“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
God cannot make this promise without me believing that it applies even in this disease. My hope is in the Lord, and in that hope lies a spectacularly bright future. That said, there is nothing in that promise that says it will be a long future or that complete healing is in that future.
So without complete healing or a very long life, where does the potential for ‘spectacular’ lie?
Let’s face it. Cancer, in all of its ugly, vicious, forms (and there are many) simply carries with it an unbelievable amount of pain, suffering, and death.
The number of new cases of just the top 5 most common types of cancer expected this year are staggering:
Lung (2.09 million cases)
Breast (2.09 million cases)
Colorectal (1.80 million cases)
Prostate (1.28 million cases)
Skin cancer (non-melanoma) (1.04 million cases)
Stomach (1.03 million cases)
That’s over 10 million people diagnosed just with these types of cancer who will be told, “You have cancer.” and will hear, “You’re going to die.”
And those words will affect, change, and impact the lives of many millions more. Friends, family, loved ones, co-workers, fellow church members. How do all these people find any sort of hope or future in those words, let alone a ‘spectacular’ one?
“But I’ve just been told I have cancer! How am I supposed to trust God? I simply don’t understand! Why me?”
Our relationship with God is not fully developed, or demonstrated, when the sun is shining in our lives and all is good in our little corner of the world, and if anyone thinks that having a good relationship with God guarantees that, then perhaps you’d best stop listening to the ‘prosperity’ gospel preachers, and start reading the Bible.
Trusting God when a spouse has died suddenly, or a child has committed suicide is tough.
Trusting God when your marriage falls apart or you’ve just been told you have cancer is tough.
Trusting God when you lose your job and your entire ‘world’ seems like it is crashing down around you is tough.
Trusting God when stories are read about atrocities committed towards women, children, or the elderly is tough.
Sometimes, trusting God is tough because we try to understand something.
Well, I am here to tell you, “Let go of that particular piece of rope, and start hanging on to God, and God alone.”
Can we have moments of doubt and insecurity?
Can we even pray for death as I did several weeks ago?
The fact that I am still alive is not a sign that God didn’t hear my prayer or that He ignored it, because He does neither. He heard it and He answered it, just not in the manner I wanted Him to at that moment in time, and thank goodness His wisdom is so much greater than mine, because out of the darkness of those moments came the light containing the hope. And in that hope lies the future, and it will definitely be a spectacular one because He is in charge, and He has a plan, and all I have to do is pay attention.
And TRUST Him.
And not feel like I have to understand everything because I never, ever will.
My future here on earth may not be particularly long, but it is full of opportunities to serve God and to glorify His name.
It is full of opportunities to help others to find their way to Him and the salvation He holds out to us all through His Son, Jesus Christ.
And it is full of opportunities to praise Him, because He is worthy of all of our praise, and to thank Him for the spectacular hope and future ahead for me if only I will trust Him and not always try to make sense of it all.
Whatever trials and tribulations you are facing, and no matter what you may be suffering through, God has a plan for you, and it is a good one. Just make sure you always trust more, and try to understand less.
God bless you all, and thank you for putting up with me.