Three Things Cancer Taught Me About God

For with God nothing will be impossible
Luke 1:37 (NKJV)

Last year, I was diagnosed with uterine cancer. I am one of the lucky survivors who had surgery and was done with it. No radiation or chemotherapy needed, just quarterly checkups. I had been cancer free for 15 months, and then, two weeks ago, I went for my annual mammogram. They found something. The doctor was reasonably sure that it was a new cancer. I faced more tests, and while I waited for the results I felt at peace. So different from last year. This time, I waited meditating on how God has used cancer to teach me about Him. Here are a few things I’ve learned.

1. God wants us to fight against fear.
To fear cancer and its treatment, to fear the idea that it might kill me, is not God’s will. Instead, He desires that I be self-disciplined enough to use His power in me to reject Satan’s cruel what-if’s and death threats. I have learned to push fear away because fear shuts God out. When we learn to shut Satan out, we receive God’s peace that passes all understanding. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)

2. God heals our cancers.
The unknown is whether He will heal them here on Earth, or if healing will come in heaven. Most of us don’t want to die. I don’t. We have our good reasons to stay here. But God’s plan for our lives is greater and better than ours. I have learned to accept that God knows best. Always! I think of death now as similar to the way a baby is born, coming out of the darkness of the womb into the light. When I die someday, I will be reborn from the dark tunnel of death into the light of eternal life. The transition may be uncomfortable, but it also must be uncomfortable for a baby to come through the birth canal into life. Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)

3. God wants us to choose our feelings wisely.
Yes, we have the ability to choose our feelings. My mother died of leukemia. Throughout her illness, she inspired us through her faith and gratitude. She lived each day appreciating all of God’s little gifts—a bird singing, white clouds floating through a cerulean sky, a child’s laughter, an hour without pain. Mom told me, “When I wake up in the morning, I say, ‘Thy will be done, and when I go to bed at night, I say, ‘Thank you.’” Through my mother’s cancer and my own, I have learned to praise God in all circumstances. Praising Him allows me to live joyfully and focus on His gifts instead of my disease. Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

The list of what God has taught me through cancer is long. Maybe I will share more about this with you someday. But the three big things are fight fear, believe that you will be healed, and concentrate every day, every minute, every hour, on God’s gracious gifts.

On Thursday, I got my biopsy results. Negative. Praise God, I remain cancer free. But now I know that if I ever face cancer again, God has taught me a new way to cope: His way—the best way.


Vicki @Light for the Creative Soul said...

What a beautiful post, Jean. Having walked through the valley of cancer many times with loved ones, parents, and twice with my husband, your words strike a cord, and they comfort me. All of us need to be reminded of this very real hope we have in Him - thank you for the tender reminder today as you've shared your heart.

Nothing - not even cancer - can separate us from the love of God in Christ. Sending you a big hug, with love and continued prayers, my friend.

In His grace,

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jean -

Excellent post! II Tim. 1:7 is one of my favorite scriptures. It's helped me through some scary times in my life.

Susan :)


I'm proud to be a contributing author to the following series of humorous devotionals.
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See all the books in the Camp Club Girls series.

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By Max Lucado, Published by Thomas Nelson
Max Lucado has a unique way with words, and his children's book Hermie A Common Caterpillar is no exception. With simple text and bright, watercolor illustrations, the story of Hermie unfolds.

Hermie wonders why he looks and feels so common. Whenever he asks God why, God simply answers, "I'm not finished with you yet." Then, one day, Hermie feels very tired. He gets into his cozy, leafy bed, and he sleeps. And while Hermie sleeps a transformation takes place. When he wakes up, Hermie discovers that God has done something grand. You can guess what it is. Every caterpillar that lives to adulthood knows the end of the story.

Parents, please share this book and its powerful message with your children. We are all special because God loves us, and He has a unique purpose for our lives. Whenever we slump into feeling ordinary, we know that we have hope because . . .God isn't finished with us yet!

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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