How Can Adversity Be Good?

I know that we all have our own stories of how bad life has treated us, but, for now, we are going to expound on why I am a prime example of adversity.

I’ve lived a normal life up until age 35 and then I was diagnosed with a 7″ spinal cord tumor between C-3 and T-5.  After the tumor was removed, I was left paralyzed from mid-chest down.  Where, since, I have regained some ability to move and even walk, I have little ability to feel in those areas – except for pain.  Severe peripheral neuropathy in my right leg and left arm and both hips.  Minor peripheral neuropathy is in my left leg and right arm.

Also, in the site of the tumor resection, there had developed some bad arthritis (is there a good kind), a bone spur and a pocket of spinal fluid building up that was starting to choke off the nerves as well as one vertebrae that never healed from the original surgery, so the bone never healed back together and was then considered fractured.  That all being said, I ended up having to have the vertebrae in that area fused together 10 years later.  All 5 of them (four joints).

To top it all off, 5 1/2 years ago I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Carcinoid Cancer.  This is a very slow growing cancer and that is why I haven’t died yet.  It was found only after it had spread to my liver and now my liver is infested with it.  There are a multitude of “primary” tumors in my “gut” and, since it has spread, it is considered to be inoperable unless something life-threatening comes of it.  It is under “treatment”; meaning, there is no cure, there is no treatment to get rid of the tumors or even shrink the tumors, the only thing they can do is give me a drug every 4 weeks that helps control the symptoms.  I would be dead now if it weren’t for that drug.  The symptoms alone were enough to kill me eventually.

Both of these things that I document here, are very rare and almost unheard of finding them.  I mean, the spinal cord tumor was found when I was 35 – it is normally found in 12 year olds, according to my pediatric neuro-surgeon that removed it (I was his oldest patient).  The cancer is so rare that they only find it in maybe 1:300,000 people.  It is one of the most rare types of cancer in the oncology world and one of the most misdiagnosed diseases in the world… in fact, most cases aren’t even found until the patient is already dead.  I am fortunate and divinely cared for in both of these situations.

But, why do you think that these things happen to us?  Is it to punish me/us for some sin that we have committed?  Not likely. Then Why?

Side note: At the time that both of these situations happening to me, I was NOT walking closely to God… I was a Christian, I was just seriously backslidden in my Christian life.

There is a serious chance that God was trying to get my attention and make me realize that He really was in control, so if I continue to walk in the path that I was in, I would only be having more bad things happen to me.

Since we have gotten to this point, I have since given my heart and life back to God and given Him control of my life and now my life has purpose. No, I was NOT miraculously healed and the cancer taken away from me and my nerve problems solved.  God has used my infirmity to put me in the paths of people that I otherwise wouldn’t have ever come across that I might be able to witness to them and encourage them; and in return, He has shown me the plans that He has for me and has placed a wonderful wife and 2 kids in my life to help me along and, hopefully, I can help them along as well.

Ever since I was a kid, I had heard of Joni Eareckson-Tada.  She was in an unfortunate deep-water diving accident in shallow water resulting in a broken neck and becoming a quadriplegic ever since.  Since then, she has become quite an amazing person (I didn’t know her before the accident) having become an artist – yes, artist; she paints with her mouth – and an author and inspirational speaker in the evangelical Christian world.

I came across a video clip that is only a little over 5 minutes long that you might enjoy watching:

I hope you enjoyed hearing what Joni had to say.

Suffering is only one side of the coin in God’s eyes.  He really wants to see how you deal with it and which way you turn.  Because, you have a choice of what you are going to do with it.  You can take the devil’s route and get depressed and think “woe is me” and get down and even contemplate suicide, or you can turn your eyes upon God, get in His word and see what He has to say about it and be encouraged by it and in turn try to encourage others to turn to Christ as well.  It’s your choice.

References for Bible verses on comfort during hardships and to see what God has to say about it are available upon request.   I really want to find out how many of you are out there that are interested in this sort of thing and those of you who actually read this and care.  Comment at the bottom and let me know what you think.

©2013 Mark Davis

If you feel that you have a story that might encourage someone or that just points out the awesomeness of our God, please email it to me at  I am compiling some of these stories to be put into a new section of my blog for Testimonies.  I will even give you all the credits and will even link to your web site if you have one.

Leave a comment


  1. Wow!!!!! That was POWERFUL! So true. I honestly have no words, you left me speechless!!!!! God bless you and I am SO thankful for you!


    • I only hope that it has been and will continue to be a blessing to you and all others who read it. I hope it can be encouraging to someone and/or maybe put life into a different perspective. We can always feel sorry for ourselves when we are in a bad spot or we can accept what is happening to us and realize that someone else always has it worse than we do. The bottom line is, though, that we praise God through it all regardless the outcome.

      God bless you, Deanna.


  2. mike andrews

     /  June 1, 2013

    I was deeply moved and touched by what you said such that I couldn’t imediately reply but vowed to come back .
    What you said about choice is so important loose that and the choice ‘ll be made and its down , and down .
    Wrestling with my my own health concerns that may proove serious so ..
    Thankyou for voicing this .
    I shall pray for you . i’ll watch the video .
    God bless you .


    • Thank you Mike,
      Your words are kind! I appreciate your desire to continue reading. It makes my time here worth it. I pray that it has been a blessing to you and will help you in your health battles. Remember to keep your attitude pointed to God. There is a definite reason that He is allowing any diversity to come upon us. Take this post, for example, because I went through my trials (and continue to do so) and was able to write about it, you were able to read it and hopefully it will be an encouragement to you and it will be passed down the line.

      I’ll pray for you too, Mike.
      God bless you too.


  3. Way to go Mark. I saw your post at 5 this morning and thought, I need to pray for him, so I did. Keep it up.


    • Thanks, Tom. I’m glad that you were able to start your day with me. Too bad it wasn’t by fishing or something like that, but it is even better to start the day with God’s Word. I know this post didn’t have much scripture in it, but the thoughts and concepts are there. And, your prayers are always coveted. Keep them coming! As much as I can, I try to pray for my blog followers (and facebook) as I see them come up, too.


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