In 2004 Ken received the news that he had a tumor in his right kidney. As we walked to the car after the appointment, Ken’s first response to the news of cancer was, “Just think of all the Medical personnel I will get to witness to.” Of course that was not my first reply, mine was more a cranky lament. Ken’s calm delight in God’s Sovereignty at that moment just brought me to tears. Ten years later Ken goes for a CT scan and receives the surprising news that there is a new active disease (lymphadenopathy-aspergillus fumigatus) in his left lung. This virulent fungus has not responded to weeks of antibiotics. As the doctor now refers Ken to two other specialists and schedules a PET scan and biopsy once again, “Ken moves in calm delight in his Papa God.”
Recently I was reading a book by Vicki Courtney titled Move On and in one of the chapters she expounded on a common passage in James about having “joy in our trials’ (James 1:2-3). As Vicki was developing this passage, one of the definitions of joy in the Greek was ‘calm delight.’ I had a fit because ‘calm delight’ is a perfect description of Ken’s inspiring response to every trial that comes his way-he moves in ‘calm delight’ in God’s faithfulness.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”(James 1:2-3)
Here is what Vicki shared about this ‘joy-calm delight’:
“This type of joy is not a sudden burst of euphoria. This kind of joy doesn’t get your heart pumping or leave you smiling uncontrollably from ear to ear. It is an established pattern or a way of life. It is a learned process. A calm delight is not manufactured in a moment. It is practiced over the course of many moments, hours, days, and months. Joy is not linked to the circumstances. It is linked to the end result of the circumstances. Joy comes because there is purpose, meaning, and a finished work. Our joy is connected to God’s handiwork and presence in the midst of the desert. We’d be masochists to be joyful in the very moment our hearts are breaking.”
During a teary eyed moment, considering Ken’s physical struggles that lay ahead, the Lord whispered three words to me from Exodus 2:25 “—and God knew.” By faith I rest in the fact that Papa God knew this was on the Kendall Adventure Calendar for 2015.