Updated: Aug 10
I've confessed to an unsettling fear of knowing or living with cancer remaining in my body. Almost immediately after processing this through writing, a friend reminded me of a friend we had in common whose cancer diagnosis was incurable but managed through treatment. That same day, I checked messenger and a long-distance friend who was diagnosed 5 years prior and now ministering to me, revealed she was still dealing with and also managing. Two days later a neighbor came by to check in and mentioned her dad had bone cancer but found so much joy in blessing and being blessed by those he meets through his chemo treatments. I also have another friend who is currently in the trenches, yet, as I post, she responds with her light-hearted humor that results in a smile and ministers to me. Wow! These are just a few amazing souls managing with uncertainty and specifically my big fear, not being cancer-free.
What I’m learning about a cancer diagnosis and seeing it played out by many in real-time, is the call survivors voluntarily accept to love, support, and minister to others by walking behind, alongside, and in front.
Shortly after, another friend came to visit who just celebrated 20 years cancer-free. The timing was no coincidence. I asked her about her experience of becoming cancer-free so long ago and if she ever dealt with the fear of cancer returning. That is when she reminded me of God's Sovereignty,
She said if God was 99% sovereign and we had 1% that we could control, that would not be sovereign.
This I needed to hear because I was grasping for some type of cancer-free control through legalistic attempts to perfectly follow a specific diet along with a crusade of full toxin prevention. Both were beginning to consume.
Pay it Forward
The many cancer survivors who've reached out to me are true examples and testaments. You are an inspiration! I voluntarily accept the call today to do the same regardless of my outcome.
Lord, help me obey the call as they faithfully have.
The sovereignty of God is the fact that he is the Lord over creation; as sovereign, he exercises his rule. This rule is exercised through God’s authority as king, his control over all things, and his presence with his covenantal people and throughout his creation. (The Gospel Coalition)
1. Whether I live with cancer or become cancer-free, God is sovereign and I can trust His goodness. In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul refers to a thorn in his side that some have argued was a chronic ailment. Regardless, this thorn was a burden Paul was unable to get away from and the Lord chose not to remove. Instead, God chose to use it mightily by keeping Paul focused on and grounded while doing God’s work.
1 Corinthians 12:8-9 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2. Fully Sovereign means we have no control. This means nothing can get in the way of or add to God's sovereignty including our most valiant efforts or failed attempts. While I’d like to say I’ve released all control to God, I haven't. I'm still trying to control the little bit I “think” I have – determining whether cancer lives or dies by monitoring what I put into or onto my body. While I do have a responsibility to educate myself and take care of this vessel God's given me, I must beware of extremes and legalism for this is one of Satan’s life-stealing traps. This trap pulls me away from trusting God and into pride and self-sufficiency.
Colossians 1:16-17 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.