“Cancer always wins.”
My head is spinning – I think of many who have lost a battle to cancer. I think of Janice’s sister who battled for two years before finally having to surrender at the age of 42. I think of Monique, who battled so long and so courageously before losing to cancer just recently. When I think of the long list, there’s a sadness to threatens to linger like a dark cloud.
My theology and experience tell me this is a consequence of living in a fallen world; that while disease and death were never part of God’s plan for mankind, none of us are spared the reality of having to face such moments in our journey – even as we walk by faith. I know there is a hopefulness that is ours in Christ, but for me, it’s okay – not only okay, but necessary – for me to admit all this still troubles me. At times it feels like such losses just never end.
But…one day…one day…it will end! This is our ultimate hope. The promise from our Lord is that is coming day when…there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. (Revelation 21:4) There is coming a day when every loss will be redeemed and every tear will be wiped dry. And, can I say it again, friends…what a day, what day that will be. In God’s kingdom, cancer does not get the last word, death does not get the last word, pain and sorrow do not get the last word. God has the last word and His word is one of hope and joy, even amidst the saddens of loss.
Tomorrow I will share the words of the prophet Habakkuk, who also faced troubling circumstances; I will remind our people at Valley of the hope and joy, the strength and courage we find in our God. Today, I pray, Lord, remind me. You are the God who sees and the God who cares.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31)
Father, if it’s not too much to ask -- I know that you delight in your creation; that the puppy that has brought us so much joy also delights your heart -- so would You please give us wisdom and courage and would you provide strength in multiplied measures to those who are facing similar battles with the ones they care about so deeply.
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength. (Habakkuk 3:17-19)