Andrea and I went to a Chris Tomlin concert on Jan 27 2005. What a great time of singing praise songs! Afterwards I wrote this journal entry about what I was feeling.
Last night I felt I needed to just praise God and not think about cancer, to just praise God and not beg for healing. This was not a time to receive from God but to just praise God for who He is and what He has done.
Then I think of God reaching down and healing Andrea. And Andrea is given life. A gift I could not buy, a gift man could not provide. It is like being plucked out of a raging river just before you go over the falls. What a gift! Can you imagine? I just close my eyes and allow myself to drift into that moment. It will be God who heals Andrea and His fingerprints will be all over her. When you are so hopeless, when you know you can’t change anything. You see it when the doctor says your cancer is incurable, that there are no drugs to heal this, that your only hope is to manage the cancer. Then you see your hopelessness. As great as man’s accomplishments are, you see how weak we really are.
But you know this story has already been played out, but the gift was far greater then the healing we seek for Andrea’s cancer. You see I already faced death. I already faced a hopeless situation, one in which nothing man created could solve. I was lost and could do nothing about it on my own. I had a spiritual cancer and there was no human I could turn to for a cure. There are people who claim to have a cure but it only turns out to be some weak attempt to mask the symptoms. Drugs, alcohol, money success these are all man’s attempt to cure this disease. They only mask the reality of the situation. But rest assured one day the cancer will reap its reward. It will lead to death. Until we come to realize that death has a hold on us and we can do nothing on our own to change it we will never see the cure. When we see the futility of our actions to change our eternal death we realize we have to look beyond man for help. You see in a way my disease was the same as Andrea’s cancer. But Andrea being cured, as great as that will be, will only be temporary. Unlike our salvation, that is forever.
So I thought to myself, do I have the same reaction to my spiritual healing and I will for Andrea’s physical healing? Why am I more excited about the thought of Andrea’s healing then I have been about my salvation? We have already received the greatest gift, and it was given at a great price, the suffering of Jesus. The cross still stands and offers life. We were all given a terminal illness when we were born into sin. It is just that some of us have not received our diagnoses yet, we have not been told we have cancer, or we don’t want to hear it. We explain away the symptoms on other reasons. We fool ourselves into thinking the things we do will somehow save us from getting the disease. But we are only kidding ourselves, we already have the disease, we were born with it. The cancer is there, and the longer you let it grow untreated it only spreads into other pasts of our body and other parts of our life. Cancer devours the very body it needs to give itself life. Just like cancer that consumes the very body it depends on for life, sin will eventually take your life. There is only one cure. It is not being nice or better then someone else. It is not your successes in life. It is not by your “good” deeds outweighing your bad deeds. Man does not have the cure. No matter how advanced we become as a society or race, no matter what great feats we do, we can never cure this sickness that was born out of mans sin of pride. Don’t be fooled by this cancer. It will tell you, “don’t worry, I’m part of you, it’s natural to think and act this way, this is how you make yourself happy, doesn’t it feel good?” Then it must be good. Trust me one day it will show itself as the killer it is. When we will realize that what we thought was giving us joy is really bringing us death, we begin to understand how hopeless we are. We have no power to change this diagnoses. Then we look to God and say, “help me.” That is when we see the cross as our cure. The cure has always been there we only need to accept it, to drink it in and allow it to do its work. Of course there will be side effects, as there are with any drug. The most common side effects are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Soon you no longer act the same, others think you are different, some even think you are weird.
So next time I think of how great it will be the day Andrea is healed I will remember the healing we have already received. So instead of waiting for a temporary physical healing to sing praises to God I decide to start now. This breast cancer cannot affect our joy, our eternal joy in Christ. We have already received a gift far greater then the one we seek today. Physical sickness cannot change that. Jesus’ death on the cross has made us immune to Satan’s lies forever. That is one fact Satan would like us to be confused over. He would like us to think this cancer is bigger and scarier then it is, that its effects are eternal, but they are not.
We will one day be in heaven where we will sing Gods praise just like we did last night. Not to ask for anything, but just to praise Him. I will raise my hands with Andrea and sing “How great thou Art.” And we will forever be in His presence, eternally cured of our disease, not hoping for 20 or 30 more years of life but experiencing a 1000 years as a day!