Years ago, my mother made plans to visit. The week before she was due to arrive, she phoned to say she wasn’t able to make the trip. She was experiencing a lot of physical pain, likely from arthritis.
Two weeks later, the phone rang.
Mom had cancer. Doctors gave her only a few short months to live. As the seriousness of her illness sunk in, I grappled with the thought of losing one of my most very favorite people.
Today, as I wrote this column, I received a text from a dear friend. “The doctor called me this morning. I have uterine cancer.” Tears sprung to my eyes.
How do we hold on to our faith when someone we care about has cancer? When our parent, spouse, child or friend only has months to live, our faith takes a beating. We might wonder if God is willing to heal our loved one. Or if He’s able to sustain us as we watch their illness progress.
When doubt messes with our faith, do we cry out to God (like the dad with his sick child in Mark 9:24, ESV), “I believe; help my unbelief!”? Or perhaps we respond more like, “Lord, help me be okay, even when it isn’t okay.”
It’s interesting how our faith evolves. Some days we move confidently through life. Then we face a trial and wonder if God will intervene. Eventually, things calm down and our trust returns. Another trial – a more serious one – comes along, and we run to God seeking reassurance once more.
Thankfully, our heavenly Father understands. He’d rather we come to Him with our questions and fears instead of pretending we’re okay.
Sometimes we can’t figure out God when life isn’t okay. We wonder if He’ll show up. However, Isaiah 64:4 (AMPC) says that when we earnestly wait for Him, He (God!) shows us that He has been active on our behalf all along.
Sometimes God strengthens our faith through the very loved ones who are suffering.
To those who remain strong in your faith while living with cancer, I appreciate every time you allow God to use you to teach us that life is worth living, even in the midst of pain and uncertainty.
When you speak, we listen. You teach us what it means to believe that God is in control. He’s sovereign. Powerful. And yes, good.
You seem to experience a presence of God in your heart (and life) that we yearn for. We see it in your eyes that God is near. And that He loves you. So much so that we can believe that He is, indeed, near and loves us too.
Because of your example, it’s easier for us to be okay, even when life isn’t okay.
What do you think?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post. (Others might also benefit from your comment.)
If you’re reading by email, CLICK HERE to visit Today Can Be Different online and leave a comment. If you would like to subscribe to this blog and receive the most recent post to your inbox, see sidebar! There’s no charge for this service. AND, I’d be tickled if you would consider sharing this post