It's Cancer, Lord
We all go through times of discouragement and unrest, when it seems that before we can digest one challenge, we are hit with another big one. During these times, it’s hard to see exactly what God is doing and walk by faith, not by sight. There is a fleshly beacon inside us flashing, “Unfair! Unfair! Unfair!” This word reared its ugly head in my desperate prayer last night. There was a sense of justification because, “It’s cancer, Lord.”
Cancer. It’s one of those words that change your life forever. It grabs hold of your self-sufficient, invincible nature with unbending vigor. One minute you think you have a lifetime, then you begin to look at best case scenarios. Oh Lord, teach us to number our days so that we may walk in wisdom. Wisdom is the holy messenger, which silences our sense of entitlement. Wisdom breathes peace, hope, and strength into the bleakest circumstance. It allows us to say with faith, It’s cancer, but you are still God.
The realization that God is still God regardless of where we find ourselves should provide security and a sense of hope. Yet difficult times can cause us to question the character and capabilities of God. Difficult times reveal our improper perceptions about God. We realize that we have invented a handicapped God, instead of a boundless, all-powerful God. We reason that if He was supremely compassionate and intelligent, there would be little variation from our agenda and much less pain and uncertainty. Sometimes our questions betray our core beliefs about God. Questions such as: Why would God allow this to happen to my family? Does God really have the power to heal cancer? Doesn’t God see that I am trying to serve Him? Is God punishing me? And on and on.
In the past few months my perception of God has been challenged; and a new awareness of His supremacy and faithfulness has been established in my heart. I stand humbled and grateful in view of His mercy towards me. The Almighty Creator owes me nothing, yet He provides me with all I need. When I see God in all of His glory I realize, as Isaiah did, that I am in need of grace just to stand in His presence.
As I have focused on His holiness, holiness has become my heart’s pursuit. I have become thankful for life’s trials and tragedies, for they create the atmosphere in which I become more like Christ. The abundant spiritual harvest is of greater value than comfort or predictability in life on Earth. Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The Spirit’s resource of strength, comfort, security, rest, hope, and peace are an endless reserve. These revelations have led me to say, “It’s cancer, but you are still God. Thank you.” Maybe in time and with more maturity, I can even say, “Thank you for cancer, God. Thank you for this arena of growth.”
I will give you treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” ~ Isaiah 45:3