revdrwalter-t-richardson.jpgA righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.
– Psalm 34:19
    I was preparing for resurrection Sunday, the day most Christians attend some church. A biopsy had been done on my prostate two weeks earlier to determine if any disease was present.

My Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) count was normal, so I had little concern for the results.

But when Dr. Barbara Montford announced the results to me, I was shocked to learn that cancer was found. I was even more shocked because this is the 10th year since I was diagnosed with Merkel Cell Carcinoma, a rare skin cancer hardly experienced by blacks, and I figured that if and when I died, it would certainly not be from cancer. So, how could it be that, once again, I could be diagnosed with cancer?
Well, it didn’t take long for reality to set in.

I am no different than anyone else, susceptible to disease and victimized by the disruptions of life. Disease does not discriminate. It affects the high and low, the rich and famous, the down-and-out, the committed Christian, the non-religious – and people who write for newspapers.

I discovered afresh that life is never a smooth, uninterrupted walk through a park. There are disruptions, distractions and detours.

I had to stop and realize that it’s healthy to reflect and remember that the adversary’s job is to slow you down and keep you from succeeding. In life, all of us will be pressured, perplexed, puzzled, persecuted and pounced on but we can rise again and bounce back.

So I spoke to one of my trusted minister friends, the Rev. D.L. Powell, and told him that there was something sinister about the word “cancer,” that the word “cancer” began with the letters “c” and “a” and has six letters.

We prayed and he said, “Doc, if my math and spelling are correct, there’s another word that has six letters and begins with the letters ‘c’ and ‘a’ and it’s a word for your situation, and that word is ‘cancel’.”

Now you know how that conversation ended! And my report is: I’ll rise again. If God can heal me once, He will heal me again.

So, now, let me encourage you. As long as you can wake up, you can get up so that you can make up for the time that was messed up. The trouble that preceded your night is now contained and confined to yesterday.

The temptations that followed you to bed last night are still asleep and, unless you wake them up, they will not hinder you today. The tragedy and trouble that was on your mind does not haunt you and hurt you and hold you hostage today. Your glorious future is calling you. Purpose propels you, wisdom directs you, love holds you and hope sustains you.

It’s time to rise up!

Lord: I know that resurrections are still possible. If you could get up after being dead, so can I. Because of you, I have power to always start again! I am not defeated, the game of life is not over. I am a winner! I know I’ll rise again. In Jesus’ name! Amen.

*Walter T. Richardson is pastor-emeritus of Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church in South Miami-Dade County and chairman of the Miami-Dade Community Relations Board. He may be contacted at wtrichardson@Bellsouth.net Website: WTRMinistries.com