- “Complete trust or confidence on someone or something.”
- “Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.”
Let me say, here, at the beginning, I am not trying to convert or proselytize anyone. I am not trying to tell you my way is right and yours wrong. I am simply sharing my experience and faith in the context of my cancer journey and survival-hood. That is the extent of my disclaimer without apology. Thank you.
Firmly rooted in my faith
I am a believer in Jesus as the author and finisher of my faith, in His Father, God and of the Holy Spirit. I was a believer long before my cancer and am still firmly rooted in my faith as I continue on. Faith allows me comfort and a belief that everything in my daily comings and goings is caused or allowed by God. God, who has promised that He has a plan and purpose for my life and that He will neither leave me nor forsake me.
When I choose to employ this, I have peace. Peace that nothing is happening randomly. Peace that everything is exactly as it should be and is always working for the greater good. I know this will sound foolish to some, and I respect your freedom to choose differently than I do.
Faith is a choice
I say, “when I choose” because that is what faith is. Faith is a choice to believe in something unseen. Something that cannot be proven or dis-proven. If I could prove it, then it would be knowledge and not faith. So, I choose faith.
“Why?” is a dangerous question in cancer because it implies a reason or some moral cause for this disease. For any calamity, I suppose, but for now, cancer. If I ask why, then I am trying to rationalize or explain. Why me? Why now? "Why?” makes me decide why a non-smoker gets cancer while a smoker does not, or why a child gets cancer. “Why?” makes me look at questions I cannot possibly answer with any certainty.
Moving forward with a sense of calm
Faith allows me to accept and move forward with a sense of calm and knowing that there is a plan and a purpose. I have been gifted with the opportunity to sit with many cancer fighters in my role as a pastor. We have shared fears and questions. We have cried and prayed against this illness. But whenever I am asked to pray, it is always that God’s will be done and that we have peace to accept His will. This has allowed those who suffer a chance to experience peace. I have seen serenity and relief flood the faces of loved ones as we sit and have communion and prayer.
Faith is another tool in the toolbox
Faith is another tool in the fight against cancer, a place of rest and shelter in an ongoing, all-encompassing, storm. When Peter walked on the water, towards Jesus, he was in the midst of a storm. So long as his eyes remained fixed on Christ, he walked on top of the waves. However, when he took his eyes off of Jesus and looked at the storm, he began to sink and he cried out.
My experience reflects this. When I remain faithful in prayer and study of the Word, I can look at cancer through eyes of compassion and receive comfort. When I move my gaze towards the disease itself, I see through the lens of fear and apprehension. A choice. What will I focus on or what lens will I choose to look at cancer through?
A source of comfort and strength
In the grander sense, I am suggesting that a belief in something outside of ourselves is a wonderful source of comfort and strength. A place to retreat to or to take refuge in. I was in Millington, Tennessee, in the semi, on a two-day run. I went to sleep and was awakened by a horrible storm. Thunder and lightning and rain like I have rarely experienced. The whole truck was rocking. At first, I was startled and concerned. Then, I stopped and listened; the storm was outside, and I was safe and secure inside my sleeper. I pulled up the covers and laid down on my pillow. I had faith! Faith that I was protected. I slept the sleep of a baby in grampa’s embrace.
Choose your faith and hold to the security therein.
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