Pass Me Not, O Gentle Shepherd: Cancer Journey with Jesus Christ


I’ve mentioned before how there’s always a song in my head when I wake up and often during the day. Sometimes I haven’t sung these songs in years. They’re just there and often minister to my spirit. Such was the case recently with the above titled song. It’s one written by, who else? Fanny Crosby who, according to one source, wrote the poem thinking of those who are suffering and at the same time discarded which would have been a huge problem back in the 19th century … and perhaps today as well.

Part of the chorus was in my head without all the words or the correct words. So I looked it up and then began singing it in my head. Then I sang it in the bathroom, which sounded rather good and mellow. But when I attempted to sing the chorus to my wife, Vonnie, I became verklempt or, for my kids who inform me that sometimes I get choked up in the pulpit, there was a dramatic pause. But this was more than both. I truly did get choked-up as I struggled to get through it, a tear or two ran down my cheek.

Here’s the chorus:

Savior, Savior, Hear my humble cry. While on others Thou art calling, Do not pass me by.

The verses are equally poignant, but that’s not what I want to focus on in this little piece. And I’m not challenging Fanny on this at all. Her audience, by virtue of the verses, might be a bit different than mine.

Would the Lord, my Savior and my God, “pass me by?” Is it possible that with all I am going through, or you are going through, that somehow He would skip over us all the while working with others? Might seeing someone healed when another person is not be an indicator that He, indeed, passed that person by? The answer, as you well know (you’re all Bible students) is no – an emphatic no! He will not pass us by. We are given a promise God cannot break – I will never leave you nor forsake you (Deu. 31:8; Heb. 13:5). As you can see from the references, this appears in both the Old and New Testament. That covers the naysayers who would state this was only for Israel. It is for us as well. Add to this the verses we’ve quoted earlier from Rom. 8:38f – nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord – certainly not this disease.

But I ask again, if He doesn’t heal me, isn’t that proof that He has passed me by? No! As noted in previous articles, God has a plan for us. He has us running our own race (the Christian life, Heb. 12:1) and there will come a time when, if I can quote another song; “we all get to Heaven” (at least those who are true followers of Jesus). Some will get there sooner than others. Their race will have been completed and God will call them home. Then, they will be healed. But at no time will He pass us by! My good friend and evangelist Wendell Calder sent me an encouraging note concluding in all caps with his most recent motto:


Good and true words. That “eternal plan” should be personalized.

“Thank You, Father, for sticking with me through thick and thin. There are times during this race where I’ve veered off course. But You lovingly welcomed me back and restored me on the straight and narrow. Thanks. I’m also grateful that You will not pass me by. You will be with me through thick or thin . . . all the way. That gives me comfort as I face the next infusion of chemo. May You give this same comfort to my friends who are reading this piece and expecting You not to pass them by either. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

written by Pastor Dan Allen, missionary with and Joy in Jesus Ministries



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