“10 years ago, all I prayed for was to be healed. I never expected that You’d use me to heal others as well. You are amazing Lord! Thank You! I am now licensed to heal.” 30-year old Filipino, Albien Emmanuel Gacias posted on his Facebook page, March 14, 2019, the day he passed his Physician License Examination.
Albien is a survivor of a malignant germ cell tumor, a kind of lung cancer from a developing sperm or egg cell that travels from the gonads to other parts of the body. In his interview he told inquirer.net (a local news site) that he was diagnosed with cancer 11 years ago at the age of 19. He was young and afraid to give up on his studies to focus on his treatment.
As the eldest child of four siblings Albien was worried he would’t be able to do his part in the family. But his love for his family gave him something to hold on to. “All those times I told myself I just need to be strong. I just trusted in the Lord and did not give up. I just needed to keep fighting everyday.”
His mother was also a cancer patient. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006 and died later that year. Albien also lost a brother in an accident during the same year. These sad bereavements challenged him not to give up but pursue his dreams for the sake of his mother and brother. He pushed himself and always thought God was setting His plans for him. In Albien’s post that received 54K reactions and 14K shares, he dedicated his success to his mom and his brother who are now both in Heaven.
Albien underwent surgical operations and a course of chemotherapy. In his stay at the hospital, he met other cancer patients and recalled one patient saying, “I leave it all up to fate. I don’t have money to continue my treatment”. It made him feel bad to see a person having the will to live but is financially incapable to continue the therapy. He realized how blessed he was that God gave him another chance to live. “I thank God I survived. Without Him and my family I wouldn’t have survived all of it.”
God is in Control
Albien is an inspiration to many – not only for cancer patients – but also to people who want to keep pursuing their dreams. “Whatever it is that we’re going through, just keep going. If ever you feel sad, you can cry. If you feel tired, just pause and rest. Do not surrender and just keep going. Let us trust in God’s plan for us.”, was his message to other cancer patients.
God doesn’t give sickness and hardships to punish us. Sometimes our struggles are the constant reminder that apart from Him we can do nothing. As John 15:4-5 says: “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Also, with God all things are possible, “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” (Mark 11:24).