Cancer is an evil word. It’s impossible to say it without the enemy running right behind the sound of the word carrying a flaming arrow of fear pointed straight at the heart.
I hate cancer.
But here’s the deal that boggles my mind. I mean really plays games with my paradigm of thought. GOD
CAN DO GREAT THINGS THROUGH CANCER.
What? The truth of this goes way back to when Joseph told his abusing brothers, “What you meant for evil, God used for good.” The actual verse is in Genesis 50:20.
I am in turmoil right now. I don’t doubt that God loves me and my sister with a passion I cannot fathom. I believe that. But why did my Abba Daddy, the One who has carried me through so much in my life allow evil into our family right now? Why did He allow my big sister to get cancer? I will probably never know the answer to this. God knows things He just doesn’t tell us. I get this. It’s about faith and exercising my belief in a God who I cannot see, but who I believe is real and loving and kind and all knowing. I go to the gym 5-6 days a week. But I feel that I’m exercising my faith muscle more than any other these days.
Really, Lord? You can use this evil disease for good?
So show me. I said this like a two year old stamping her feet and pouting.
Today, He began to show me.
This morning my sister had her first chemotherapy treatment. Last night I prayed for her, knowing she, like me, would be nervous and instead of sugar plums, visions of what ifs would be dancing through her mind. This morning I called and left a message. I asked folks on Facebook to pray for her.
At 9:30 my time she called.
“Hello.” I said.
Her voice was chipper and reminded me of a third grader bragging to everyone cause she finished the quiz first. I smiled, listening.
“How was it?”
Karen told me details and shared her experience. She felt a little nauseous but wasn’t sure if that wasn’t just cause of all the nerves.
“And there were a couple of bright spots.”
“When I went in, I heard someone call out, ‘Karen!’ ”
A woman she’d worked with twenty years earlier, now worked there.
“It was old home week, sharing stories and laughing. Made me feel so good because I know someone there.” The smile in her voice caused me to giggle.
“Divine appointment, for sure.”
“Yes, thank you, Lord! And then Jennifer showed up at the door as I was leaving to support me, too.”
I laughed again.“Wow. So cool.”
“Completely. Two spots of joy before and after they poisoned me.”
She made me giggle again. This conversation was not going anything like I thought it would.
“Oh and they provided a blanket for me, but I brought one, also, and put it on top of the one they gave me. It’s one that Linda (her best friend and old college roommate) gave me for my birthday or Christmas. It’s beautiful and a gorgeous purple.”
I thought of Linda, one of the most faithfully loyal women I’ve ever met. How wonderful that she added to
Karen’s warmth today.
“And, Rob, as I sat there with that stuff going into me, I looked down and I was completely covered in purple. It occurred to me that this was so symbolic. I was totally covered by my King.”
My giggles turned to tears. Here I was, fortifying myself to try to be strong for her, and she was ministering to me.
“That’s wonderful, Karen.” I blubbered.
“Rob, He has me.”
This morning is just one scene from a long battle. My sister is a warrior who has and will face difficult moments but who will prevail. Over and over. See, my sister Karen believes what Joseph said to his brothers. Karen believes that one day at a time, the Spirit of the Living God will walk through this journey with her.
He has her. And He is using this horrible time for good.
Cancer is an evil word. I still hate it. But after spending a little while on the phone with Karen, my faith is strengthened and I believe a little bit more. Jesus said he would overcome the world in John 16:33.
Today, He is doing that in my heart through my sister, an evil disease and a purple blanket.
He has us. Each of us.