Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Offering Hope

“I feel God wants us to offer a service of hope for those with cancer,” Madelyn, my husband’s administrative assistant told him. A survivor of cancer herself, she knew firsthand the roller coaster of emotions such a diagnosis evokes.

Madelyn contacted several of us who have journeyed that bumpy path asking us simply to share what brought us hope along the way. The evening of the service, everyone present felt the mood lighten as witness after witness gave testimony of God’s sustaining power in their lives.

Pat shared her thanks for the many people who reached out to her and her husband during her time of treatment, bringing meals, sending cards, praying, and offering a listening ear. Jill told of her experience during an MRI where she felt God’s physical presence warm and reassure her that He was walking with her. Joey explained how a human “error” led to discovering his cancer. He and his wife then sang a song of determination God gave Joey immediately after his diagnosis. Jim gave us a glimpse into the caregiver’s side of cancer and the encouragement he and Madelyn found by reading the Bible and praying together.

I was asked to tell my story, also. In May of 2015, Dr. Blaum told me a biopsy had revealed cancer. I was totally caught off guard. Then, I was angry—not at the doctor, not at myself, not even at God. I was angry at the cancer for invading my body. And I was determined to do whatever it took to get rid of it—including radical surgery and chemotherapy.

I can’t say I was afraid. God had brought Dick and me through too many things in the past not to trust Him with this challenge. I understood Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 1:12, “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” I knew God would see us through. Our hope for the future remained in Jesus—throughout my surgery, chemotherapy, and recovery.

Many people, including my followers here at 2 Encourage, prayed with me during those exhausting six months. I couldn’t have put one foot in front of the other without those prayers, for many days I was just too tired, physically and mentally, to even pray.

In Jeremiah 29:11 God says, “I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Although I was caught off guard by my diagnosis, God was not. He knew. So, my future—my hope—rested in Him.

The “Service of Hope” Madelyn felt nudged to organize affirmed what David wrote in Psalm 34;

I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord; Let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me; Let us exalt his name together.

When we praise and thank God, we magnify Him—make Him easier to see—offering others hope. My prayer is that if you are currently traversing cancer’s steep, rocky path, that you will find hope by trusting in God’s loving kindness. If you know someone in the midst of such a journey—someone in need of hope—call, visit, send a card, share a scripture, bring a meal, and most of all, offer a prayer.

Be encouraged!

©2017 Pamela D. Williams