On June 7, well-known author and pastor Tim Keller informed his followers that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Despite the disheartening news, Keller said he’d been noticing no symptoms and the detection was listed as an “incidental pickup.”
Keller said the finding was “providential intervention” and asked for those interested to pray that the cancer would go into remission and that he would be able to continue working.
God seems to have answered those prayers, as Keller posted a positive update late Thursday night.
“Dear Praying Friends, Kathy & I want to thank you for your many expressions of support, and for your faithfulness in praying for us,” Keller began in a tweet.
“We have been acutely aware of those prayers, and God has heard them-As of yesterday, I have finished six rounds of chemo for pancreatic cancer.”
“[A]nd, while there are indeed some side effects, my doctor says I’m tolerating the treatment very well. I have not been seriously debilitated and I can still do some work and ministry.”
Keller has been able to continue with his God-given work on some level, but that’s not the only blessing: The cancer itself has been responding to the treatment.
“Yesterday we also met with my oncologist to go over the scans taken on Monday to assess the effectiveness of the chemotherapy,” Keller continued in a third tweet.
“The report is very encouraging. There has been shrinkage of the tumors and so we are continuing the chemo in order to diminish the cancer further.”
“Our situation has driven us to seek God’s face as we never before,” Keller went on.
“He is giving us more of his sensed presence, more freedom from our besetting sins, more dependence on his Word—things that we had sought for years, but only under these circumstances are we finding them.”
And, of course, Keller and his wife still covet the prayers of the faithful as he continues treatment.
“We humbly beg that you all continue your prayers for the effectiveness of the treatment and minimal side effects to accompany it,” Keller concluded.
“Your prayers and concern mean more than we can express. Thanks so much!”
Initially, the pastor had asked that he and his family be comforted through this trial — but also that they would respond to the challenging circumstances with growth in their Christian walks.
No one can know what the future holds or when God will call us home, but following Keller’s example of using this world’s sorrows to build our hope for the next is something we could all benefit from.
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