This week marks three years since my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. When she was diagnosed I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared, my family is no stranger to sickness but three years ago the word cancer was still terrifying. The outpouring of prayer and love from my friends and family helped strengthen me as we dealt with this storm.
One conversation with a very close friend really opened my eyes and gave me hope, I remember it like it was yesterday. It was only hours after I found out the diagnosis I’m on my way home from work and my phone rings. I answer, not really in the mood to talk to anyone. The conversation was quick and simple but powerful. It went as follows.
Hey man, I heard about your mom, just wanted to let you know I’m praying for her and your family, Don’t stress about it too much, if you really think about it, it’s only cancer… Its nothing that God cannot handle he is still in control.
The day following my moms diagnosis I posted this on my Facebook, and reading it today three years later makes me smile.
As a lot of you know my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer yesterday. I ask for your prayers for my family as we go through this difficult time.
I spent a few minutes alone with God yesterday, praying for peace for me and my family and I opened up an old bible of mine, one I probably haven’t opened in easily a year. It was the first bible I used when I read the whole book cover to cover years ago and it just so happened to be sitting there while I was praying. I opened it up to a page I had marked for some reason and the only thing highlighted on that page was a small exert from Job chapter 2.
“should we only expect good things from God and not bad things?”
Job is probably my favorite character in the bible for one reason and one reason alone. God trusted him to make satan look like a fool.
“One day the members of the heavenly court came again to present themselves before the LORD, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. “Where have you come from?” the LORD asked Satan. Satan answered the LORD, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.” Then the LORD asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil. And he has maintained his integrity, even though you urged me to harm him without cause.” Satan replied to the LORD, “Skin for skin! A man will give up everything he has to save his life. But reach out and take away his health, and he will surely curse you to your face!”
So Satan left the LORD’s presence, and he struck Job with terrible boils from head to foot. Job scraped his skin with a piece of broken pottery as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.” But Job replied, “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong.”
The story goes on even further, Job looses his health, his wealth, and even his children. Yet he still remained faithful to God.
The sentence that gives me hope, that encourages my faith is how God says to Satan,
Have you noticed my servant Job?
Satan was roaming the earth, and God singles out Job.
Satan didn’t pick Job. God did. All of Jobs trails and tribulations were used to bring glory to God. Our God will never give us something we cannot handle. Cancer is such a small thing when you realize how great our God is.
I’m looking forward to making satan look like a fool.
It was a difficult time for my family, chemo therapy was very difficult for my mom, and seeing her struggle was difficult for my dad my brother and I. It was a like a storm that came out of no where and rocked the peaceful sea we called life, but like Franklin D. Roosevelt said
“a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”
A lot has happened in three years. She had surgery, went through chemo therapy, and now is fully cancer free! We made Satan look foolish, we went though the rough waters of life and came out on top. Our faith was tested, and through the testing it became stronger.
Through all of this it has made the first chapter of James real to me.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
There may be some of you going through a storm right now as you read this, something may be testing your faith, you may feel like you are being tossed back and forth in life by different struggles and trails. Consider it and opportunity for great joy and use it to hone your skills as a sailor.