Wow! You guys flooded my inbox with tons of comments, questions and sympathy from this morning’s post. I have to hand it you glad chatters…You are truly some of the classiest people I know. Thank you for sharing your feelings with me today. You have blessed me!
I’m going to ramble for a couple of minutes if you’ll indulge me on this topic of our sins causing our diseases or our problems. Please hear me out and please understand this is not theological debate. I’m much too tired to debate anything. This is just my soapbox and I’ll even share it with you if you’re nice about it. (smile)
The well-meaning folks who made comments about my heart in the wake of cancer really do mean well, I think. Let me just give you some background on my thoughts on this subject because I started contemplating this idea long before I was diagnosed with cancer.
Years ago, I was in a social setting talking with some other Christian moms when one friend said that she thought that cancer was caused by bitterness in people’s hearts. That was it. A comment made in the course of a discussion many years ago that set my mind to pondering this idea. Who did I know who had cancer? Did I think they were openly, flagrantly mean people? Was this even God’s character to punish people like this or to give this bad and even, deadly gift?
Stop right there. God giving a bad gift? Ummm…no, that’s against his character.
“If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven [perfect as He is] give good things to those who keep on asking Him!” Matthew 7:11
I do not think my cancer is “from God.” I do think my cancer is God-approved. I do not feel that it is a punishment or that I’ve done something to deserve it. I honestly feel quite the opposite. I feel more blessed than I did before I had cancer most of the time. I feel more exquisitely loved and cherished by God right now more than ever. I cannot explain why. It’s just the truth.
I do not believe that washing in holy water or having a certain person lay hands on me will release God’s healing. I have done some of these types of things that others, who love me lots, have asked me to do because I love these people, respect them and want them to have hope that God hears their prayers. I believe that God can use these types of things. I believe that if God asks me to do something, it could release healing in my life. Why? This is biblical and I will obey God even when it doesn’t make sense to me.
“Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing!” John 9:6-7
I don't know if this man understood what he was doing and I'm not sure he thought it would heal his eyes but I bet he thought Jesus could heal his eyes so maybe he'd try to trust him a bit.
Now, knowing my background on how we can bring cancer on ourselves is important because you should know that I blame myself for everything. I apologize profusely to everyone around me all the time and I think that anytime something goes wrong that it is all my fault and that I deserve it in some way. I am prone to take full blame for mistakes that those around me make. You know, like totally blaming myself for my children's bad decisions and stuff like that. I never really felt that about cancer, that I brought it on myself some way. So when that was suggested, imagine my stress.
A natural doctor that knows nothing about me or my character was the first to suggest this idea to me. I felt really exposed and victimized. I had come to the doctor to see if he could help me and he told me to help myself by forgiving others. (Sigh) I spend time searching my heart on a regular basis and asking God to reveal any hidden motives or grudges I might have and the thought that I hadn’t done this thoroughly was a little overwhelming to me. The thought that someone might look at me and determine that I was withholding from God threatened to take me over the edge emotionally. That is not my intention. Ever. I would never knowingly withhold from the Lord! I decided to search my heart and leave it at God’s feet.
Then when I shared this with my mother, she said maybe it was true. That hurt but maybe it was. She was sharing out of her own experiences with physical release and healing. She said every time God has touched her physically, he has revealed something deep from which she needed to repent. I began to earnestly pray again. I concluded that it was her life and her pattern. I left a comma at the end of the sentence inviting God to finish the prayer.
Other counselor-type friends and loved ones who care deeply have asked. I haven’t found offense here but I have carried frustration over it. Because let’s face it, we are humans. We want solutions. If we need a better organized home, to lose fifteen pounds or a cure to our own cancer, we want to fix it. Ourselves. And right now!
I am no different. I do take criticism personally, maybe a little too personally. I set a high standard for myself and I expect to live up to it. I am my own worst critic. I just am. That’s why this was a hard issue for me not because of what others said just because of how I personalized it. And if I could do something, anything to get rid of this cancer, don’t you think I would?!?
What I am choosing to believe right now is something that my husband and I feel God has shown us. We believe that he is using and will continue to use my cancer to bring him glory. Why? Because he’s done it before.
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”
“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.“ John 9:1-3
And, did y’all even get how sweet God was to bring Jeremiah 17 in full circle in my life these last two weeks? That was the little pink blessing I was talking about...the Jeremiah 17 charm that will remind me how God loves me enough to care.