Him to give me strength when I am weak.    I don't have any of this figured out and I don't want you to think that I do, but I just know God wants to use our mountains and our valleys for His glory.   I'm willing to be a tool in His hand for that.

I pray you have a great day today and if you are struggling with anything in your life ask God "how can God reveal His works in me?"  That may change your perspective and allow you to bring life and hope to someone else.

Thank you ALL for your love and prayers.  I need you!


Jon Delp - April 13th, 2021 at 10:13am

Love this and even if you think you are just blogging about your journey you are preaching God's word! Love you and will be praying for you!

Matthew Chapman - April 13th, 2021 at 10:42am

Thank you Jon. Love you brother!

Cherish Chapman - April 13th, 2021 at 10:27am

I just love reading your blogs. I know God will use this situation. I have no doubt. I just pray I can be useful also.

Matthew Chapman - April 13th, 2021 at 10:43am

Love you Cherish. I’m SO grateful for you & yes I will be glad to clean my hair out of the shower drain!!!

Melissa Coalson - April 13th, 2021 at 10:58am

Awesome message an yes we never know how strong we are until we go through storms an god is there with us ever step of the way. Our prayers are with you& your family. GOD BLESS!

Matthew - April 13th, 2021 at 11:40am

Thanks Melissa. I appreciate your love & prayers. Love your family!!

Elaine Smythe - April 13th, 2021 at 10:59am

I love reading these messages, too. This one is right in line with the devotional book my secret sister gave me because it talks about walking through the storms of life. I almost sent you an excerpt from today's reading. It talked about times of illness slowing us down so we can just be with our Father, & that it is in those times that he is preparing us & setting things in place for things he wants us to do in the future. He has something great in store for you!

Matthew - April 13th, 2021 at 11:42am

That’s encouraging Elaine! I love it when God speaks similar things from unrelated sources. Love you a bunch!!

Amelia Casey - April 13th, 2021 at 12:02pm

You are and have always been such a strong figure in my life. I was just reading this morning in my devotional that the Lord is as close to us in our darkest tunnel as he is when you are under open heaven. Praying that you continue to hear from the Lord and believing for a healing. Thank you for your encouragement and I look forward to hearing more!

Matthew - April 13th, 2021 at 12:25pm

Thank you Amelia! Yes i am learning we often draw closer to him in the valleys than the mountain tops. We need both!! Thank you for taking the time to read the blog & to pray. Love ya!

Kevin Holmes - April 13th, 2021 at 1:13pm


Matthew - April 13th, 2021 at 1:17pm

And Amen!

Pamela Jo Holmes - April 13th, 2021 at 4:27pm

Awesome word!!! I can hear your voice when I read it!!! We’ve got you covered in prayer. If you need tips on shaving your head Kevin’s got you covered.

Matthew - April 13th, 2021 at 4:39pm

Thanks Pamela!! I do enjoy writing these.

I’m looking forward to joining the bald club. I’ll be in good company. The main thing I’ll need some advice on is how to be sure i don’t sunburn my noggin!

Chris Graf - April 13th, 2021 at 8:45pm

May God bless and heal you pastor, may this journey of yours lead many to Christ. You inspire me. Your words have this weight behind them now like never before. I've heard a wise man preach, never trust a man that doesn't walk with a limp. After this experience I believe everyone will want to wrap you up in bubble wrap -> to keep you safe , not to ship you out. Love ya bro.

Matthew - April 13th, 2021 at 9:58pm

Thank you Chris! If a limp brings me closer to Christ I’ll take the limp. Not sure about the bubble wrap though. I’d be awful tempted to just roll around on the stage 🤣