Retired pastor, author and co-founder of the Gospel Coalition, Tim Keller has announced some positive updates about his fight against cancer. Earlier last year, Keller revealed that he has pancreatic cancer. After a year or so of prayer, surgery and chemotherapy, the 70-year-old pastor reveals that the cancer has been controlled.
"Cancer Update: I had a scan in May that was extremely encouraging, showing no cancer growth under less aggressive chemotherapy. A surgery at the end of May removed several nodules that had remained unchanged for 9 months. At this point the only visible cancer is the primary tumor on the pancreas. We are praying that it will decrease to the point of invisibility or remain unchanged.
In any event, we want to glorify God by 'running the race set before us with perseverance.' (Hebrews 12:1-2)," Keller concludes.
In an interview with pastor Nicky Gumbel of HTB Church last year, Keller shares about his hopes and fears.
"Now God has just decided well, we're going to reverse the roles here and you're both going to have to get used to what it means to trust me in this new role," Keller says, sharing that in their marriage he has typically been "the strong one" as he's cared for his wife Kathy, who has Crohn's Disease.
"My fear isn't dying. My fear is actually leaving her behind and that's her biggest fear as well. It's a terrible fear," Keller says.
However, Keller says, despite that very real fear, he and Kathy "never want to go back spiritually to where we were before the cancer diagnosis. We never want to go back to that because in spite of all the things I've already preached, I wasn't a hypocrite exactly but the reality is that most of us say we need to depend on God but we actually think we've got it sorted."
He says the diagnosis has helped them come to new terms with the reality of God's presence and control over their lives.
That reality has given him a new appreciation for things in life, and has brought him joy. "I'm actually happier than I've ever been on a given day. I enjoy the things around me in a way that I've never enjoyed them before - I see them as gifts of God - and I enjoy my prayer life more than I ever have in my life."