Breath Of Life
Thus says the Lord God to these bones: "Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord". Ezekiel 37:5-6
Of all the weeks since this journey began back in January this has been my best week!! I have felt more "normal" than I have felt for months and am finally feeling like this cancer is being defeated and I can't WAIT to put it behind me and move on to what comes next in life!! As I take you through this past week I also want to share something about God's breath of life on which I have been pondering the last few days.
The positive start to the week actually began early with the eating of the massive Pal's cheeseburger on Saturday. I think most have seen the video on it by now, but if not let me know and I'll send it to you. I didn't eat the whole 1,500 calorie burger in one sitting, I ate half for lunch and half for supper, but I did eat it all that day and it went down just fine!! I was feeling so good on Sunday that I got myself dressed and ready to go to church but at the last minute changed my mind as I was still within the "danger zone" of low immunity from the previous week's chemo treatments. I AM planning to be at church THIS Sunday though!! As the week progressed I continued to feel stronger, I have found that I have a lot more energy and am able to walk around the house and yard without getting fatigued, it has felt so GOOD!! On Tuesday I had bloodwork done which came back good (no blood transfusion needed this week). As the week moved towards Thursday I had two doctor's appointments that I was feeling hopeful about.
On Thursday morning I had an appointment with the Gastroenterologist that I had seen early on when I had my stomach scope (back at the beginning when we thought I might have an ulcer). I was able to tell him how appreciative I was for him really pushing to have multiple tests done at a time that it felt like it was taking FOREVER to get me a diagnosis of what my problem was. In our conversation he said that I no longer needed to take two of the medications that I had been taking since March to help my digestion, I was happy to flush the rest of those medications down the toilet!! On Thursday afternoon I had the Pulmonary Function (lung) Test that I had been waiting on. Last time my lung function was just 48% and it led to my oncologist stopping one of my chemo drugs that tends to be hard on the lungs. I felt so much stronger doing this test (my third time doing it) and my lung function was up to 72% on the test this week, a BIG improvement! I know many of you had been praying for a good result, thank you, and I know those prayers have made a difference!!
With the lung test on my schedule for this week the whole subject of "breath" had been on my mind and in my prayers. In reference to the scriptures quoted at the top of this blog I know that all breath is a gift from God. Truly we breathe out and we breathe Him in every time. There are so many things that I have begun to see differently throughout this year, I thank God every meal time for the ability to eat, never used to pray that way before! I have been praying that God would heal my lungs over the past couple of weeks and have considered more than usual how breath is so vital to life and how easily we take it for granted! One of my favorite songs is "Great Are You Lord." There is a line in the song that says "it's Your breath in my lungs, and I pour our my praise, I pour out my praise." It always makes me think of a dear friend and church member by the name of Jim that we lost on earth back in January. He had lung cancer years ago and had lost part of one lung, and whenever we sang that song at church I would look at Jim as I knew he well understood how important our moment by moment breath was. On the day that he passed into Heaven I was with him and his family in the hospital, we played and sang "Great Are You Lord" together and it wasn't long afterwards that he very peacefully took his last breath on earth and his first breath in Heaven. I have thought about Jim these last couple of weeks a lot as I prayed for my own breath to increase. I know he is breathing just fine the perfect air of Heaven, and I have learned much more how to appreciate the breath that God gives.
My encouragement to you as you walk through your day is to remind yourself to appreciate the easy to ignore vital miracles that God provides you every day, ability to eat, to breath, to move. The Bible says "in Him we live and move and have our being" Acts 17:28. It's often not until a basic function of our life is restricted or removed that we realize how true that is. Literally every breath is a gift from God, our next one is not guaranteed but I am SO GRATEFUL for every breath that He gives, AND that my breathing is at 72% instead of 48%, every improvement is a celebration!
I value your prayers as I go into next week. I will begin on Monday 5 days of chemotherapy, this will be my third week and as I understand the impact of chemo tends to be cumulative so I am expecting this week to be a tough one. I'm praying that I don't have much (or perhaps any) chemo after this week though but as much as I don't enjoy the experience I DO want this cancer gone for good, so whatever I have to do to finish it off, that's what I will do!
Thanks so much for taking time to read today's blog. I pray that you are blessed by it. If so, please comment and share. I'm so glad that this blog is reaching so many here locally and around the world! Hopefully writing this blog will lead to writing books which will lead to who knows what next! One thing I have learned is that I am just on the journey but the destination is up to Him!
Your message made me think of things in my life that I didn't have or things I couldn't do before God healed me. I've often testified that I dance during worship because I can. There was a time before God healed my back when I couldn't dance without severe pain. I am finally understanding that it is the hard times that bring us closer to him & make us appreciate his blessings. Thank you for your messages that bringe back to realizing how much He loves us. I can't wait to see you Sunday!
Hey Elaine. What you said is so true. One of the lines to an Andre Crouch song says “if I never had a problem, I’d never know that God could solve them.” Hard times do bring us closer to the One we need most. Love ya!
Love your blog!! Look forward to the "drafting". Your words have so much life and encouragement ❤. You got this!
Thank you Sonya. I’m grateful for YOUR encouragement to me!! Love ya!!
Amen, absolutely love these blogs, you get to tell your story and encourage all in one!
Thanks Jon!! I have really enjoyed writing these. Thank you for taking the time to read them. Hope to see you soon!!
Matthew it is so encouraging to hear of the inprovement in your lung function! We will continue to pray for you from NZ. Thank you for sharing your journey. It's a vulnerable place but I am so blessed by each entry to this blog. Praying for you as you head into another week of chemo xxx
Thank you so much Emma!! Us reconnecting during this time has been such a blessing to me. Praying for your family as well. Love ya!!
PASTOR MATTHEW WE PRAY QD FOR YOUR HEALING. YOU ARE A BLESSING TO US. KEEP WRITING. WE SHARE
Thank you Retha. So grateful for your prayers! May God bless you richly.
Matt love you and this message. God is in control of EVERYTHING, we continue to pray for you and the family...love, Kim
Thanks Kim. Love your family. Grateful for your prayers.
Great news Matthew!
Hey Matthew, another great blog. So good! Being thankful is so vital. A good reminder to me to be thankful for the things we take for granted daily.
Been thinking of you this week with the 3rd round of chemo. In our weakness He is strong. Bless you xx
Thank you Lydia. So appreciate your love & prayers!!
So thankful and grateful for prayers answered this week. So blessed beyond measure to know your feeling so much better. God is faithful & so good. Powerful blog along with all others. So many things we often take for granted that are gifts in life even the very air we breathe. Remember the day you got the cancer diagnosis and how it took my breath away as my eyes filled with tears. However butt God! Quickly I remembered all his promises and how his promises are yes & amen! You truly are a gift to our world and when this life threatening circumstance hit it truly reminds you of how blessed we are at the most treasured gifts as you God gives us in life. Prayers and trusting God to continue the abundant life he has for you. We love you & this world needs men , daddy’s & husbands like you ❤️I love you Matthew ❤️ So thankful & grateful for you.
Thank you Sissy for being so supportive in so many ways during this time. I know it has been hard on you as well. We are seeing God answer our prayers. So grateful for that!!
Ms Elaine thank you for this post. What a Blessing for me.im waiting on results of possible Ca.in breasts I have had some problems. But I realize that every day I wake I'm Blessed. I'm more scared for my son Na I'm inspired by your Pastor his blog is so real an moving. Praying for him an you your church families. God is a way maker. 👏👏💖🙏
Diana. Thank you for your comments. I will be praying for you. God is good, all the time!!
We have been praying for you and will continue to do so.
Smiling as I read this ,knowing how great God is !
Thank you Barbara. So glad this made you smile at His greatness. He is such a good & great God!!
I was so delighted to see your presence in the service today, bringing great glory to God!
Keep going 👑♥️👑
Thanks Pam. I so appreciate your support & words of wisdom. I’m asking God to “refine my calling” as I come through this time. Praying for you all all of Israel at this time. God bless.
You are an amazing guy, Matthew. We pray for you in our Fellowship Prayer Meeting, in Carlisle, England, and I am following you blogs now I know the technique. Your lesson of the breath of life is very profound. Much love, Sheila and John xx
Thank you John & Shelia. I’m so encouraged by your comments & strengthened by your prayers. I’m planning to bring the family to England next year. Would love to come to Carlisle and see you all!! Lots of love.