I was diagnosed with cancer in April with 2 surgeries in May that didn’t actually remove any of the cancer, then chemo treatments started in June which have worked to reduce the cancer. It’s signet ring cell carcinoma, which doesn’t have a great survival rate, so my life expectancy is now much shorter than normal. Although, really, we could all die any day. I’ve just had the luxury of assuming I won’t die for a few decades removed from my reality.
I have stayed in the word in a dozen ways since this started. Joni gave me the current volume of Divine Hours (I’ve since purchased the other 2 volumes to cover the entire year). Reading that 2 or 3 times a day has been great. I even started sharing it with Mom and she’s picked up the autumn/winter volume for herself.
I started the Dr. Horner reading plan this week and I’m enjoying the NIV Application Commentary on the book of Job. Another friend gave us a devotional with writings from the puritans, Voices from the Past.
And Proverbs31 Ministries released an app called First5 to use to get you into the word even before you check Facebook They released a simple study guide to go with it which has driven me into some deep thinking about the scripture and how it should be impacting my life.The next book is Genesis, which will coincide with the sermon series at church.
The thought that came to me today while doing the First5 reading is that so often we want to change faster.We get that Justification happened once and for all and we learn to rest in that truth. But Sanctification seems to take so long. Why do we still sin? Why can’t God just fix us 100% right away instead of waiting for the day of our Glorification?
I get frustrated and upset with people and then regret and repent and wonder why God makes me go through this period of not quite when he could just finish it.
Then I get this diagnosis of cancer and the day of my Glorification suddenly seems much closer. I’m actually ok with that, I’ve told Anthony that I’ll miss him terribly and I hate to do this to him, but I’ll be very happy where I am going.
But we do the chemo and live drags on and then recovery and recuperation start and it all seems so hard. But God says this is for my good (by his definition, not mine). And I am called to accept, even embrace, what God sends my way. I have found that the big issue of cancer and life or death has been easy to release to God. I didn’t even pray much about that one. I had other prayer warriors praying for it and I trusted God’s plan. My issue has always been in praying about the small things, the day-to-day things.
I have found myself praying for the small things with this disease. The middle of the night pain, the exhaustion/fatigue, the hand cramps or weakness that interfered with doing things, the patience to deal with the ileostomy bag. I’m praying more and it’s more about the little things I would try to show my independence in before. Now I’m reduced to turning to God for help in everything. And He hears me!
I was reviewing my other blog, the Imperfect Reader, and reviewed things in the book Not Knowing Where by Oswald Chambers. I found this quote on God’s definition of good:
“We must never lose sight of the necessity for discipline in the life of faith; only by means of this discipline are we taught the difference between the natural interpretation of what we call good and what God means by good. We have to be brought to the place of hearty agreement with God as to what He means by good, and we only reach it by the trial of our faith, never the stoical effort that says, ‘Well, I must make up my mind that this is God’s will, and that it is best.’”
and then this quote on patience:
“Patience is not the same as endurance, for the heart of endurance is frequently stoical, whereas the heart of patience is a blazing love that sees intuitively and awaits God’s time in perfect confidence.”
We fuss and stress because our sanctification is moving so slowly, and then we fuss and stress when He speeds up the timeline to sanctify us faster.I’m trying to be joyful and grateful that He has sanctified me in this area this year and brought about some drastic changes that would have taken years (have taken years already) on the old time table.
God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is good. He has proven faithful and good through these 4 months of cancer and I trust Him for the days to come.