Perhaps the most feared word in the English language today is Cancer. It seems that we all have – or will encounter – family or friends who battle cancer. Young or old, black or white, no matter race or creed, cancer is no respecter of persons.
For the person who receives a cancer diagnosis, saying the words “I have Cancer” is very hard at first to get out. Harder still are the feelings that come along with it. I was recently given a diagnosis of cancer on my cervix and in my uterus. My very first reaction was, fear.
This fear came with a barrage of questions and concerns which continued for a few days. What will I need to do? What will it take to fight it? What about my family? My mind wandered all over the place.
I recently found a photo of a little boy facing a sumo wrestler, I feel just like that, facing this modern day Goliath. Cancer felt like a giant. I recalled that inspiring biblical story of David and Goliath. Israel’s initial reaction to the enormous brute Goliath was fear. Perhaps that is a normal reaction.
Through their eyes He was too big to beat. However, little David looked at him through God’s eyes, the eyes of faith. To David, Goliath was too big to miss.
Have you ever noticed that in the battle between David and Goliath, David did not have much of anything in regard to armor on – he was just a kid with a sling shot? Most anyone would want all the armor and weapons you could pile on facing such an adversary. Instead he was clothed in faith.
David’s attitude was different; he was victorious because he relied fully on God’s perfect will, and God’s abilities, not his own. David, at some point, overcame his fear of physical death and self- preservation. He came to rely only on what God could do because he knew he could not do it physically on his own.
David knew he had to exercise his faith. This monumental conflict called upon him to stretch that faith for sure. And then stretch it some more. You and I can only imagine what that day must have been like for David.
If you battle cancer, you may face a similar experience. There is an over whelming feeling of a colossal Goliath in your body. Your efforts at facing it are comparable to a kid with a sling shot facing a giant. Or, like a surgeon fixing a heart attack with band aids.
Your faith will be stretched, and stretched, and stretched.
Little David received encouragement from the Lord and he believed it. We read this account in the Book of Samuel: “When he had sized David up, and seen that he was youthful, and ruddy, and handsome in appearance, he held him in contempt. The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog that you come against me with a staff?” Then the Philistine cursed David by his gods and said to him, “Come here to me, and I will leave your flesh for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field.”
David answered him: “You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel that you have insulted. Today the LORD shall deliver you into my hand; I will strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will leave your corpse and the corpses of the Philistine army for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field; thus the whole land shall learn that Israel has a God. All this multitude, too, shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves. For the battle is the LORD’S, and he shall deliver you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17: 42 – 47)
I hear things “in my heart”, like, ‘God loves me perfectly’ and ‘He will either protect me or give me grace to endure’. ‘His resources are incredible and inexhaustible; He provides his strength, faithfulness, and everlasting love’. These assurances are my security. I know that the God who made life possible for me, wants no harm to come to me. He has the plan to bring us all to victory.
Every day, I post many verses around the house. I read this verse daily. “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary they will walk and not grow faint. (Isaiah 40:31) As the battle ensued I just kept returning to Holy Mass and to the Bible, Gods word.
I was also given another gift, sincere support from family and friends. It was shown to me through heartfelt prayer, and ongoing signs of encouragement in the form of cards, meals and reminders that I was placed in prayer chains. I am so very thankful for all the cheerleaders that God sent my way.
Most especially, I am grateful for my late dear friend Kristy Anderson. She was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer found in the walls of her uterus. I witnessed tremendous endurance from this simple, giving woman. She had countless blood infusions, a hysterectomy, chemo therapy, radiation, and a brain tumor removed all within a very short period of time.
Even in knowing the severity of her condition, she remained positive, every step of the way, trusting the God whom she knew was with her all the time. Most people would not get out of bed facing those kinds of odds. Kristy was a “modern day” David for me. She faced the cancer with a sling shot. She was a brave soldier.
Another friend with Breast Cancer wrote to me and gave me one of the best pieces of advice. She said; “God is not up there in shock that you have cancer. Don’t be afraid of the big C, God is bigger than that. Have faith and TRUST. That is the answer”.
I do have peace because I know this, In Christ Jesus we will know each other throughout all eternity. Because God willed that his Son come to die for us, putting an end to death and opening up life eternal, I can live – now – in hope. Jesus was Obedient to His death; so that we may know His Father’s Love and have everlasting life.
This life is temporary; it is a doorway into the one which will last forever. In this life may the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love, and light of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us through it all. Whatever your Goliath may be, do not be afraid.
Remember this question from the first Book of the Bible “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”(Genesis18:14) and remind yourself of the answer. Spoken so beautifully by the Angel to the Mother of the Lord, “Nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)
Copyright 2010 Marjory Erdman