By Nancy Virden (c)2023 The Miracles Series
“I have cancer,” my mom told me over the phone as we entered the new millennium. Going back generations, our family had never had cancer before. Yet sixteen years after her death, I was sitting in my office recovering from surgery for cancer diagnosed a few weeks earlier. I did not feel well, however, was able to think, write, and complete basic functions. Not everyone following cancer removal and the removal of body parts can say the same. I was grateful for my health.
Hindsight teaches me the value of that experience. For one, the Lord saw fit to remove all cancer from my body. I was still learning to appreciate living after a lifetime of battles with depression. It was ironic that I would submit to surgery when there had been times I would have welcomed death. My understanding of why God wanted me alive was still incomplete. Gratitude was inconsistent. Five years later I am repentant of my unappreciation for life. I am humbled by the many people who would give anything for another chance.
My mom’s cancer traveled throughout her body and chemo gave her only two more years. She was actively involved in teaching and inspiring young lives and neighbors. She was not choosing to die. Her prayer was that God would not take her one day too early for her life’s work to be done, and not one day too late. Her prayer was answered as cancer took her only two weeks after teaching her class for the last time.
A man I met at church was in his 80s when he was diagnosed with cancer. He fought it and hoped for an even longer life. Why did he die? Science has some answers. Certainly, age and life choices make a difference. However, this man loved the Lord as did my mom. Why would God bless some people with more life and not others?
I love the Bible verse which says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55).
We are unhappy when bad news pins us down. We can rail against a God who allows bad things to happen. We might demand he answers our prayers the way we dictate. Another option is to turn our faces to notice Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem.
He knew he would be hung on a cross by the end of that week. He was aware which voices shouted in joy for his coming and which ones whispered hate, plotting his murder. He could have run away but chose instead to complete his mission. He saw beyond the immediate injustice and agony to the day you and I can believe and be set spiritually free permanently. Because of Jesus, we can enjoy a trusting relationship with God and look forward to eternal life with him.
I do not like pain, anxiety, or difficulty, and do pray for God to take it away. However, now my trust is in the One who knows the rest of the story. My story is not finished. Yet the time Jesus was here is written, and in it, we find the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Today’s Helpful Word
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”
For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988, or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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