My Journey of Healing by Daniel Yi-Ta Chen
文 / 陳義達校友(化學系48級)
圖 / 陳義達校友(化學系48級)

Throughout my entire 50-year career in medical research as a biochemist and medical technologist, I never knew how painful it would be when cancer attacked me seven years after I retired.

Ten months ago, my neck had a tumor as large as an egg and the left side of my tonsils had an abnormal growth. Thank the Lord that my family doctor immediately sent me to see a specialist to do a biopsy. To my shock, the result was a diagnosis of "Diffuse Large B-cell lymphoma ", or "Non-Hodgkin’s disease". It really shook up our family, including my wife, Lily, my daughters, Hannah and Merry, and their husbands, Cornell and Peter. Although I knew that my God was in control of my life, I felt so dejected and depressed, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I kept asking God, "Why me?"

My family doctor sent me to see an oncologist, who immediately arranged for me to undergo chemotherapy treatment every 4 weeks, for 9 cycles, starting from February 2004. Thank the Lord that He inspired me to call my dear friend in California, Pastor Felix Liu for his prayer support. He not only prayed for my healing on the phone, but he also promised to ask all the teachers and students of Logos Seminary to fast and pray for me. He also encouraged me with Scriptures from II Peter 1: 3-4 (NLT): "As we know Jesus better, His divine power given us everything we need for living a godly life, He has called us to receive His glory and goodness. And by that same mighty power, He has given us all of His rich & wonderful promises that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires & that you will share in His divine nature."

Pastor Liu also encouraged me to focus my eyes on Jesus Christ our Lord. I knew that the Apostle Peter was inspired by the Holy Spirit to teach that God’s mighty power would be given to whoever trusted Him and believed in Him to heal. But as a medical researcher with some scientific background, it was hard to totally trust that God’s divine power could happen to my life. What about the fact that I had to go through 9 cycles of chemotherapy treatment? Should I trust the doctor’s judgement in treating me according to medical and scientific knowledge? Or simply trust God’s unseen divine power working in my body?

Regardless of my struggles and doubts, I was deeply touched by the Scriptures suggested by Pastor Liu. Throughout my battle with cancer, the Word of God consistently comforted me, and reminded me that our Creator "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrew 13:8). He is the one who is in charge of my entire life. I humbled myself and surrendered all of my life to God. From the moment I really trusted God, I was filled with peace.

Over the last nine months of chemotherapy treatment, God taught me some very important lessons. And He also transformed my life, through His divine power:

a. My Physical Transformation: God knew that all my life I struggled with the temptation to eat too much junk food whenever I wanted. The Scriptures taught me "Our (Your) body is the Temple of Holy Spirit" (I Corinthians 6:19) I have been abusing my body without knowing for so many years! I cried out to God and repented of my wrong desires to abuse my body. The Lord used my wife, Lily, to care for me and to teach me healthier ways of eating, and to ensure that I slept well and exercised daily. Through my chemotherapy treatment, my wife helped me regulate my diet and exercise. With all the prayer support from friends and family, I never experienced the vomiting or nausea that is commonly experienced by most cancer patients. I was also able to walk 30-90 minutes daily and never feel tired.

God showed me how human medicine is so limited. Even though the chemotherapy is designed to kill cancer cells, it also destroys healthy blood cells. But because of His intervention in my life, I suffered very few ill effects of the chemotherapy treatment. As well, God is so merciful that He gave me another chance to carefully look after my body so that I’m even healthier now than I was before my illness. It was only after my treatments that my wife revealed to me how serious my cancer really was – the doctor had told my family that I was in stage 4 cancer, and that it had spread to my bone marrow. My recovery is such a testimony of God’s incredible divine power.

b. My Mind and Heart Transformation: The Scriptures say, "Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is -- his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:1-2.)

God convicted me of how I have allowed my mind to be polluted by worldly concerns, especially regarding my focus on the politics in Taiwan. I spent so much time absorbed in the news that the media began to negatively influence my mind and heart. I became consumed with anger and bitterness because of the injustices suffered by my countrymen that it poisoned my heart and mind. As I came to realize that only God’s Word should be filling my "inner being", I called out to God and repented of the sin of allowing my mind and heart to be tainted by the world. Through the prayers and exhortations of my family, as well as experiencing prayer healing at a retreat led by Pastor Felix Liu in September, 2004, I was able to receive God’s forgiveness and healing.

c. My Spiritual Transformation: After reading Oswald Chamber‘s devotional called, "My Utmost for His Highest", in which he quoted: " Be quiet, and know that I am God…" (Psalm 46:10), I realized how much of my 37 years in North America had been lived in restlessness rather than in peace and contentment. Because of my own selfish desires and dreams, I have moved more than 25 times, always looking for that elusive happiness and fulfillment. It wasn’t until it was almost too late that I realized that my joy and happiness is in the Lord, not in my circumstances. But this attitude of discontentment caused so many problems in my family life, with my wife and children suffering because of my unstable life and my frequent absences from their lives as I searched for my dreams. I cried out to God for His forgiveness and also asked my children and wife for their forgiveness. Yes, when I finally submitted my stubborn heart to God, I realized what a precious blessing and gift it is to spend quiet time with God and rest in Him.

When the oncologist announced that I was cancer-free, my family and I could not help but praise Jesus Christ our Lord! How good and gracious is our Lord and Savior, who saved me from death, first at the cross, and then through his miraculous healing!