What one word can instantly change your outlook on everything? What transforms a mood from optimism into fear, and refocuses other-centeredness to self care? Whether shared by a friend, family member or health professional, this word has the power to dramatically affect life priorities: The word is CANCER.
Doesn’t everyone know somebody affected by this disease? Three friends and two of my grandparents have left this earth because of it. Currently, two faith-filled girlfriends are undergoing unpleasant treatments, while trusting God will work out what is best.
Perhaps you have assisted cancer patients with donations, visits and prayers. Have you personally benefited by receiving or giving support? Christians receive double blessings when others intercede for others, to our always listening Lord!
Jeremiah 29:12-13, “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
A few months ago when my nurse practitioner recommended several cancer-detecting tests, I solicited church friends to please pray. But when the results returned negative, I neglected to ask them to join me in thanks and praise! Was this good news taken for granted? Why didn’t I gratefully go to my knees in prayer?
Romans 1:21, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
Shamefully, I need to admit (and repent) of quickly jumping back on my own busyness treadmill, without an appreciation pause. The spot on my liver is not cancerous. My lack of praise to God for my health is a disease of my heart. If the diagnosis was different, how different my priorities and pleading would be!
Is it possible for me to thank Jesus enough? His love, understanding, patience, and forgiveness (through his suffering) is available 24/7 for every sinner—even me! Through times of health, illness, ungratefulness, worship opportunities, comfort or distress, He is the believer’s security.
Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
It is no surprise that the word cancer, and other bad news, will dramatically disrupt and redirect self-made paths. What a privilege to know the one Word that gives peace-filled assurance through all we experience. That Word is Jesus.
John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”
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GRATITUDE ATTITUDE CHANGERS:
Here are some gratitude prompting activities I am challenging myself to do:
Using www.biblegateway.com or a concordances, find and study Scripture references to “God is worthy of praise.”
Research liver cancer, treatment options and survivor rates.
Visit sick, disabled, or lonely people. Empathize with their health complaints, confusion and concerns. Share a devotion and prayer from WELS Women’s Devotions. Maybe bring along a corny joke.
Buy or borrow music CD’s of praise and thanks. My current favorites are the hymns by Keith and Kristyn Getty. Even my public library has some!
Follow and share the 364 Days of Thanksgiving Facebook posts.