Four. Not a big number depending on what you are measuring. Four Hershey’s kisses are gone it a moment… at least around my house. Four potato chips even less. It takes about four minutes to start a load of laundry and four seconds to lose a set of keys. Four pieces of gum disappear in a flash…depending on the flavor. Four dollars…I don’t even have to tell you how fast that goes. Four gifts create a pile of trash in the time it takes to unwrap them. In snowballs, four is a high number if you are the one being hit in the face, and a low one if you are the one throwing. Four children seems like a lot of kids, unless you are a school teacher with a classroom, then four is a dream. I guess my point is that numbers are all a matter of perspective.
Four seconds seems like forever when they are saying, “you have cancer.” Four surgeries, well that was high a number for me, but low for many who face far more than I did. While four attempts to get a needle in a vein is a low number for me, four or more chemo treatments is huge. Having four different doctors on your team is a normal occurrence. Four hats isn’t nearly enough to cover a bald head through four seasons. For those who are terminal, four years is far too short, but the waiting for your body to fail takes forever. Four transfusions are necessary for life. Four cancer cells change everything. Scans would be easy if you could limit them to only four, same for blood tests. Four steps across the room is hard when you cannot breathe due to low blood counts. Four months of treatment, seems forever…for those who have four years, it is a miracle to hold on. Four days of bone pain and nausea stinks. Four hours of waiting for a doctor is routine.
There is more. Four friends praying is an army. Four meals brought is a lifesaver. Four children help carry the load by rising to the occasion. Four visitors lift the spirits. Four cards mean the world. Four jokes create laughter. Four carpools carry children to all their activities. Four vitamins build strength. Four massages relieve the stress. Four smiles bring hope. The phone calls of four well-wishers make all the difference. Four hours in a chemo chair provide perspective. Four books are a welcome escape. Four songs transport from the chair to the throne.
Four hours in the secret place with my Lord changes everything. I hear his heart. I feel his love. I know his care. I trust his way. I let him hold me there. I live. I breathe. I hope. I cherish. I rest.
He is. Nothing else matters. Not even numbers.
Four years cancer free. Today.

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