I talked to a man recently who was down. His lawn mower wasn’t starting and it was a big deal to him. He didn’t have the money to get it fixed and his grass was already too long. He was stressed. It was the most pressing stress on his life.
I talked to a woman recently who was down. A spiritually strong individual with a life of serving God. Illness brought her to The Mayo Clinic. They tried treating the issues and with no fault of her own, she became chemically dependent on the pain medication they prescribed. She was hurting, humbled and broken. It was the most pressing stress on her life.
We have watched others’ trials much differently lately. Each one is difficult and complex. From the outside, something may seem like no big deal. But on the inside there is often so much more going on. It is incredibly inspiring to watch someone handle their trial well, regardless of how big it seems.
We can say, now that we are past the first phase of cancer, that cancer is neither good nor bad. It just ‘is’. Yeah it knocked us down and in the middle of it we lost perspective at times. But we seemed to find joy in it somehow (actually we didn’t find it, it found us). It will always be a part of us; our decisions, our thought process, our daily grind, our parenting, our sex life, our work, our play; yet not rule us or strike fear into us. It just ‘is’. Like a wart on our nose. We can’t do anything about it. We can’t cry about it with any benefit. We just wish it were not there. It seems to distract our peripheral vision at times but if we are going about our business each day, most of the time we will not even notice it.
So really, cancer just ‘is’. But what the cancer did for us is not neutral. I am so thankful we have a loving God that would not hold back a trial from us. He trusted us with it. This trial deepened our faith, increased our joy, strengthened our relationships, increased our understanding and compassion for others and more. It brought to life the words of scripture. It showed off the goodness of God in ways that I could never have understood otherwise.