“The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” - Psalms 27:1
It has now been a year since I was first diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. I am pleased to report the results of 15 rounds of chemotherapy show that it has kept the cancer from spreading. There are many lessons learned through the adversity of illness and medical challenges that are not unique to me. For just in the Peace class, I have several class members who are also battling serious illnesses (Sandy Goin, Roy Bell, and Cheryl Onken), and who continue to shine as Christian examples as we serve others and the Lord in a manner that we physically are able.
So, what lessons have we learned through our adversity which are valuable to others?
1. Joy – “We consider it all joy when we face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance and as we become mature and complete, not lacking anything.” - James 1:2-4
2. Dependence – “We cast our cares on the Lord and He sustains us. He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” - Psalm 55:22; “We cast all our anxiety on Him, because He cares for us.” - 1 Peter 5:7
3. Sustainment – “Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” - Isaiah 40:31
4. Patience – “Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, until He is gracious to us.” - Psalm 123:2; “I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry.” - Psalms 40:1
5. Courage – “Wait for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait.” - Psalms 27:14; “Fear you not; for I am with you: be not dismayed for I am your God.” - Isaiah 41:10,14; “Be on the alert. Stand firm in the faith. Be men of courage. Be Strong.” - 1 Corinthians 16:13
6. Service - “This saying is trustworthy. And I want you to emphasize these things, so that those who have believed God will take care to devote themselves to good deeds. These things are excellent and profitable for the people.” - Titus 3:8; “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good deeds.” - Hebrews 10:24
7. Peace – “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.” - John 14:27; “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” - 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Thanks to everyone for your prayers for those of us who suffer from long-term serious illness. We find comfort and power in the passage of James 5:16, “...pray for each other so you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective”.
- Monty McNair