The Blog of Pastor Mike Wilkins

In The Long Run

"The long run" referred to in the title of this blog is, in the first place, the many years Mike Wilkins served as West London's solo pastor, and then its Senior Pastor, since he and his wife Deb moved to London (and this church) in 1984.

In these past few years (beginning November 2011,) Mike's various health challenges, particularly a serious and ongoing case of cancer, has added another layer to the "long run" metaphor, and lots to blog about. Mike is currently on an extended Sick Leave, but generally worships with the church family on Sunday mornings.

With the publication of a book he wrote in 2016 entitled "Glory in the Face" (now available electronically and in paperback from, and other online venders), Mike has just launched a new website, which will serve as a sort of scrapbook for readers of the book, with relevant background photos, for example, of That Last Final Solo Canoe Trip in May, 2011, as well as additional information about the book, and--coming soon--a new set of blog posts, mostly about the peace of God and the joy of the Lord and the face of Christ and the strength to face anything. You'll find the new website now at

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  • Feb22Sat


    February 22, 2014

    Yesterday, with five days to go until the launch of Thing #4, I devoted the morning hours to matters of pre-admission and am now happy to report that, medically speaking, I am "all good and pre-admitted." This particular appointment has been before me since February 3rd, when Deb and I met with the surgeon. And now it has come to pass.

    The actual Pre-admission Procedures were mostly familiar territory for me, but there was one new thing on the agenda which I will now refer to as Thing #4A. It had everything to do with last month's "new bad news" (A blood clot detected in my right lung and the prescription of abdominal injections of blood thinner which have been a piece of my daily routine ever since. More details on this in January 11th's post: "Through Thick and Thinning.")

    As it turns out, surgeons prefer patients with thick blood. (Something about no one in the Operating Room bleeding to death.) So the February 3rd plan was for me to quit shooting up blood-thinners (Cold turkey!) on the day before Pre-admission, and then (yesterday) to have some sort of "blood-clot filter thingy" surgically placed in the large vein through which blood is delivered to the lungs. To me, the most interesting detail about this procedure is that this fancy filter's incredible journey, which was to end at the bottom of one of my lungs, was to begin in my one and only groin. To state the obvious, since I first learned of this procedure, I have not loved or looked forward it.

    What Deb and I learned yesterday at the Pre-Admission Appointment is that, some time between February 3rd and yesterday, Thing #4A got cancelled. Cancelled! At the news, my heart leapt up. Simultaneously, various other body parts were deeply relieved.

    What I see clearly today is that whatever time or energy I actually dedicated to worrying about this procedure was time and energy needlessly wasted, for as it turned out, on February 21st, there was nothing to worry about. (Well, no gnarly procedure to worry about, to be exact. There IS still the original blot clot. So, I'll do the Cold Turkey trot this coming Tuesday, and the doctors will decide when I should go back to shooting up.)

    So now all eyes --well, all two of my eyes, at least-- are focussed on this coming Wednesday's six to eight hour surgery, with its ten days in the hospital, its two or three months of recovery, its 3% likelihood of me dying in the Operating Room and its 75% chance of the cancer returning to the 60% of the liver that will be left to me. And HOW should I be thinking about the downside of these statistics? Today the answer seems very obvious. I should be thinking about the downsides without worry, for the realities behind the percentages are all in God's hands. And the truth is that any downside, and any part of any one of the possible downsides, could by the hand of God be cancelled at any time.

    As for the downsides that don't get cancelled, we have been instructed. The Lord Jesus himself teaches us, Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (Matthew 6:34 ESV) In the same way, sufficient for the days to come will be the amazing grace of God by which we endure and by which we "overwhelmingly conquer" the troubles that don't turn out to get cancelled.