I want to thank everybody for your prayers for my family and I during what is the darkest trial of our life (so far). We are truly experiencing the “peace that passes all understanding,” as we now await the report on my cancer. Many of you have even read up on the rare form of cancer known as “Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans” and have told me through letters, e-mails, and personally that I am in your thoughts and prayers. Many of the cancer survivors from our church and town have contacted me this week offering their wisdom and encouragement. Thank you so much for showing me the love of Jesus and for your prayers!
A pastor friend e-mailed me a link to an article from John Piper about not wasting my cancer. Piper survived cancer and wrote out some insights from his journey. Piper’s insights always cause me to think hard and wrestle with his perspective on things. Of his ten reflections, I chose the following two to share with you in this week’s article:
You will waste your cancer if you do not believe it is designed for you by God.
It will not do to say that God only uses our cancer but does not design it. What God permits, he permits for a reason. And that reason is his design. If God foresees molecular developments becoming cancer, he can stop it or not. If he does not, he has a purpose. Since he is infinitely wise, it is right to call this purpose a design. Satan is real and causes many pleasures and pains. But he is not ultimate. So when he strikes Job with boils (Job 2:7), Job attributes it ultimately to God (2:10) and the inspired writer agrees: “They . . . comforted him for all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him” (Job 42:11). If you don’t believe your cancer is designed for you by God, you will waste it.
You will waste your cancer if you seek comfort from your odds rather than from God.
The design of God in your cancer is not to train you in the rationalistic, human calculation of odds. The world gets comfort from their odds. Not Christians. Some count their chariots (percentages of survival) and some count their horses (side effects of treatment), but we trust in the name of the LORD our God (Psalm 20:7). God’s design is clear from 2 Corinthians 1:9, “We felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” The aim of God in your cancer (among a thousand other good things) is to knock props out from under our hearts so that we rely utterly on him.
Ginny and I both feel Jesus walking us through these days. He is our ever-present help in our time of trouble!
May God use my cancer for his glory and purpose, and may we all sense his presence in our lives!
- Bro. Dave