I had a very interesting experience last night. I had been contacted by one of the nurses who cared for me during my cancer treatment requesting I join a Cancer Support Group. Honestly, I wasn’t interested. I have about 15 million plates spinning and I didn’t really feel like talking about cancer. It is still pretty raw. Ultimately, I knew Dr. Lininger and Margy would be there and I knew we would talk about Jesus, so since I contribute my healing to those individuals I thought I would probably enjoy this outing. As I headed down Peetz plateau (which is really a small downhill decline, but for locals it REALLY is a serious drop in elevation) I began to pray. “Lord, please make this worth my while. I don’t want to be away from the boys right now, so please make it incredibly valuable.”
I got in to Sterling and could not find the location of the meeting. I ended up being 20 minutes late, which has happened very few times in my life. I walked in a little panicky, but soon calmed down with a hug from Dr.Lininger and Margy. I gathered from the conversations going on that the question was posed regarding how our faith changed as a result of a cancer diagnosis. After listening to others share, I willing spoke of the value of Roy building a vast prayer army at the beginning of my journey. I also clearly stated my believe in Jesus Christ as my Mighty Healer. I had an assumption that everyone there were believers. I was incorrect.
Dr. Lininger shared from 2 Corinthians 4:16 – 5:1. These verses speak of our momentary troubles being for an eternal glory. Doc clearly stated his belief in Jesus Christ and shared the gospel during our time together. A woman spoke up and said that she believed there was a God and that if we are good enough we would go to heaven. I found myself with the wheels spinning in my head. I teach youth about Jesus all the time, but can I defend my faith in this moment with this woman? Lord, please give me the right verse to speak. As we were winding up, Dr. Lininger asked if there was anything anyone else wanted to share. “YES! There is a verse pressing firmly on my heart that I must share with this group tonight. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” I know that this may be one of the most well know Bible verses for both believers and non-believers alike. There is a reason for that. It says it all in one complete statement. God is love. God gave us a gift in his Son, Jesus Christ. We must believe in Jesus. That faith will save us from the very real place of hell. Accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior is the only way to have eternal life.” This woman quickly refuted, “I don’t believe in the Bible.” My blood began to boil and I quickly prayed again for the right (and kind) words. The best that came out of my mouth was, “Well… We are going to have to work on that.” She again opposed me, “I guess we can agree to disagree.” I finished with, “Until I change your mind.” I was bold. I have a slight problem with that personality characteristic. I also was not ashamed. If she left there last night and I had not spoken the truth I would have really struggled forgiving myself.
As I processed with Roy after I got home we were talking about how knowing the Bible is similar to being an athlete. You have to practice. In order to quote scripture, you have to practice. Just as an athlete practices to get better at their particular sport, so much Christians. We need to be in the Word, so were are prepared for our event. Life. We have a gift to share and plenty of opportunities to compete. Are you ready to defend your faith?
The word “great” according to Funk (wouldn’t that have been a great last name?) & Wagnalls is defined many ways, but includes: adj. 1. Very large, immense; big; vast. 2 Being much more numerous than the average. 5 Of large or the largest importance; mighty; foremost. 8 Important, weighty; momentous. I have been pondering the word great lately. As I began down my road with cancer the first primary revelation was that this would be a journey for God’s glory (hence the title). One of the very next revelations was that something great would come from this journey. I am now one month post-remission, and I am wondering what will be good enough to be considered great…
I have wondering if merely surviving chemo is great? I believe if one person is saved because of my testimony that would be great. Somehow, great seems larger than either of those, but there is nothing greater than souls be saved from the fiery pits of hell, so I am not certain where that leaves me. I do know that this revelation (of something great coming from my recent experience with cancer) has been confirmed by numerous Christian friends without me even mentioning it. My current prayer is that I would know clearly what that great thing was or is. I am so willing to be God’s vessel, and just wonder if I missed the great thing that was supposed to come out of this journey. What if God has something HUGE planned and I am missing it? Isn’t that a common concern we have? I am reminded of a Bible study Roy and I led in Wyoming called Love Works. It is based on 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, and one of things Wayman Howard states is that God will use us right where we are. We often search around to make sure we are exactly where we are supposed to be. Hello! God will use us in every situation, under every circumstance, and every single day. I am not concerned about NOT doing God’s work, I am just wondering if it is great? I believe that time I am investing in youth is great, but what if God is calling me to do more? I know my family will lynch me if I get involved in one more thing. I may go ahead and hang myself up by my toenails, just to ensure my brain is getting enough blood to think clearly again. There is a coming opportunity to get involved in a Cancer Support Group. I don’t want to. I don’t want to have been a person who survived cancer, because again, I wish I have never endured it. But I did. I cannot be an ostrich and stick my head in the sands of denial. The super cool thing about this opportunity is that my favorite oncologist of all time (which might be slightly unfair, because I have only had two), Dr. Lininger is coming back to northeast Colorado to lead this group. It will ONLY be to provide spiritual support for those battling cancer. How cool is my retired oncologist? When my childhood best friend, Michael, told me that I would be a “t-shirt wearer” following cancer, I abruptly told him “NO! I will not.” I may be about to make myself a liar. I cannot imagine how incredibly hard it would have been to battle cancer without Jesus and an outstanding prayer army. I remember going through tribulations without Jesus, and there is nothing scarier, darker or harder. What if there is an opportunity to speak words of life into people and really know what they are going through? Apparently, I am full of questions tonight… Time to pray and focus on hearing the magnificent voice of God. I certainly don’t want to miss out on something great!
On Thursday, October 3rd I had the opportunity to share my testimony with the Sidney Brown Bag Bible Study with Cross My Heart Ministries. This was a women’s Bible Study and I was incredibly blessed to share my journey with these women. If you are interested in listening, here is the link:
http://andreamcwhorter.org/sidneybbrecordings/guestspeakers.html Then just click on my name.
It lasts about 34 minutes so grab a cup of warmness and put on your comfy pants. I recommend all 3! Many blessings on you today!