Monday, March 21, 2011
Finding God in Cancer
Written on April 14, 2009
We have a history of thyroid problems in our family. After graduation from college, I was found to be hyperthyroid. There was a cyst in my thyroid gland that needs to be removed - though it was benign. So when my brother found a lump in his throat and had to undergo the usual procedures, biopsy, blood checks, etc…. it wasn’t such a big deal to us. I even told him, it’s just gonna be like mine. That is why we were taken aback when the results came out. My brother had Papillary Carcinoma or Thyroid Cancer. Cancer also runs in the family but it does feel different when you find out that your 18 year old brother has it too. I asked the Lord to reveal His purpose- not just to me but to my brother as well.
On April 2, 2009, My brother had complete thyroidectomy. His operation lasted for 4 hours and he stayed in the recovery room for 7.5 hours because of hyper-reactive lungs. The surgeon said he found several nodules already outside the thyroid gland, which simply means it has somehow spread to its immediate “surroundings”, but he said, he has already removed all that he has found.
During this time, I was praying to the Lord to prepare his heart for the gospel holding on to His promises to me years ago in Acts 16:31. On April 3, 2009, my brother accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior! Praises be to the Lord for His faithfulness. The seed has been planted and I pray that the Lord will make it grow. I pray that Mikee will really have a personal relationship with Him. Finding God’s love amidst the trials in life is one of the best gifts one can have. It will be worth the journey for the Lord will never leave nor forsake His people (Heb.13:5)
When you have the Lord in your heart, you get a better perspective of all the trials and testings that you go through because you know that He is always in control and He will not allow situations in our life that we cannot handle.
I have heard a lot of CCFers testify about their cancer and one thing that struck me the most was when one said - there’s no need to worry about cancer because from the start the Lord has already ordained our days. Psalm 139:16 says “Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them”. We are just sojourners here on Earth. The Lord has appointed the day we were born and the day we will die. Knowing that our life is in the Lord’s hand gives comfort, assurance and security.
In the Tale of Despereaux, Despereaux Tilling said that “you are never imprisoned when you have hope”. Some people who have cancer are imprisoned by fear and hopelessness. Papillary Carcinoma is one of the most curable cancers but that is not the reason for the hope that we have. Our hope comes from the Lord alone. He is Jehovah-Rapha, The Lord who heals. He is Sovereign. He is Almighty. He is God. And most importantly - He is our Father.
I would like to thank all who have prayed for my brother. We are full of hope that Mike will be 100% healed. He will have his Radioactive Iodine treatment in a few weeks time to ensure that all cancer cells- or whatever is left of them - will be killed. Again, we ask your prayers, not just for physical healing and recovery for Mike but also for spiritual growth.
What is God’s purpose for cancer? I saw God’s wisdom in the words of my husband. He said that most cancer patients are predicted, with “a very high degree of accuracy”, as to how many more years, or months, or days they are “still” to live. Most turn to God at the lowest points in their life and cancer is God’s way to call us back to Him. In cancer, we can see God’s grace and yearning for us to come to Him - “within a certain timetable”. If you have cancer and you’re given a month to live, what will you do with your life? What would be your priorities realizing that your days are numbered? Would you remain stubborn and reject the Lord? Wouldn’t you turn to God and live each day to the fullest?
2 Peter 3:9 states ” The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance”.Cancer is not the end of the battle but just a start of a journey in seeking, finding and knowing God and His purpose for us. Let us not wait for cancer to conquer us. Let us live each day for God as if it were our last so that when the appointed time comes, we will be ready to face our Maker.
Rom 8:37-39 “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.