Redeemer Presbyterian Church Founder Tim Keller, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year, praised God in a string of posts in social media on Friday for sustaining him with "hope and strength" despite his affliction.
"I have Stage IV pancreatic cancer. But it is endlessly comforting to have a God who is both infinitely more wise and more loving than I am. He has plenty of good reasons for everything he does and allows that I cannot know, and therein is my hope and strength," Keller said in Twitter.
In a succeeding tweet, Keller expressed appreciation for prayers and revealed his intentions for his first post as praise for the wisdom of God. He then shared in a third post a link to an article he wrote in March for The Atlantic on the struggles he faces with his illness.
"I deeply appreciate prayer for my situation! But my main purpose in the last post was to show that having a God who in some ways is beyond our comprehension (esp regarding evil and suffering) is more of a spiritual strength than it is an intellectual problem," Keller disclosed.
"Our brother Tim, this glorifies God! Stand firm in the Lord and the power of His might. Fight on our brother," Litton urged.
Church Leaders reported Keller was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last June 7, 2020 and has, since then, been providing updates about it in social media. During that time, the Christian Headlines said Keller asked for prayers as soon as he learned he had cancer. Keller also revealed then that he "felt great and had no symptoms" and was grateful for not only having "terrific human doctors" but " the Great Physician himself caring for" him.
Keller's diagnosis on cancer came after returning for checkup for an intestinal infection he developed in February 2020. The doctors said the infection were harmless "enlarged lymph nodes" in his abdomen that were seen after getting a scan from his trip in Kuala Lumpur for an Asian Christians conference.
Church Leaders highlighted that Keller's treatments for chemotherapy was increased by doctors in September after a "mystery lump" was discovered and tested cancerous.
According to Keller, one of his struggles was being able to take his own advice on facing death for the many years he ministered to the dying as a Presbyterian minister. This excludes the irony, he highlighted, of learning about his diagnosis just weeks after his book entitled, "On Death", was published.
"I spent a few harrowing minutes looking online at the dire survival statistics for pancreatic cancer, and caught a glimpse of On Death on a table nearby. I didn't dare open it to read what I'd written. My wife, Kathy, and I spent much time in tears and disbelief," Keller shared.
Keller pointed out that he learned that "religious faith does not automatically provide solace in times of crisis." He became one with the "significant number of believers in God" whose faith was shaken when they were faced with death, especially when it was "a way that seems unfair to them." He eventually came to a point of the need to really come to terms with his understanding of God so he can bridge his heart with it in the light of his predicament.
"I had to look hard at my deepest trusts, my strongest loves and fears, and bring them into contact with God. Sometimes-not always, or even usually-this leads, as the poet George Herbert wrote, to 'a kind of tune...softness, and peace, and joy, and love, and bliss, exalted manna...heaven in the ordinary'," Keller divulged.
"But even though most days' hour of Bible reading, meditation, soliloquy, and prayer doesn't yield this kind of music, the reality of God and his promises grew on me. My imagination became more able to visualize the resurrection and rest my heart in it," he emphasized.
Readers are urged to pray for Pastor Tim Keller's healing and victory over cancer.