When I made my first trip to M.D. Anderson Cancer Treatment Center in Houston, Texas, my outlook was bleak. My first diagnosis had given a rather short length of life projection. After a myriad of tests and consultations, Dr. Kuban, the lead doctor, sat down with my wife and me. Her prognosis was more encouraging. She told us that if everything went really well, they had a chance of adding five years to my life expectancy.
We had to make a temporary move to Houston to start treatment. Days stretched into weeks of daily radiation. Finally, I was cleared to return home to continue chemotherapy at a local facility. Over the next four years, numerous trips to Houston were necessary, in addition to regular doctor visits here. This last year had raised my concern as PSA and other indicators had elevated. On Monday Sept. 10, I returned to M.D. Anderson for blood work and case evaluation. Five years had lapsed since Dr. Kuban had given me cautious hope.
I sat nervously waiting for Dr. Kuban. The PA’s and nurses had reviewed my records and tests – now the wait. When Dr. Kuban arrived, we exchanged pleasantries, and I tried to appear calm. Then the shoe dropped. Dr. Kuban said, “Mr. Lauter, I am changing your status today. I’m changing you from Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor.” All I could say was, “Praise the Lord.”
I really didn’t need a plane to fly home! On the way back to Wilmore, my heart continued rejoicing at the news. Then, I remembered another occasion of such an overflowing heart. It was the day I was the recipient of a spiritual reclassification. Conviction had made me fully aware of the fact that; “… the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:22, NIV). When I confessed my sins, I was forgiven and saved from my sin. I was reclassified from sinner to ‘born again’ believer.
I have been the subject of several other reclassifications, like student to graduate, renter to home owner, teacher to administrator, etc. But, nothing can compare to my spiritual change in status. That change is now closely followed by, “Mr. Lauter, I’m changing you from Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor.”
May I ask you, “What is your spiritual status?” If there is a problem, let Jesus reclassify you from sinner to believer. There is no other experience like it.