Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
And the God of all GRACE, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.
1 Peter 5: 6-10
Have you ever suffered a while? Have you ever held onto something that you knew would be your undoing? Have you ever allowed Satan to convince you that you really did not know the character of God? I have…for many years.
During my sophmore year of college, my dad was diagnosed with brain cancer. He passed away 6 weeks after his diagnosis at the age of 42. The year before he passed away, his mother died of pancreatic cancer. The day before my first child was born, my mom was diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells in her breast. She had to endure a lumpectomy and 6 weeks of radiation. To date, she is cancer free. I am terrified with the possibility that I will also bear the burden of cancer. For about 8 years, I have allowed Satan’s roar to be a constant companion.
Several nights a week, I am plagued with thoughts of cancer and the effect that it will have on my family. I lie in bed with a crushing weight on my chest and my heart pounds uncontrollably. I quietly listen to Satan fill my ears with things that are I know are contrary to God’s word and by listening, I invite him to elaborate on the story. Over the years, I have allowed him to convince me that I will never see my children grow up. He has convinced me that I have not loved well or served well and that my relationship with Lord is not what I claim it to be. He has spent countless hours watching me toss and turn at night and then he has watched me attempt to go about the next day as he waits to devour me again. And I have allowed it to continue for years.
I have walked with the Lord a long time and I know His character. He is not the author of fear and confusion. He is the lover of my soul and the giver of all good things. But under the cloak of night, I, being one who is prone to wander, have to wonder if I really believe in my heart what I know in my head.
Knowing that the Lord loves me and knowing that all that He gives is good, then I have to be willing to accept the gift of cancer if He so chooses to give it. Who am I to decide what gifts I will joyfully receive if all that He gives is good? If I can begin to look at cancer as a gift that I may someday receive, I am no longer in bondage to Satan’s lies. I can live and sleep in the promise that the Lord is good…all the time.