Leading Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias has opened up about his recent cancer diagnosis and offered Christians some wisdom as to how they should be responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this month, Zacharias revealed that doctors had completed an operation to repair his spine, but noted that he was still in the most excruciating pain. Shortly afterward, a biopsy taken during the operation confirmed that Ravi had developed a rare form of malignant cancer called a “sarcoma.”
“We have been meeting with specialists to determine the next course of action,” Ravi wrote at the time. “They will wait until I am fully healed from the back surgery, and in 4-5 weeks, will begin treatment to shrink the tumor.”
Speaking to the Ben Shapiro Show, the famed intellectual opened up about the terrifying ordeal. “It was a shock,” he said of the diagnosis. “I had gone in for back surgery and they discovered atypical.. it turned out to be a tumor. I’ll begin the treatment in a little while.”
Zacharias noted that the greatest challenge to his recovery was the pain caused by the tumor pressing on his spine. “Frankly, I’ve never felt such pain in my life.. night pain they call it.. pressure from the tumor,” he explained. “But you know what, I’ll get through it, and I should be on the road full-time hopefully by June or July.”
“I value your prayers,” Ravi added. “I know there’s a bit of a journey ahead for me, but I know the prayers of people and God’s strength will carry me through.”
Speaking into the coronavirus situation, Zacharias said believers must “combine our faith and trust in God with wisdom” when responding to the crisis. Trust in God, he said, but heed the advice to keep yourself and others safe.
“We get so used to comfort and answers, that when we find something is out of our control, it is very daunting,” Zacharias added.
“Be sober-minded about it, don’t be cavalier about it. Make sure at all times, your life and relationship with God and your family is strong. That’s what is going to matter at the end of it all.”
Adding some thoughts on the purpose of prayer at this time, Ravi warned against Christians looking at this vital spiritual practice as something of a “slot machine” — where we “put the right coin in and get the right product out.” Instead, he said, prayer is about acknowledging God’s sovereignty and seeking his guidance at times of trouble — apt advice as COVID-19 continues to spread like wildfire across the globe.
“Prayer is about communion with God,” Ravi concluded. “It is the process with which our hearts get conditioned to receive his will and come into alignment with what it is He has for us. Prayer is a surrender to the will of God.”