As my regular readers know, I was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. Since the diagnosis it has been a whirlwind of tests, procedures, and doctor’s appointments that resulted in major surgery, several days in the hospital and now recovery at home. Though there has been pain in the journey, all along the way I have been carried by the peace of Christ and the prayers of the saints of God.
The doctor recently called with some good news. They had sent tissue samples off to a lab for testing after my surgery. All the samples came back clean. The cancer was contained in the colon and did not spread. So when they cut out that part of my colon, they got all the cancer and I am now cancer free. For that I am grateful, and for that God deserves the praise.
The same day that I received the wonderful news that my cancer was gone I also heard some discouraging news that a dear friend’s cancer markers had gone up instead of down. Even as I rejoiced that my own situation was now much better, I wept knowing that hers was getting worse. I asked God why He would let me off so easy but allow Margie to suffer even more. That is a question that often haunts me as I try to minister to people in this sin cursed world.
I confess I do not understand the ways of God as He makes His will known to us. I confess I do not always like the way God does things, especially in times like this. But I do trust Him. He knows what He is doing and somehow, all of this pain works out for good to those who love God and are called to His purposes. That includes my dear friend Margie.
Rejoice with me in my victory over cancer. Give praise to God for answered prayer and for His power to overcome anything. Then pray for Margie in her ongoing fight and ask God to help her experience the same victory.
And the next time we see someone struggling more than us in our church or community, we must be careful not to assume they are somehow less spiritual or holy than us. They may be far more intense in their prayer time and level of faith, but for reasons that only God knows and understands, He has allowed them to walk through a trial of fire deeper than us. They need our support, love and understanding, not our dark thoughts and judgmental attitudes. Let us pray. Let us love each other. Let us wonder in the ways of God and trust Him above all things. Amen.