“Why haven’t you?”
A disabled James asked Jesus this question about his own healing when Jesus was sending him on a mission to heal others in an episode of The Chosen that Corey and I watched this week.
Jesus’ reply –
“Because I trust you. . . In the Father’s will I could heal you, right now. And you’d have a good story to tell. But think of the story that you have in this journey if I don’t heal you. To know how to proclaim that you still praise the Lord in spite of this. . .to know how to focus on all that matters so much more than the body. To show people you can be patient in suffering here on earth because you know that you are spending eternity with no suffering.”
There’s no visible cancer in my body right now. And I can honestly say that I don’t live in fear of it returning.
However, I’ve been feeling a little sorry for myself this week. As anyone who has had cancer can attest, it doesn’t ever really end.
Sure you endure chemo. You slog your way through radiation. You have the surgeries. You take the genetic tests. You check all the necessary things off the list. And once your hair starts growing back, the world around you can forget about it.
But you won’t.
I was first diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and was still on hormone therapy from that occurrence when I was diagnosed again in 2023.
Recently I learned that I will be on a new hormone therapy drug for 10 years. That I will be on some other drug I’d never heard of for 2 years, and that for the next 2-3 years I will have to get an infusion of something I can’t pronounce every six months.
I am grateful for treatment, and I praise Jesus my side effects have been relatively mild.
That doesn’t mean this isn’t hard. And it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have run a hundred miles in the opposite direction if I had been given a choice about having cancer.
But listening to Jesus (Jonathon Roumie is a good Jesus isn’t he?) speak to James, I felt like he could be speaking to me.
My response to this year of treatment shouldn’t be “why did you let this happen to me again?” but “Show me how to praise you in the midst of it.”
That is where I want my heart to be.
If I have to go through this crappy thing, I want to waste as few minutes as possible feeling sorry for myself.
I want to tell anyone who will listen that, “Yes this sucks. No, I would not choose it. But absolutely God is still good.”
I believe that. Even if I’m weary and a little bit broken, I believe it.
And I hope seeing me believe it might help someone else believe it too.
I think I’d rather strike a match than curse the dark. – Rend Collective, Hallelujah Anyway