Over the seven years Mom had cancer, she went through treatment after treatment. It almost was like she was living with diabetes, but instead of insulin she used chemo to keep her cancer under control. Still, we knew at some point she wouldn’t respond to treatment anymore, the hard part was not knowing how long before that would happen.
Mom did all she could as long as she could. She couldn’t escape death, but she believed in Christ, the one who has conquered death for us so that we might live. So take heart, and hope in him.
“Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:23-26)
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion’, says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him.” (Lamentations 3:21-24)
“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrew 12:1-3)
By the good and mysterious providence of God, my PET Scan results showed that cancer has returned to my liver. While those weren’t quite the results I desired, I trust in God’s goodness and His sovereignty. This coming Tuesday I will embark on a new 6 month chemo protocol, with chemo and a growth factor once a week for 4 weeks, and then just the growth factor for two weeks, with this cycle repeated for 6 months. I will also be on an antibiotic for the entire time as one of the side effects is acne and I will have a greater chance of a secondary bacterial infection. If this protocol keeps the tumors from growing, I will receive a maintenance dose of the growth factor for the rest of my life.
I realize there are Christians out there reading this whose life is permeated with great suffering. I’m sure even more difficult than my lot. Take heart.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)
Hope in God alone and His unfailing word.
“Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever;” (Psalm 146:5-6)
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
Know that you we are being weaned from this world while being prepared for the next.
“For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
Remember that Christ understands what you are going through, will never leave you, and will give you the grace you need. Fear not.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)
“For He has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5-6)
Set your mind on the eternal, not the temporal.
“Set your minds on the things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:2-4)
Do not neglect to worship corporately.
“Ascribe to the LORD, O clans of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; bring an offering and come before Him! Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.” (1 Chronicles 16:28-29)
Give all glory to God for He is worthy.
“Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!” (Psalm 115:1)
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Coram Deo (Before the face of God),
November 14, 2009