This is unusual for me to do. But I have some thoughts that I could not envelope in a story and have no commonality. This is basically a string of questions that many may have including me.
When I was first diagnosed with cancer, the question was why? Why me? Although I heard many religious leaders say one thing or another, the number one person’s thoughts that mattered to me was Jesus Christ. And I asked him. And he answered. Even after getting his answer, I tended to veer in other directions. The problem is not in him. The problem is in distractions. Satan loves to distract. Some of the answers that I heard from religious leaders were: there is a sin that needed to be cleansed, God is removing some rubbish such as complacency and laziness, a spiritual battle, a trial, a test, preparation for eternity, preparation for his glory, etc … Right before my diagnosis, I started getting more serious about God. In my experience, everything I say is usually tested. And this is no different. The turmoil that followed is unforgettable and unspeakable. It is one of those experiences where you have to walk in another’s shoes for a mile to really understand.
When I first received chemotherapy treatment, several people including my oncologist stated that chemotherapy is poison. Isn’t that a moral dilemma? God can protect me from this poison per Mark 16:17-18.
One of the endearing characteristics of Jesus Christ is that he uses one circumstance to accomplish many things. He had one main reason for the experience, but it is accomplishing many. It is a battle. I am also being cleansed and prepared for something which I do not know yet. I just hope I retain and use everything I learned. I believe he is healing on a deeper level. I tend to suppress my emotions because these are not right or “proper”. This suppression causes many illnesses. Our bodies were not created for that kind of stress. As time went by, we have forgotten how to release our burdens. And that is exactly what God wants to do; give us rest. ~ Matthew 11: 28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I have always sought God’s will in my life. It wasn’t because I was religious, righteous, or even good. It is because I was and probably still am a coward. I wanted someone else to make decisions for me because I wouldn’t be responsible for the consequences. Boy, was I wrong! We all suffer when an associate makes a bad decision. We suffer when our ancestors made wrong decisions. It is part of life.
One thing I kept hearing over and over again is that God allowed this illness or this circumstance; the reference being the book of Job. I question that. I know God is good. I also know that I am his daughter through the reconciling work of Jesus Christ. Would I, as a human being, allow someone to hurt a loved one especially a child of mine? Why would God do that? He even said in Matthew 7:9-11: “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” It seems to me that my decisions and choices are the ones that get me into trouble whether I know the consequences or not. For every choice, there is consequence even generational. Sometimes we are ignorant of the consequences. If I know that eating a certain food will cause me to be ill and I eat it anyway, what should I expect? If I don’t know, what will happen? God mentioned several times in the Bible that his people perish / get exiled for lack of knowledge. ~ Hosea 4:6 and Isaiah 5:13.
Guess what? There are lies a plenty in this world. Satan thrives on lies. ~ John 8:44. Because his aim is to steal, kill, and destroy everyone and everything God loves. ~ John 10:10. It is our responsibility to gain knowledge and truth by asking, seeking, and knocking until we get an answer. ~ Matthew 7:7-8. And God is faithful. He will answer at the perfect time.
Throughout life, I‘ve heard references of how the good die young or the wickeds’ days are cut short. It is in the Bible both ways. I’ve seen both during my lifetime. Which one is it? The good die young or the evil does? This is purely a generalization. Is this a defense mechanism to deal with pain?
Another thing I kept hearing is that cancer is a sure ticket to heaven. Really? How? What I know is that belief in Jesus Christ as a personal savior and son of God is the sure ticket to heaven, not disease. His redemptive work reconciled me to God, the father. This idea diminishes the whole ministry of Jesus. Why would he heal the sick if sickness would transport people to heaven? It doesn’t follow. Another lie? This seems to be a tactic to please people so they would not get too upset and leave a certain denominational church. At what price? Their eternity and the church leaders’ eternity? The church leaders are under greater judgment at the end because they are responsible for what they teach. ~ James 3:1.
Church leaders encourage people to serve in the churches and give money. Very few actually encourage them to get to know God better; to draw closer to Jesus Christ, to whet their appetites with morsels from the Bible. Many condemn the people for their actions or lack of, yet, few speak of the love of Christ. Many state what God will do for them if they did such and such or gave a certain amount of money, yet few speak of what Jesus Christ already did. Who or what are we focused on? If the churches want to see the miraculous, they need to get serious about God.
Religion or relationship? If I venture to be bold, I’d say that we are all religious. We are religious in attending school, going to work, eating, personal hygiene, doing daily things that we need to do. Most of us attend religious services. All religions have commandments and rules that we need to adhere to. Christianity is no different, that is, if you want to look at it as a religion. We have to attend church, we have to read the Bible, we have to pray, we have to love our neighbors and much worst, we have to love our enemies! It is such a burden. “We have to” is a tricky phrase. Why? Why do I have to? If you think about it a little further, all religions are such burdens. By the way, atheism is a religion. According to thefreedictonary.com, religion is defined as “a cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.” Fanaticism and extremism is born of religion. Mental illnesses are born of religion. Being zealous is very good, in fact, as long as you know the reason. ~ Galatians 4:18. Some think they are following the truth; while others negate that same truth. Is it really truth?
Unlike other religions, Christianity is about relationship. It is a relationship between two persons who love each other. You have tried it. I have tried it. There is nothing more satisfying than spending time with a loved one. The number one regret of many on their death beds is that they didn’t get to spend a lot of time with their loved ones. Everything else didn’t seem to matter. Who are the two persons spending time together? Jesus Christ and any person. Out of this love relationship, something beautiful begins to grow. I start to change and become more like him. He doesn’t change. He is eternal. I can always change for the better. So the burdensome commands in the Bible are not so troublesome. Because I do them for someone who loves me and I love him. It becomes easier with him lightening the load. ~ Matthew 11: 28-30.
I see pain, sorrow, death, and illness everywhere. It breaks my heart. I know God is the healer and restorer, yet, I do not see him working. I know he is. He listens to prayers and always responds at the perfect time. My prayer for everyone is to know the truth, the whole truth, the absolute truth, and nothing else.