I’ve noticed that Sam and I hardly ever use the “C” word when we talk to each other. I’ll say “I’ve been so tired lately” and he’ll say “That could be because of this thing“. Or I’ll say “When we’re past this thing, we should go on a little vacation”. Or “I really don’t feel sick. This thing doesn’t seem to be affecting me much.”
I’m not sure why that is. Maybe by not naming it we are keeping it at a distance. Maybe we are subconsciously giving it less power in our lives. It’s a scary word, “cancer”. It’s an ugly word. It has the immediate connotation of death and lingering painful illness. It also carries a darkness above many other diseases, because it is an illness of the own body’s cells turning traitor, eating me up from the inside.
Maybe we don’t say it because we don’t want to continually hear that ugliness, or see those images or feel the emotions that connect to the word. If we are going to choose to rejoice and thank God in all things – including this thing– we will need to keep a positive outlook. We will need to keep our minds focused on what we know to be true – that God’s hand is on this, that my life is and always has been in his hands, that I have given him my life to use in any way that will glorify him, and that this thing may be the path he has chosen for me to walk, so that I can walk beside others who are also battling the same thing, and need comfort and love and hope of life after this life.
If God’s hand is on it, even this thing… even cancer… can be used for his purposes and made beautiful by his glory.
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28