Master Doubt Takes a Fall

Two weeks ago I had some really fantastic news that I had been waiting for so very long, but the bad news two hours later trumped the good news. For almost two months we had been waiting to get a financial quote from the surgeons and hospital in California, our choice to handle my medical emergency. It was a painstaking trial of patience waiting for the info that was needed to go the next step. Then on the morning of September 27th the needed info was completed and we were ready to present it all to the Insurance Company for approval. Of course it would be approved, even the main surgeon was willing to take off a significant amount from his fee for his part. Then two hours later, from my own office in Canada, came unforeseen news that deflated me quicker than a leak in a water balloon.

“Dear Peter,

I am sorry to announce to you the following item. Since your brain tumor is not a sickness that occurred while travelling in the USA, surgery of any kind will not be covered if you chose to go to the USA. But anywhere else in the world like Germany or Canada like the examples you gave us would be covered as long as it has been pre-approved by us, MSH International, in advance. Note also the travelling expenses will most likely be denied but the medical expenses per say would be covered.”

For some reason after I read that, it was like my life was once again falling into shock. Anger played some minor notes with my heartstrings. An irritating chorus repeated it self in a shrilling high register, “Am I going to go through more of the same again and again? Master Doubt, that insidious thief, had broken into my soul and began to suffocate my confidence, for a long 24 hours.

Then after a good sleep my morning spirit must have had a touch of something, because surprisingly my whole outlook changed. I was again ready for anything! Is this the power of a thousand voices praying?

What this episode taught me was that darkness has a power and it blinds us to beauty and to truth. Master Doubt sows his seeds that sprout best in the darkness. But give the soul a little light and a little hope, just a tad, and the sprout of doubt begins to dry up from within, wilting, then dying.

I think I now understand up close that doubt and unbelief are not the same thing. Doubt is forgetting certain things and thus losing perspective of the big picture. Unbelief is abandoning all hope. Yet if we don’t confront our doubts, they can flower into unbelief. In my case I waited so long for good news. When I got it from my wife, who read the Californian email first, she announced it with tears and dancing. I woke up sleepily and sighed relief expecting even better things to follow soon. Then the other email. I became offended by the new bad news and in the darkness I lost sight of reality for a moment.

I see Master Doubt’s routine so much better. It is when the unexpected darkness arrives – or when the expected blessing doesn’t- that our hope stumbles in the dark. It is when we are alone in our little darkness and there is no scaffolding to help us climb to the window and see the stars that we must rehearse our theology. “God you are creator. God you are good. God you are committed to this relationship. God you control all our destinies. God I know you will make a way for me. God I cast my skinny doubt onto your thick strong truth. I am climbing up on the ladder of trust, first in my mind and now in my heart. Is that light I see? It is, now invading my soul.”

Yes, Master Doubt takes a fall from the ladder! (Or did I push him off?) So while he shrinks away from love’s truth-rays of light, tonight I will sleep just fine.


10 thoughts on “Master Doubt Takes a Fall

  1. I love how you express your abiding faith. You express what I only wish I could express. I so enjoy reading the lovely things that you and Pat share with us. Praying for a swift resolution to this situation. Thanks for keeping us in the loop. Lots of love to you, Pat and the girls. Hope to talk to you soon. Cathy (and Rick)

  2. Thanks so much for sharing Peter. It was very encouraging how to deal with doubts. Praying for you + your family as you walk this journey.

  3. Peter, I assume that you are a missionary with the PAOC. Please tell are the people of your org. involved with providing you the funds for travel home to Canada where you can obtain the necessary surgery? Further, if this cannot be done here in Canada, why does the PAOC not pay for the costs incurred in the USA? I would like a response so I know what’s happening. If needed, I think I can help generate a wellspring of support.

    Brian Butcher

    • Brian, yes we are working closely with the PAOC team in Canada and the MHI who we have a relationship with for years. they are trying to find a neuro-surgeon team and get a quote. Once that is done we need to go to the Insurance company to pre-authorize. We are also looking at the possibility of a German team. I really appreciate your time to say hello and send encouragement here.

  4. Thanks Peter!
    God will not fail you now. In the darkest places of this difficult journey HE will carry you along.
    Yvonne Reid

  5. Thank you Peter for so eloquently expressing your faith in such a difficult journey. We too are praying for your best path to healing, already knowing that you are indeed already totally covered by the Ultimate Insurer, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. … Tom & LInda Goss

  6. Hi Peter, I am sorry to hear of your condition. I heard of it from my sister in-law who goes to gateway church. I was diagnosed 2 years ago with an acoustic neuroma (brain tumor) that left me SSD. If you are interested, I could give you information about the neurosurgoens in canada that specialize in these types of brain tumors, and some options (I just completed my treatment 1 month ago). Also here is a good web site for information God has a funny was of getting your attention sometimes.
    Please do not hesitate to email me. I know how scary and confusing this can be, and I thank God for the people that he put in my path to help me.

    • Gary,

      I’ve been meaning to thank you for the comment. I’d love to know how well you have recuperated. At times there is a naggy little fear that says, “Peter, you will never be the same.” I wonder about that. The what ifs. How will I respond in public or when I am alone with myself. Or will it be like a blimp in the history of my life after a successful removal? In any ways i know I will be different.


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