This month marks a decade since I finished treatment for head and neck cancer. By God’s grace I remain cancer free. I have remarked to others more times than I can recount a single thought: “Cancer is a terribly effective tutor.” Here are several lessons I learned through the healing journey and continue to learn as the Lord kindly gives me length of days.
- One, the actual moment of a believer’s death is a terribly significant matter in the heart of God (Psalm 116:15).
- Two, illness is a form of suffering which God uses to train us in holiness (Psalm 119:71).
- Three, God’s grace is sufficient to sustain even when healing is delayed or doesn’t come at all (2 Cor. 12:9).
- Four, one’s capacity to comfort others in their affliction increases significantly to the degree one has experienced comfort from God in something similar (2 Cor. 1:3-5).
- Five, dying is gain for the believer, but remaining alive to serve others is better for them in God’s providence (Phil. 1:21-26).
- Six, God sees the tears and hears the prayers of His people when they cry out to Him (2 Kings 20:5).
- Seven, joy doesn’t depend on circumstances but rather on the filling of the Spirit which focuses on giving thanks in all things (1 Thess. 5:16-18).
- Eight, true worth comes from who we are in Christ, not what we can or cannot do for Him (2 Cor. 5:17).
- Nine, prosperity and adversity both come from God and require different responses in faith (Ecc. 7:14).
- And, ten, life is a vapor, faster than a weaver’s shuttle, requiring one to live every moment’s anticipation of the future governed by a careful “if the Lord wills” (James 4:13-15; Job 7:6).
These lessons and more I have learned and continue to learn as I live one more day cancer free to the praise of His glorious grace.