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Courage for the Sick
Charles Page MD -- Texas-based Surgeon, Author, Storyteller Charles Page MD -- Texas-based Surgeon, Author, Storyteller
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Nacogdoches, TX
Tuesday, March 16, 2021


Video Details:

Jeanne: So what do you do? As a doctor?

Dr. Chuck: I’m, a surgeon.

I tell people I’m, the best guy to see on the worst day of your life, so my wife is the best person to see any day of your life. But I’m the guy that you don’t really want looking over your bed in the hospital, because that usually means something bad has happened–or it’s going to happen. That’s what I do. And I also work in a rural area – I’m, a country surgeon. So I carry a lot of different hats. So did a lot of different things I do trauma. For example, you come in you bust, your pelvis or you have a closed head injury or whatever, or if you ‘ve got cancer. You know colon cancer, breast cancer, you know you name it. We do it that’s. Give me a great opportunity, though, to see kind of a wide range of people with different kinds of physical issues.

Jeanne: Do you see any difference in the Christians who are suffering versus the people who don’t know Christ well?

Dr. Chuck: When Christians have hope I mean you know we have. I mean a reason to truly have hope. People who don’t know Christ have no foundation. So absolutely. I could bore you with a lot of studies. These are studies that I didn’t even know about when I was going through medical school. There are studies that show that the impact that faith has on people.

In fact, there was a study done in Iowa. That studied like 9,000 people, and they you know, dividing them in half and looking it looked the difference between people who had faith and were active in their faith as opposed to people who had no faith activities per se, and there was a 12 year survival difference between the two groups. Wow, it’s huge.

Yes, and so you just think about the simple things of having a community. You know of having something, as it says, in Hebrews, an anchor for the Soul. So yes, it does make a difference, and I’ve, seen that over and over again in the lives of people.

Jeanne: Well, how can your book give them hope to people, especially those that don’t? Have will it give them courage?

Dr. Chuck: Well, so, first of all this these are short stories. These are real stories, of real people who you’ll, never hear about.

I mean they’re, never been on a TV show, but these are people who have modeled faith in the midst of adversity. And you know – some are just the opposite. One of the things when you pick up this book and read it somewhere, you’re going to connect with one of the stories. In doing so we realize we don’t, have it as bad as I thought we did.

In fact, the first story is my story, my office building burned down about three years ago. So you know I’m a private practitioner. What kept me going was when other people began to tell me their story.

She burned in the building

For example, I had a had a patient because when I was on call the weekend my building burned down. Word spread pretty quickly and I was talking to one man and he said, “You know doctor my house burned down and I had an invalid wife. I couldn’t get her out and it works, and I had to watch that my house burn down with everything I owned. And my wife died in there. You know and whatever pity party I was throwing at that point.

I realized. I had no reason time and you know to you know to be upset. I mean it was a real attitude adjustment. I think so often too, when we see what other people are going through, we realize that hey, you know things aren’t as bad as they could be mm-hmm.

So I think that’s, the take-home message. This is about helping people change focus. We all know the story of Peter walking on the water in the wind and the waves. We know the parallel–our circumstances. Are we going to live above or below our circumstances. Peter got distracted. He doubted when he got distracted.

You know he lost his focus and he lost his faith. He lost his faith because he lost his focus. So what these stories are here to do is just really help. People begin to change, focus, when they begin to look upward and outward instead of inward. I’ve seen this all the time. I do the same thing–throw my pity party. We begin to ask all those questions you know, why me?, why now? God, why not somebody else? We ask all those questions when we’re going through a crisis. That’s, a human response, but we have to move from looking at our feelings, being driven by our feelings, and going back looking at the facts.

When we feel alone, remember:

You know we feel alone in sickness. But the fact is, we’re not alone. God ‘s Word tells us He’ll, never leave us or forsake us. We have the Holy Spirit living within us. We have the presence of God living within us. We may have thought that we were in control.

I may feel in control, but really you know we weren’t in control to begin with. God’s in control, right? Colossians talks about Jesus. He’s before all things and in him all things hold together, just kind of reminding people going back to those facts, those those facts of the faith that we can then believe and then build our lives upon yeah and it’s.

So hard because we’re so overwhelmed by emotions. You know you hear the cancer word. It’s amazing to watch people when you give them that word. All they hear is, you have cancer. Nothing else.

I say really registers in their mind. After that I mean they’re just in a different place. What I think it helps us is knowing we have a great cloud of witnesses.

There are people who have been through this before and it came out on the other side for the better. That’s what these stories are about.

Jeanne: Okay, do you have a favorite story in here or not the favorite, but one of well probably one of the my favorite stories?

She picked pecans for others

Dr. Chuck: It has to do with me and how I was ministered to is about my mother. My mother died of lung cancer. She never smoked. She was as healthy as a horse and her disease faked all of her doctors out. She had this crazy cough.

But she had this cough. They gave her antibiotics. She didn’t get better. She got a chest X-Ray. Didn’t find anything got a cat scan. The cat scan was normal. After some time we learned that she had this cancer that had progressed> The frustrating thing for me as a surgeon. Well, I fix things – and here it is my own mother – you know my mother, my cheerleader. And there’s, nothing that I can do for her. Along came Katharine. She was a patient about my mother’s, age with a locally advanced breast cancer, and you know Katherine knew that her time had come. So she just didn’t bother going to the doctor.

She was too busy; At first I thought, how strange to neglect your body like this, you know sweep this under the rug. Her daughter and her family were the ones who brought her into the emergency room.

So anyway, as things progressed and I cared for her, I began to walk with her on her journey. I learned it wasn’t because she was in some type of neglect. She just never really thought about herself. She was always thinking about other people. So Katherine had this weird habit of going out and picking pecans. You know, pecans is a big thing in Texas. It’s the state tree by the way. She would go by the river and cheap pecans.

Well, these little pecan. She picked up, she’d pray for people. It was those sacks pecans, and so she she came to the office and learned about my mother and she would come bringing me these sacks of pecans. You know it’s, so funny the conversations, not the typical doctor-patient relationship that you would have.

I’m the one that’s supposed to impart wisdom and knowledge, and all that. Yet, she was the one that was ministering to me. How’s your mother? She asked. She would say, I’m, praying for your mother. Here was this lady down at breast cancer, who was praying for somebody that she didn’t even know. Well, you know what a difference that made to me?

It’s, something that I was totally out of control and they both they both passed around the same time. And I think, what a blessing. Hopefully, my mother’s up there. They’re picking pecans in heaven, so that’s, a story.

That means a lot to me. There’s, just all kinds of stories, Some where people will connect with.

Jeanne: Is there something you’d like to tell the audience, some way you’d like to encourage someone who might have just either gotten a cancer diagnosis. Last year I fell and got a concussion. I had neck and back injuries. And I couldn’t do much of anything for months, and you know that that was a hard time.

Look for opportunities in your health obstacles

Is there something that you can do to encourage someone who might have just found out something or just had an accident or whatever?

Chuck: I would say this: I would look for the opportunities that your suffering brings.

You know we don’t think about it, but suffering brings the opportunity to have a close relationship with the Lord. It’s, an invitation to intimacy. You know it says in psalm 46:1. It says He is our refuge and our very present help in our time of trouble.

I think someone said that last night I mean he’s, I mean it’s, it’s almost like when I see people who are going through a difficult time. Their relationship with God is just so palpable. I mean it’s, just so real because of their struggles.

So you know in a sense that’s, something we would never ask for, but just realizing that I mean this is gonna, be one of the most precious times that they ever go through. You know – and we often think the reverse of that, but it’s, but it’s really.

True, God gives us the grace that we need. The second thing I would tell them, is that this is an opportunity to grow. You know it talks about in Romans and in James. You know how to count it all joy, knowing that these things are going to happen, they’re, going to be mature in our faith, we’re going to grow.

We’re gonna be complete, and you know that’s, one of the things that that going through adversity they say that God never does things to us. He does things for us. It’s always to conform us to the image of Christ, and to make us more like Him. So often we don’t, see that and it’s painful.

But yet it’s. A bittersweet thing that when we look back, we’ll go wow. I know God in a new way, and I’ve grown in ways I never thought possible. It’s, an opportunity to influence other people that’s right.

Pain is an amplifier

You know it’s kind of like it’s kind of like an amplifier. You know you can play an instrument off the amplifier when you plug it in amplifier and it’s a lot louder and that’s. What our suffering is, I mean it really it it really.

It really gives us a platform to be able to influence people in a positive way. You know, and it might be, a family member who’s. Estranged, a you know, a fractured relationship that we have the opportunity to restore or somebody that has been watching us and looking at how we live and really asking the question: is there God real? No one ever wants to go through these things.

You know it seems like I never want to go through a bad time, but it seems like every other day I’m, going through some type of crisis, with a patient or with them within my practice of medicine, but those are opportunities mm-hmm.

I never thought that being a doctor, you know I saw I was gonna. Do something really big being a doctor, but I didn’t realize how much God meant it for my sanctification. You know that’s. What I would tell people, where can people find out more about you and your book online? It’s on all the venues online.

Jeanne: You can buy at any bookstore. So do you have a website or anything. I do. It’s charleswpage.com. Sometimes that’s, easier to remember, One of the unique things about our websites is our prayer wall. So if you have, I mean kind of one of the premises of this. You’re, not alone, and there’s, a lot of people out there who are even looking for prayer on the internet of all places.

Yeah and you know, and so they can just go on our website and you know, put the prayer request. I have some faithful, ladies, who will pray for that’s, fantastic. So thank you so much dr. page for being our guest.

Thank you for having me on the show.

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