My heart is still pounding as I process the news I earlier received. I had gone to the doctor for what I thought was just a routine visit, only to hear those dreaded words, “You’ve Got Cancer.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and was desperately hoping it was just a dream. I quickly realized that the doctor was more than serious and I had to embrace this truth.
At first I was just stunned by this news that was clearly the darkest moment in my life. Even though I’ve been by so many bedsides, dealt with so many other people’s cancer, this was breathtaking to receive personally. That night I tossed and turned like never before in my bed. I didn’t really want to talk to anyone and I just kept crying out to God. “This can’t be happening”, I continued to say out loud. I felt like my heart could literally jump out my chest as I was already planning my own funeral.
Days later, I began to realize that I really do have cancer. And, there is nothing man can do about it. My cancer is so bad I was sent home right away with hospice, which was another thing I just couldn’t believe. Working for hospice, I knew this couldn’t be a promising sign. The next day, I was visited by a nurse who kindly and lovingly confirmed what the doctor had tried to make clear, but at that time I just wasn’t hearing it. She says, “You’ve got cancer and unless God chooses to do a miracle, you’ve got six months or less to live.” I just sat there stunned, but this time the tears are rolling down my cheeks. Because I know this woman is telling me the truth and I really am dying.
I was visited later by a social worker who helped me process further this painful reality. She asked me a bunch of questions I can’t really remember. Yet, several I could never forget like, “What do you want done with your body when you die?” “Do you have any specific funeral arrangements?” “Do you have a life insurance policy, that might cover the expenses?” At this point, I was more than overwhelmed by this news that was becoming more and more real by the moment.
The next day, after a little more time to toss and turn over this matter, I was visited by the hospice chaplain. I’ll never forget what this guy said to me. He said, “You know, God is still in control? You know, God has a purpose for even this time in your life and there are no accidents? Nothing takes God by surprise, but I can tell sir you are still in shock. You must know that the only thing that is going to save you is a personal faith and relationship with Jesus Christ?”
I said, “Pastor, I know every word you are saying to me is true. But, it is so different when you’re the one lying in this bed with the cancer. It’s so different, when you realize you’ve got a cancer that no man can cure.” The pastor replied, “But, my friend healing can come in so many ways. Yes, you have a very bad diagnosis that I am sure is more than hard to swallow. But, there is still hope for you. You see, when Jesus died on that cross over 2000 years ago, he had this day and time in mind. He knew you were dying. He knew you were hopeless. And, he knew he must die if you were to have any hope in this life and the life to come.”
Right then and there, I got down on my knees like never before. I prayed this prayer like never before. “Dear God, I know that I am a sinner. And, I realize that my sin is just like cancer. It can’t be cured by man and it has sentenced me to death. Thank you Jesus for dying on that cross for my sins and saving my soul. I believe in you with all my heart and soul. I will accept whatever comes into my life from this point forward and I will let you be Savior and Lord of my life.”
What a peace that came over me at that moment as I turned my cancer all over to God. Tears rolled down my face and my prayers were never more sincere. I accepted the fact that I had cancer and I began to trust God literally with every fiber within me realizing He was all I have in this life. Yes, I still have many ups and downs, but I found a greater peace that no chemo or man could give me. It was the peace of God and it was my miracle.
My friends, I just woke up five a.m. in the morning from this bitter sweet dream. And, trust me my heart is still pounding. This was one of those dreams that you’re just glad was just a dream. But, listen for many I visit every day of every age, this is the cold, hard truth. I’ve been by the bedside of countless folks who’ve received this kind of news, but also countless folks who have reached this kind of peace that only a life changing relationship with Jesus can give someone.
Now, I can’t believe I just had this experience by accident. As we celebrate this weekend the Resurrection of our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I know I will do so realizing this event did not just bring us some hope. Jesus is our only hope both now and forever more. He bore our sins (our cancer) on that cross that whoever believes in him will not die, but live forevermore with hope for today, tomorrow, and all eternity. I pray this touches you as deeply as this has touched me.
(Hebrews 6:19) “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…”