As I read Becky’s story, I was laughing and crying all at the same time. Becky didn’t like the way the word cancer made her feel so she decided instead of saying her mom had cancer she would call her mom’s cancer “lollipops.”
The next afternoon when Becky came home from school, her mom gave her a big, red lollipop and told her to eat it. Becky began to lick the lollipop. Her mom told her just like the lollipop disappeared with every single lick, her cancer was disappearing with every dose of medicine (chemo) and every touch of the laser (radiation).
I began to think how this is a lot like suffering. God has shown me through this cancer thing that suffering is His sweet invitation to us. He invites us to be keenly aware of our need for Him and to share in the suffering He endured for our sake. My journey of suffering has been an invitation to walk hand in hand with Jesus every single day. Not only have I heard His voice, I’ve been more aware than ever of His presence.
But the first thing I had to do was accept His invitation. Now, I didn’t say yes to cancer… I said yes to Jesus and for me that included cancer. He extended this “lollipop” to me. I took it, engaged with Him and began to walk the road. Every single day, I am a bit closer to the end of this particular road. Isn’t that how it is with suffering? Just as every lick took a little bit of Becky’s lollipop, every step eases a little of our suffering.
Some of us suffer with cancer, some with rebellious children, hard marriages, financial stress and some with overwhelming laundry. The degree of suffering varies in our lives from time to time. But God remains constant. Through His special invitation to us, God can make our suffering sweet if we allow Him to. Job is one of the most famous sufferers and this is what he said after his ordeal, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.” (Job 19:25-26)
As a result of suffering, I’ve shared sweet fellowship with Jesus. I feel like He is there like never before. My husband even joked with me this weekend telling me he felt like I was now in God’s “inner circle.” The truth is that I feel that way too. Needing Jesus in a way like never before, has put me in a spot to fellowship with Him on a new level and in a new way. I am thankful for that sweet fellowship.
When I received my cancer diagnosis I got the gift of instant perspective. My priorities were in instantly rearranged and I knew what was really important. That has been a huge blessing.
One of the sweetest things in this journey has been how God’s promises seem to be just for me. It’s like God took the Bible and put a spin on it so it was all about me. I have absolutely loved how personal He’s made big truths in my life. I can’t really explain it except that it’s the living part of God’s Word. My relationship with Jesus makes all the difference. Scripture ceases to be a written book and becomes a spoken word from a living God.
Of course, a big sweetness that I’m looking forward to is sweet victory. I love to win and the truth is one way or another, I will beat cancer. Cancer does not have me. And I look forward to being totally free from cancer.
What invitation is God extending to you today sweet friend? It’s not too late to take that lollipop and start licking. Let Him make the hard things sweet.
We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him! Romans 8:17